CCHA, Report, 16 (1949), 25-36


A Short Historical Summary of the
Ukrainian Catholics in Canada




       In 1891 two Ukrainian Catholic peasants left their wives and parents, and alone, knowing no friends, language or customs, sailed for Canada. Like Joshua, they sailed “to spy out the land.” These two sturdy pioneers were Wasyl Eleniak, still living in Chipman, Alberta, and Ivan Pilipiwsky, who died several years ago. They came from the village of Nebiliw, county Kalush, in Galicia, then Austria-Hungary. Pilipiwsky went to Alberta, while Eleniak worked hard for two years on a farm near Winnipeg, saved his earnings, and sailed back to his native village. That same year, 1893, he, his wife, and ten families from the same village sailed for Canada. They were all Catholics of the Greek Rite.

       Today, fifty-eight years later, the Ukrainian population in Canada is 305,929 souls, settled mostly in the three Prairie Provinces, forming 2.66 per cent of the entire Canadian population; Canada’s fourth largest ethnic group. Only Anglo-Saxons, French, and Germans are larger numerically.

       Since the majority of the Ukrainians came to Canada from Catholic Western Ukraine, that part of Ukraine which till 1939 was occupied by Poland, Czechoslovakia and Roumania, there are now 190,484 Ukrainian Catholics in Canada, making 62.26 per cent of all Ukrainians in Canada. In Manitoba alone, there are 89,762 Ukrainians, comprising 12.5 per cent of the entire population of the province. Out of these, 75 per cent, or 67,291, are Catholics. Winnipeg, the natural centre of the Ukrainians in Canada, has 19,195 Ukrainian Catholics with nine well-organized parishes, and the residence of His Excellency Archbishop B. V. Ladyka, O.S.B.M., D.D., and his auxiliary bishop.

       Wasyl Eleniak, the ninety-year old Ukrainian Canadian patriarch, symbolizes today, as perhaps does no other man of any ethnic group in Canada, the entire period of Ukrainian settlement, development and progress in Canada. Wasyl Eleniak has eight children and over sixty grandchildren and great grandchildren. In 1941 the Ukrainian Catholics celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his entry into Canada. He was honoured by Church and State at a banquet at Chipman, Alberta. On behalf of the Catholic Church, whose true and devoted son he remained, educating all his children and grandchildren in the Catholic faith, His Excellency Archbishop Ladyka presented him with a gold medal. The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta presented him with a gold medal on behalf of the State. The Canadian Government honoured this man of Canadian history in the Supreme Court at Ottawa on January 3rd, 1947, by giving him a Canadian citizenship certificate.




       In order to understand the Ukrainians in Canada, it is necessary to know something about their European historical, cultural and religious backgrounds.

       The Slavonic race, to which the Ukrainians belong, subdivided into the following modern nations: Bulgarians, Serbians, Croatians, Czechoslovakians, Jugoslavs, Poles, Russians, White Russians and the Ukrainians.

       The Ukrainians settled vast territory in eastern Europe, which is mostly prairie land. The boundaries of Ukraine are: north of the Black sea, from the Danube River and the Carpathian Mountains in the south, to the Pripet River and its marshes in the north; from the Wisla River and its tributary Sian in the west, to the Don and Donetz Rivers in the east. World history testifies to the fact that this territory was settled by the Slavs since the fifth century A.D. It is an immense territory, comprising about 362,200 square miles, with a population of about fifty million people. The central and eastern European economists named it “The Granary of Europe.” According to 1932 Encyclopedia Americana, Ukraine supplied the Soviet Union with eighty per cent of its coal, sixty per cent of its iron, ninety-five per cent of its manganese, eighty per cent of its sugar, the bulk of its wheat, mercury, copper and gold.

       As is noticeable in the development of every other European nation, there are, in Ukrainian History, three outstanding periods, the periods of Ukrainian national independence. The first period extended from the middle of the ninth century to the middle of the fourteenth century. It is known as “The Monarchical Period.” Ukrainian education at that period was very high, as is shown by a masterly literary work, “A Word About King Ihor’s Army,” an historical poem, describing one of the Ukrainian battles against a barbarous tribe of northeastern Europe, and by a written law codex, “The Ukrainian Truth,” which served as a basis for the governments of many nations till World War I.

       The second period of Ukrainian independence, known as “The Cossack Period,” was from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. During almost three hundred years the Ukrainian people fought a defensive and an offensive war against the Mongols, the Tartars and the Turks, thus allowing their European neighbors to develop peacefully behind the Ukrainian protective wall.

       Towards the end of World War I, in the years 1917-18, the Ukrainians again threw off the foreign yoke and declared their national independence. Without outside help they fought ferociously and heroically. Bolshevism bogged down in the Ukrainian steppes, did not get further west in its expansion towards central Europe, but the fight exhausted and weakened the Ukrainian nation. In 1923, the Council of Ambassadors in Paris, divided the prostrated Ukrainian nation into four parts, one for each of four foreign powers – Russia, Poland, Roumania and Czechoslovakia. For a short period in 1939, the Carpatho-Ukraine, and in 1941, the Province of Galicia, existed as independent states, but both were crushed unmercifully, the first one by the Hungarians, the second one by the Germans. At present, some of the members of the 1918 Government with the support of all existing Ukrainian democratic parties in exile, in 1948, formed the government in exile, called “Ukrainian National Council.”




       During the past thousand years, in spite of continued persecutions and repeated devastations by their neighbors, or, perhaps because of them, the Ukrainian people have developed a very high standard of cultural life; a culture in many branches superior to that of their hostile neighbors.

       About 900 years ago, when King Henry I of Austria (994-1018) married a Ukrainian princess, Anne Yaroslaw, Kiev had around 400 golden-domed churches and was the third largest city in Europe. Only Rome and Constantinople were bigger.

       At the time when Alfred the Great of England was attempting to maintain his Saxon state against the Danes, the ancestors of the Ukrainian people were establishing a large and flourishing kingdom with its centre at Kiev. Again, when Oliver Cromwell was a force to reckon with in England in the 17th century, Bohdan Khmelnitsky created, on the basis of Ukrainian tradition, a free and independent Cossack State.




       The greatest contribution made by the Ukrainians to the world was that of staving off the Asiatic hordes, Tartars, Mongols and Turks, for several centuries from invading Europe. No student of history will deny the fact, that throughout the centuries of the middle ages, it was the Ukrainian people who provided the bulwark behind which the culture of Europe prospered. In the battle by the Kayala River against the Tartars in the thirteenth century, 180 Ukrainian princes, lords and aristocracy, and 150,000 soldiers died, but they stopped the Asiatic hordes and saved the civilization of Western Europe. In the battle near Vienna against the Turks (1683) John Sobieski, a Polish king, had an army of 60,000 soldiers. There were only 20,000 Polish soldiers in that army, and 40,000 were Ukrainians. These 40,000 Ukrainian soldiers together with John Sobieski and the 20,000 Polish soldiers saved Vienna, Austria, and perhaps the whole of Europe from the Turks in the seventeenth century.

       Through Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, Christianity was introduced into Eastern Europe in 988.

       Alexander Archipenko, one of the world’s foremost contemporary sculptors, now living in the United States, is a Ukrainian. The immortal Tchaikowsky, in the field of music, was of Ukrainian origin. Taras Shewchenko, the William Shakespeare of the Slavonic races, was a Ukrainian.




       There is a tradition among the Ukrainians that the first missionary in their land was St. Andrew, the Apostle. It says that St. Andrew came up north from Achaia, by way of the Dnieper River, where the city of Kiev now stands, that be planted a cross on the bank of the river and prophesied that some day there would be a large city, that God would bless the inhabitants and that they would erect many churches there. This tradition is supported by the Ukrainian Chronicle of Nestor, “The Tale of the First Year” from the eleventh century. The real historical fact is that the missionaries, St. Cyril and St. Methodius, Apostles of the Slavs, founded the first Christian communities along the Carpathian Mountains in 860.

       The Ukrainian nation started to be converted from paganism to Catholicism during the reign of King Vladimir the Great. According to the “Chronicle” of a monk, Nestor, the Ukranians of Kiev were baptized in the Catholic Church of the Slavonic Rite in 988, by the priests of the Patriarchate of Ochryda in Bulgaria. King Vladimir the Great is honoured by the Catholic Church as a saint. From 988 on, the Catholic faith was spread throughout the territory occupied by the Ukrainians.

       When the Great Greek Schism came into existence in 1054, the Ukrainian nation was Catholic and remained so for several centuries later. The Greeks put on every pressure to bring the Ukraine into schism. They made sure that none but a Greek was installed as a Metropolitan of Kiev. But not until 1104 did Necephor, a Metropolitan of Kiev, openly proclaim himself a schismatic and publish a pastoral letter against the Catholic Church. Though Kiev accepted schism, the rest of the country remained Catholic. Thus Archbishop Peter Akerowich, from Rata in the province of Galicia, was the Ukrainian representative at the Council of Lyons in 1245. During the Council of Constance in 1414, the Metropolitan of Kiev, Gregory Camblak, was the Ukrainian representative, and, during the Council of Florence in 1439, the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Isidore, was a dominant figure. On his return to Ukraine, he went to Russia to proclaim the unity of the Church, but was arrested and thrown into prison. When he escaped, he went to Rome and was made Cardinal. From then on, the struggle continued. Many accepted the forced schism, while thousands died for their faith.

       The final act of re-union with Rome and break with the Greek Schism came in 1596. The re-union was proclaimed in Brest-Litovsk, and nearly all the Ukrainian Hierarchy, with the Metropolitan of Kiev, returned to the Catholic fold and the obedience to Rome. Only Prince Konstantine Oztrosky with two bishops and their followers renounced the union and began the fight against it. At the end of the seventeenth century, Ukraine became nearly all Catholic again. But the political situation went from bad to worse from 1654 on, and with it, the religious persecution began in earnest. The Russian domination, always intolerant and barbaric, began the extermination of the faithful and the destruction of the Catholic Church. In 1764 the priests and the faithful were massacred in Berdychiw, and this continued throughout the country occupied by the Russians. After the fall of Poland and the annexation of the Ukrainian territory into Russia, the Czars made every effort to suppress and annihilate the Ukrainian Catholic Church, just as the Communists are doing now. In 1839, all but one of the Ukrainian Catholic dioceses were suppressed, and that one suffered the same fate in 1875. Thousands of Ukrainian Catholic peasants died a martyr’s death, being shot beside their churches while preventing the Orthodox priests from entering their Catholic churches.

       In 1905, Moscow issued an “Edict of Tolerance,” permitting the unfortunate Ukrainian people to return to the Catholic Church, if they wished, on one condition only – that they did not return to the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Slavonic Rite. They were permitted only to declare their allegiance to the Latin Rite. About half a million Ukrainians of the provinces of Kholm and Pidlasia in Russia declared themselves Catholics of the Latin Rite in 1905, to be united with Rome.

       When the provinces of Kholm and Pidlasia were incorporated into the resurrected new Poland, after 1918, the Polish imperialists used the argument that all those people were Poles, because they were Catholics of the Latin Rite. They were served by the Polish priests under the jurisdiction of the Polish bishops. The real tragedy was completed in 1935-37, when the Polish Government began to “convert” the century-old Ukrainian Catholic churches into Latin Rite “Kostioly” (churches), claiming the same as Polish property. In vain did the Metropolitan of Lwiw, Count Andrew Sheptycky, protest in an open letter. About 187 churches in the province of Kholm were confiscated, while the faithful were left depressed and without spiritual guidance and consolation. The climax came in 1946-47, when all the Ukrainian population of those provinces and south, along the Curzon Line, were expelled by Russian military forces to parts unknown, and the dioceses of Kholm and Peremyshl annihilated.

       The same fate fell to the Ukrainian Catholics in Carpatho-Ukraine. Bishop Theodore Romza was murdered in 1947, and the diocese of Uzhorod made vacant. The diocese of Marmarosh in Roumania was also destroyed and the priests imprisoned or exiled.

       At the present time the Ukraine is a land of political and religious martyrs. All the Ukrainian territory is under the occupation of the Russian Communist dictator. There remains only one Ukrainian Catholic diocese, in Presov, Slovakia, with Bishop Paul Hoydych and his auxiliary bishop, W. Hopko. They have a diocesan paper and a seminary. But even there the agitators are demanding their obedience to the Russian Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow, arresting priests and nuns and threatening the expulsion of the whole population unless their demands are met. Only the Divine Providence knows what is in store for them. We may expect the worst, though we know that they have the faith, the endurance and the spirit of their brother-martyrs of other territories.

       In a brief summary, the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the Ukraine has been martyred and annihilated by the Russians since March 9, 1946. All the bishops, with the Metropolitan J. Slipiy, arrested, exiled and deprived of personal liberty. The last news is that Metropolitan Slipiy has been severely beaten, his hands and ribs broken, and languishes of Workuta, by the River Kama. The bishops of the dioceses of Stanislawiw and Peremyshl died in prison. Bishop Nicetas Budka, the first Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of Canada, has been deported to the Sea of Azov. Out of 3,700 priests, only one third remain alive. The hardest hit was the diocese of Peremyshl, where not only the clergy, but all the faithful were exiled or martyred. Many residents of Winnipeg are from this diocese.




       The Ukrainian immigration to Canada started in 1891. Since most of the Ukrainians in the early stages of immigration came from the province of Galicia, then under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, they were all Catholics of the Greek Rite. Since 1905, immigrants from Greater Ukraine, under Czarist Russia, started mass movements. They were Greek Orthodox.

       The Ukrainians are agricultural people – lovers and tillers of the soil. Almost everyone of the early immigrants settled on a farm in one of the three prairie provinces. Some years later many of them settled in the Niagara Peninsula, devoting themselves to fruit farming. The urban population came much later. Now, according to the 1941 census, every province and every larger town or city has some Ukrainians.

       For the first twenty-five years, the Ukrainians in Canada were chiefly concerned in making a living, building new roads, breaking new land, cultivating small gardens, fighting the prairie fires and floods, clearing the forests, and trapping wild beasts. They adapted themselves to this country and its climate, built splendid homes, cultivated thousands of acres of productive land and gave higher education to their children, as they say: “That they would not have to work as hard as we did.”

       Though the first Ukrainian pioneers in Canada had to struggle for “their daily bread” to satisfy their bodily wants, being deeply religious people, they also tried to form a church organization, to fence a few acres of land for a cemetery and to collect logs for a church building.

       During the first twenty-five years in Canada the Ukrainians underwent a terrific struggle for the preservation of their Catholic Faith, and as it seemed, for their very souls. They were in a strange country, with no leaders of their own and only a few of their Catholic priests. The Latin Rite was strange to them, as was the English language. They received little help there. The first struggle was against the “Russian Orthodox Mission,” which tried to convert them to their church. Later on, varions “Protestant Missions” with money, clothing, promises and preachers who spoke the Ukrainian language, did their best to rob the Ukrainians of their Catholic Faith. But both of these “Missions,” though causing many troubles, court cases and misunderstanding, had little success. The greatest harm done by the “Protestant Mission” was in their so called “Ukrainian Schools.” Many young, intelligent and ambitious Ukrainians lost their Catholic Faith there while pursuing higher education. Later on, these young men became leaders of the greatest opposition to the Ukrainian Catholic Church. They organized a Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church in Saskatoon in 1918, first as an intelligentsia movement with political aspirations, then they went into the educational field. They carried on a very loud proproganda without restraint or responsibility for its consequences. This time, the Ukrainian Catholic Church fought really for its existence. The many court cases over churches and parish halls took a tremendous amount of money, energy and good will.

       As a result of this final struggle, the Ukrainian Catholic Church became renovated, stronger, better organized and more determined to serve God, Canada and its people. The Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church is weakened, many of its leaders are now leaning towards Communism, while the ordinary members are slowly returning to the fold of the Catholic Church.

       The large Ukrainian Catholic population, especially in Western Canada, organized parishes, built beautiful churches, parish halls and many educational and humanitarian institutions, and developed their Catholic press. They are taking an active part in the Canadian political life and have succeeded in electing many of their members to the provincial legislatures and to the federal parliament. At different times four Ukrainians were elected to the federal parliament at Ottawa, while the Manitoba Legislature had six Ukrainian members at one time. Thousands of Ukrainians attend Canadian universities and hundreds of them graduate every year. Now Ukrainians are found in almost all professions, industries and skilled and semi-skilled occupations.

       According to the 1941 census, 65.17 per cent of the Ukrainians in Canada are Canadian born. They were trained in Canadian schools; they know and cherish the value of personal liberty; they fought alongside other Canadians against the common enemy in the last war; they take their places with other Canadians on an equal footing; they do not have the feeling of inferiority of the early pioneers. They are Canadians first, and feel and act accordingly. During the World War II, about 40,000 Canadian Ukrainians served in Canada’s Armed Forces. This is a little over 11 per cent of the entire Ukrainian population in Canada. According to our list, which is not complete, 3,830 Canadian Ukrainians gave their lives during this war, paid the supreme sacrifice that Canada and the democratic way of life may live.

       The Ukrainians are industrious, ambitious and intelligent people. They demonstrated their loyalty to their country, Canada; they are conscious of their duties and responsibilities as citizens of Canada and they want some of the privileges. Therefore, they are very sensitive to discrimination on account of their names or racial origin. Canada is their country. They will remain here as Catholics of the Greek Rite and as Canadians, though conscious of their Ukrainian origin, culture and language. They want to give their best efforts as citizens to this wonderful land, Canada, and to absorb the best that Canada and Canadian associations have to give; and from this process of generous giving and generous receiving, to evolve genuine Canadians and a real Canadian pattern of life.




Secular-Diocesan Priests


       The first Ukrainian immigrants came to Canada without leaders and without their priests. But, being deeply religious, as soon as they built their homes, they started to develop church organizations. In 1896 the first Ukrainian Catholic priest came to minister to his people. He was the Rev. Father Nestor Dmytriw. In the following year, 1897, the first Ukrainian Catholic church was built at Star, Alberta. Soon the Rev. J. Zablynsky and the Rev. P. Tymkewich followed and had to face the first attack of the “Russian Orthodox Mission” while organizing a Catholic parish at St. Michael, Alberta.

       The first Ukrainian Catholic church in Manitoba was built in 1898, at Stuartburn. The Manitoba Historical Society marked the spot with a cairn on the way to Emerson. That same year a church was built at Mink River, Manitoba, and in 1899, another one of Gonor, Manitoba, which stands there to this day. In 1901, the first Ukrainian Catholic church was built in Winnipeg, at 115 McGregor Street. Today, on the same spot, a beautiful cathedral is near completion for the Archdiocese of the Central Exarchate, where His Excellency, Archbishop B. V. Ladyka, O.S.B.M., D.D., is the ordinary and His Excellency, Andrew Roborecky, D.D., the Auxiliary Bishop.

       In response to the demands of the Ukrainian Catholic priests in Canada and at the request of the Latin Catholic Bishops, Metropolitan of Lwiw, Count Andrew Sheptycky visited Canada in 1910. He travelled much throughout the country, visiting his people, and gathering information. On his return to Europe he prepared a “Memorandum,” which he sent to the Holy Father at Rome and to the Catholic Hierarchy in Europe and Canada. In it he described the religious and social conditions of the Ukrainian Catholics in Canada, and made it clear, that the only way to preserve the Catholic Faith among the Ukrainians in Canada, was to nominate a Ukrainian Catholic bishop for them. The Latin Catholic Hierarchy of Canada gave their consent to this proposition and, on July 15, 1912, His Excellency Bishop Nicetas Budka became the first Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of Canada. He came to Winnipeg in December of the same year, where he established his Episcopal See. Today Bishop Budka is in a Soviet prison, somewhere on the Sea of Azov.

       Bishop Budka’s task was not an enviable one. He was a pioneer in organizing the largest diocese in the world, in area; in a strange country and with very few priests. His greatest opposition came from the Ukrainian intelligentsia, educated in the Protestant Ukrainian schools which encouraged them to challenge the bishop in his every effort.

       By obtaining Dominion and provincial Charters, Bishop Budka secured the legal position of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada. This gave the Catholic and Ukrainian character to the numerous parishes that were being organized throughout Canada. The tremendous task of organizing this diocese during fifteen pioneering years undermined Bishop Budka’s health, and, in 1927, to regain his health, he left for Europe where he became Auxiliary Bishop to the Metropolitan of Lwiw, Count Andrew Sheptycky.

       In 1929 a new bishop Ordinary, in the venerable person of the Rev. Basil V. Ladyka, O.S.B.M., was consecrated in Edmonton and installed in Winnipeg. The following year, 1930, the Holy See gave the “Decree” that was to govern the internal administration of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada and its relations with the Catholic Church of the Latin Rite. Such “Decree” was given to the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the province of Galicia, during the Council of Zamost, in 1720, and modified during the Council of Lwiw, in 1891. Both of these Councils were under the leadership of a Papal Delegate and approved by the Holy Father. The internal administration and relations to the Latin Rite in Canada have been modified according to the conditions of the new country.

       The Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Canada was too large and the work too strenuous for one bishop to govern it. Therefore, in 1943, the Rev. Nil Savaryn, O.S.B.M., was consecrated in Toronto and became Auxiliary Bishop. On March 3rd, 1948, a new Decree of the Holy Father was issued for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada, and three new exarchates (dioceses) were formed, the Central Exarchate with Winnipeg as centre; the Eastern Exarchate with Toronto as centre; the Western Exarchate with Edmonton as centre. His Excellency Bishop Ladyka was raised to the dignity of an archbishop. The Auxiliary Bishop N. Savaryn was made Bishop of the Western Exarchate and the Rev. Isidore Borecky was consecrated Bishop of the Eastern Exarchate, while the Rev. Andrew Roborecky was consecrated Auxiliary Bishop of the Central Exarchate.

       In a brief summary, the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada has 3 Exarchates (Dioceses), 1 Archbishop, 3 Bishops, 176 priests (110 diocesan 43 Basilians, 22 Redemptorists and 1 Oblate), 467 parish and missionary churches, 27 schools, colleges, institutes, 3 orphanages, 2 hospitals, 2 homes for the aged, 5 newspapers, 199 Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, 12 Missionary Sisters of Christian Charity and 7 Christian Brothers. There are also 5 Dominion-wide Ukrainian Catholic Lay Organizations – The Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood, The Ukrainian Catholic Women's League, the Ukrainian Catholic Youth, The Missionary Society of St. Josaphat and the Mutual Benefit Association of St. Nicholas. “The Ukrainian Catholic Council,” in Winnipeg, is the coordinating body of the five above mentioned Dominion-wide organizations. “The Diocesan Relief Organization” is a separate unit of the “Ukrainian Catholic Council.”


The Basilian Fathers


       In 1902 the first Ukrainian Basilian Fathers came to Canada. The Rev. Sozont Dydyk, O.S.B.M., the first Basilian pioneer, is still alive. The Basilian Fathers have 43 priests in Canada with parishes in British Columbia, monasteries and parishes in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. They have a Junior Seminary and a Novitiate in Mundare, Alta., where they have a well-equipped press. They are also in charge of St. Basil’s Institute in Edmonton, where Ukrainian Catholic students reside while attending Edmonton schools.

       The Ukrainian Catholic Church of Canada owes a great deal to the zealous work of the Basilian Fathers for its early organization, development and progress.


The Redemptorist Fathers


       In 1899 the Rev. A. Delare, C.S.S.R., came to minister to the Ukrainian Catholics in Brandon, Manitoba. In 1904 he went to Yorkton, Saskatchewan, where he established the “Ukrainian Catholic Mission,” which has prospered to become one of the best Ukrainian Catholic centres in Canada. The Redemptorist Fathers have 22 priests in Canada with monasteries and parish churches in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario. They have a Junior Seminary in Roblin, Manitoba, a Novitiate in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, and a Senior Seminary at Waterford, Ontario. They have a well-organized and well-equipped press in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, where they publish The Redeemer’s Voice, a monthly magazine.

       Father Delare’s work has been blessed by Almighty God and has brought much fruit for the Ukrainian Catholics.


Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate


       Four Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate came to Canada in 1902. Their first convent was at Mundare, Alberta. Today there are 199 Sisters, and they are doing catechetical, educational and humanitarian work in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. They have 13 convents and grade schools, 2 high schools, 2 hospitals, 3 orphanages and 2 homes for the aged.

       God only knows the amount of good work these humble Sisters did for the Ukrainian Catholics in Canada.


The Christian Brothers


       The Ukrainian Catholics were beset, in 1920, with one predominant handicap, namely, the lack of trained leadership from among their own ranks. There was an urgent need of a Canadian-born group of clergy, professional men, teachers and community leaders. The natural answer was an education which would make and not break; which would preserve and not destroy; which would absorb and not engraft. For this purpose, St. Joseph’s College was founded in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, in 1920. To provide the teaching was the privilege and delight of the noble order of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. To provide the building and guarantee its continuance was the happy right of the Catholic Church Extension Society. There are seven Brothers on the staff at St. Joseph’s College, four of them former graduates of that institution, and they train around 150 Ukrainian Catholics boys each year. About 40 students graduate every year to go to university, seminary, normal school, or other business or agricultural field.

       For the past 29 years, St. Joseph’s College has more than justified its existence. The result has been a steady succession of moderate triumphs.


Missionary Sisters of Christian Charity


       This is a recent congregation, founded about six years ago. Their Motherhouse and a Novitiate are at Grimsby, Ontario. So far they are in charge of one institute, St. Josaphat, Edmonton, Alberta, where the Ukrainian Catholic girls reside while attending Edmonton schools.




       Piety, talent, industry and ambition have brought the Urainian Catholics up gradually in Canada and the same qualities are bound to make them hold an important place in Canadian history and in Canadian culture. Along the religious, social, economic and educational lines, the Ukrainian Catholics have made tremendous progress. The Ukrainian youth is ambitious to be a leader; and he possesses the talent, the perseverance and the diligence that

will make him one.

       The Ukrainian Catholics’ entrance into Canada and their carving out homes in the wildest parts of the wooly West, under almost insurmountable difficulties, demonstrates the possession of the same indomitable spirit.

       The Ukrainian Catholics have a mission of destiny in Canada. The descendants of these sturdy pioneers will see that the best in the Ukrainian Catholic culture is not lost, but that it is handed down as a birthright to the posterity of this land, Canada.




a) In the Ukrainian Language.


    (1)     The Ukrainian News, Edmonton, Alberta. (Weekly).

    (2)     The Redeemer’s Voice, Yorkton, Saskatchewan. (Monthly)

    (3)     The Redeemer’s Voice Almanac, 1949. (Redemptorist Fathers)

    (4)     The Future of the Nation, Yorkton, Saskatchewan. (Semi-monthly)

    (5)     The Light, Mundare, Alberta. (Semi-monthly)

    (6)     The Youth, Edmonton, Alberta. (Monthly)

    (7)     Ukrainian Family Almanac, 1949. (Basilian Fathers)

    (8)     Ukrainian Family Almanac, 1941. (Basilian Fathers)

    (9)     Our Origin. (Pamphlet – Brother S. Methodius, F.S.C.)

    (10)   The Memorial Book, 1941, Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

    (11)   The Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada, 1927. (Rev. P. Bozyk)


b) In the English Language.


    (1)     Ukraine, by Dr S. Rudnitsky. New York, 1918.

    (2)     Canadians of Ukrainian Origin, by N. J. Hunchak. Winnipeg, 1945.

    (3)     Ukraine, an Atlas of its History and Geography, by G. W. Simpson, Oxford University Press, 1941.

    (4)     History of Ukraine, by D. Doroshenko, professor of Prague and Warsaw Universities, edited by G. W. Simpson, Institute Press, Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta, 1939.

    (5)     A History of Ukraine, by Michael Hrushevsky, edited by 0. J. Frederiksen. Yale University Press, 1941.

    (6)     The Struggle of Freemen, by Anthony Hlynka, M.P., edited by the Ukrainian Cultural Society, Ukrainian Printing Co., Detroit, Mich., 1942.

    (7)     Taras Shevchenko, the National Poet of Ukraine, by D. Doroshenko, edited by R. W. Seton-Watson, D. Litt., F.B.A. E. Wyrowyj, Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1936.

    (8)     The Ukrainian Canadians and the War, by Watson Kirkconnell. Oxford University Press, 1940.

    (9)     Our Communists and the New Canadians, by Watson Kirkconnell, Southam Press, Toronto, Ont., 1943.

    (10)   Our Ukrainian Loyalists, by Watson Kirkconnell. Ukrainian Canadian Committee, Winnipeg, Man.

    (11)   Ukraine’s Case for Independence, by Alexander A. Granovsky. American Peace Society, Washington, D.C., 1940.

    (12)   A Plea for the Right to Live. Ukrainian Information Bureau, New York, 1922.

    (13)   The Ukrainian Question a Peace Problem. Ukrainian Nationalists, Geneva, Switzerland, 1928.