CCHA, Report, 24 (1957), 75-86
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and the Ukrainians in Canada
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by Bohdan KAZYMYRA, B.L.S., L.Sc.Pol.Soc., Ph.D.
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Metropolitan Count Andrew Sheptyckyj, who for forty-five years governed the affairs of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, occupies a special place in the history of the Ukrainian people. He was a man of great religious and public importance. When in November 1944 the news of Metropolitan Andrew’s death in Lviv became known, Ukrainians grieved deeply, for they had lost a good father, and the Catholic Church one of its best sons who was gone forever. Not long ago, steps were taken under the leadership of Archbishop Ivan Buchko in Rome to have the servant of God, Metropolitan Andrew, mentioned at the altars of the Catholic Church. Let us hope that it will happen soon!
Metropolitan Andrew Sheptyckyj was the scion of a famous Ukrainian princely family, whose origin goes back to the 12th century.1 Although the family was somewhat influenced by Polish culture, they kept Ukrainian traditions and gave the Ukrainian Catholic Church such outstanding leaders of the 18th century as Metropolitan Athanasius Sheptyckyj (1715-1746) and Metropolitan Lev Sheptyckyj (1768-1779).
On July 29, 1865, just two years before the birth of the Dominion of Canada, in the family of Ivan Count Sheptyckyj a son was born, who later was to become Metropolitan Andrew. By baptism, he received three names: Roman Maria Alexander.
Studying the chronicle of his family and having often admired the portraits of his famous ancestors, who devoted their lives to the Ukrainian cause and Church, young Roman decided to follow their steps.
During his studies of law, he travelled in many countries. During his first visit to Rome, Roman Sheptyckyj told Pope Leo XIII of his intention to serve God. At this, he was told: “Optimam partem elegisti, qua: non auferetur a te.”2 He fulfilled this intention on May 28, 1888, by presenting himself to the novitiate of the Basilian Fathers in Dobromyl, where he took the name of Andrew. After completing his studies of philosophy and theology, he was ordained on August 22, 1892.
During the first seven years of priesthood, he occupied various posts: he was prefect of the novices, he founded and published the monthly paper Missionar (The Missionary), was abbot of the St. Onufrey (Humphrey) monastery in Lviv, founded the Basilian printing-press in Zovkva and helped the missions. He was also the protector of two known Ukrainian missionaries in Canada: Rev. Navkratyj Kryzanovskyj, O.S.B.M. and Rev. Sozont Dydyk, O.S.B.M.
In February 1899, the Holy See and the Austrian government appointed Father Andrew Bishop of the Stanyslaviv diocese. The consecration took place on September 17, 1899, and the enthronement on September 20, 1899. A year later, Bishop Sheptyckyj was named Metropolitan for Ukrainians in Galicia, Archbishop of Lviv and Bishop of Kaminetz Podilsky. The solemn enthronement took place on Thursday, January 17, 1901.
Metropolitan Andrew became not only a spiritual but also a national leader of the Ukrainians. He wielded great authority among Ukrainian Catholics as well as among Ukrainians of Orthodox faith. In 1913, he founded and endowed the National Museum in Lviv, and later the Ukrainian Theological Academy in Lviv which had two faculties: arts and theology. In 1930, he established a publishing company at Lviv, and was the founder of the well known Assemblies in Velegrad (Czechoslovakia). He also renewed the monastic order of St. Theodore Studyt, who after the Second World War came to Canada and established their monastery in Woodstock, Ontario. In addition, he looked after his flock overseas. The Ukrainians in Canada are grateful because he helped them in many ways.3
The overpopulation of villages of Western Ukraine in the past century, the limited possibilities of earning a living, and extremely low wages for work done were the main reasons for the emigration of Ukrainians to countries of Western Europe (Denmark, Norway, France, Germany, England, etc.) and to the New World, particularly to South America (Brazil and Argentina) and to North America (United States and Canada).4 Statistics towards the end of the 19th century show that 42% of the peasant families of Galicia and Volynia, and 457 of the Carpatho-Ukraine possessed less than 5 acres of land, and 397 of farms in Galicia and Volynia and 30% in Carpatho-Ukraine owned between 5 and 15 acres of land. Hence, it is easy to understand why the Ukrainian farmer from Galicia would try to improve his lot by emigrating overseas.
The Ukrainian peasant in Galicia learned about countries overseas from labourers who returned from seasonal jobs in Western Europe, and also from German colonists in Galicia and Jewish merchants, who had friends in the New World.
The first Ukrainian settler to Canada, Vasyl Eleniak, arrived in Canada in 1891 (he died on January 12, 1956 in Chipman, Alberta, ninety-seven years old). He stated that his villagers learned about Canada from German colonists. “From the Germans I learned about Canada,” he said. “. . . The Germans from Canada were encouraging their relatives to go there because much land and woods could be had in Canada.”5
The first official mention of Ukrainian settlers in Canada can be found in the reports of the High Commissioner of Canada in London. In 1893 he related that the Galician immigration was “increasing.” It must, therefore, have started before his report was presented. Ukrainians in Canada claim that the first Ukrainian settlers came to Canada in 1891, from the village of Nebyliv in Western Ukraine.6
When in 1896 the Liberal party of Wilfrid Laurier came into power, the new Prime Minister initiated a plan to increase the number of settlers from Europe. Canada needed people to settle its vast territories.7
After the elections of 1896, Hon. Clifford Sifton became the new Minister of the Interior. His policy was to encourage immigration from Europe, especially from Slavic countries. When the peasants of Galicia learned that it was possible to purchase from the Government of Canada a homestead for only $10, many of them decided to emigrate to that land of plenty. At first only a few family groups undertook the venture but as soon as their letters confirmed the fact about the free land, the flow of landhungry Ukrainian peasant settlers became a mass movement. By 1898 thousands of them were already settled on homesteads in Manitoba and the North Western Territories. The reports of that time stated that 60% of these pioneer settlers made their homes in Manitoba and 40% ventured further West, into the North-Western Territories.8 They became the pioneers who helped to open the Canadian West and whose children and grand-children are today among the best farmers of the prairies.
The Ukrainian pioneers had to face many difficulties in the new country. The homesteaders had to use mostly primitive tools because they didn’t have enough money to buy the necessary machinery. Beside material needs there arose a great need for religious guidance. The settlers encountered in Canada new religious problems to which they had not been accustomed.
Although Ukrainians came from all provinces of Ukraine, the majority came from Galicia which since 1772 was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At that time, the population of Galicia was almost one hundred per cent Catholic of the Ukrainian (Eastern) rite. In Canada, to their surprise and confusion they found that besides the Catholic Church there existed also other religious denominations. They also noticed that the Church and the State were separated. There was no official church or religion in Canada.
Settling on the prairies, the Ukrainians met with the Latin clergy, the majority of whom were Oblate missionaries. There existed an organized hierarchy with its metropolitan centre in St. Boniface, Manitoba. The Latin missionaries knew little or nothing about Ukrainians, and especially about their Eastern Catholic rite and their religious traditions. The situation was still more aggravated by the agitation of the Russian orthodox mission, which wanted to attract Ukrainians to their Church, pointing out that the Russian orthodoxy was much nearer the Ukrainian rite than the Latin.
At the beginning, the Ukrainian settlers’ problems were taken care of by the Latin missionaries: Oblates and Redemptorists. Only later, a few priests from Galicia, encouraged by their Bishops and urgently requested by the immigrants, started to arrive in Canada.
It is interesting to note that several Redemptorist Fathers from Belgium (A. Delaere, H. Buis, M. Decamp, K. Tesher and others) and five secular priests (A. Sabourin, D. Claveloux, 0. Gagnon, A. Desmarais, and Fr. Jean), inspired by the desire to serve the new arrivals, adopted the Ukrainian rite and did missionary work among the Ukrainian settlers. Thus they tried to make up for the lack of Ukrainian priests. But this did not entirely solve the problem. The lack of priests of the Ukrainian rite made some problems for the Latin hierarchy and Archbishop Adelard Langevin in his memorandum of July 2, 1904, which he handed to the Austrian emperor Francis Joseph, speaks clearly about this situation.9
The bishops of North Western Canada knew that only Ukrainian priests, who could understand their people, could attend efficiently to their spiritual needs. Therefore, in an effort to obtain Ukrainian priests, Bishops Albert Pascal of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and Emile Legal of St. Albert, Alberta, decided to proceed to Europe, in the autumn of 1898. Bishop Legal went to Rome and Bishop Pascal went on a special mission to Vienna, Lviv, and Rome. During his stay in Rome, Bishop Pascal handed to Cardinal Mieczyslaw Ledochowski, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, the first memorandum10 of the Canadian Catholic Hierarchy concerning the spiritual care of the Ukrainian settlers. In it, Bishop Pascal mentioned the question of Ukrainian missionaries for Canada and subsidies for mission work. He also requested that Basilian Fathers be sent to Canada.
Later, in the spring of 1900, Father A. Lacombe, O.M.I., Vicar General of the Bishop of St. Albert, went to Europe on a similar mission. He was sent by the Archbishop Langevin and the Bishops Grandin, Legal and Pascal. Father Lacombe followed closely the intentions and the plans of Pope Leo XIII. At that time already he came to the conclusion that the Ukrainians in Canada should have their own Bishop. This was, in his opinion, the best way to solve the religious problems of Ukrainian settlers. But Archbishop Langevin was of a different opinion. In his letter of April 25, 1900 to Father Lacombe, he stated: “I would not like to have a Ruthenian Bishop in my diocese.”11 From Rome, Father Lacombe went to Stanyslaviv to visit the Bishop Andrew Sheptyckyj.
The visit of Father Lacombe confirmed the wish of Bishop Sheptyckyj to visit Canada. Father Lacombe arrived at Stanyslaviv on March 15, 1900 and explained the problems of the Ukrainian settlers who did not have their own clergy. He related that Russian missionaries were trying to influence them and that the confusion and disorientation resulted in more and more losses for the Catholic Church. In his search for Ukrainian missionaries Father Lacombe had not much success. Most of those willing to serve were married and therefore were not eligible for missionary work overseas. To present as clearly as possible the religious situation of Ukrainians in Canada, Father Lacombe wrote on September 17, 1900 a memorandum which he handed to Bishop Sheptyckyj .12
In his memoirs about his trip to Stanyslaviv, Father Lacombe wrote:13 “I noticed that the people and the clergy liked him (i.e. Bishop Sheptyckyj – B.K.). , He promised to do all he could for his people. How delightful will it be when His Excellency will be able to visit his dear flock in Canada, give them encouragement and bless them.” On one occasion Bishop Sheptyckyj mentioned to Father Lacombe his intention to visit Canada. He forwarded this good news to his hierarchy. In his reply Archbishop Langevin wrote: “We are sending a letter to Bishop Andrew in Lviv inviting him to visit Canada.”14
Metropolitan Andrew Sheptyckyj started to make arrangements for his visit to Canada. But the invitation from the Canadian Hierarchy was not sufficient. It was necessary to have also the permission from Cardinal Ledochowski, as is clearly seen from the letter of the Apostolic Delegate in Ottawa, Msgr. Falconio, to Bishop Grandin (on March 22, 1901): “Monsignor Sheptyckyj would like to come to Canada, but all depends on the Propaganda, where I have written three times already ...”15
Abbot Dom Grea noticed also the unwillingness of Cardinal Ledochowski. “Dom Grea is of the opinion that Cardinal Ledochowski, as all other representatives of the Polish aristocracy, is not friendly to Ruthenians,” wrote Archbishop Langevin in a letter on May 25, 1900 to Bishop Grandin.16
On his return to Canada Father Lacombe tried to help the Metropolitan to visit this country. In a letter to Father Lacombe (Vienna, February 6, 1901) Archbishop Sheptyckyj thanked the Canadian Hierarchy for these efforts. “As regards Ruthenian priests,” the Metropolitan wrote, “there is eligible only my secretary, whom you know and who is willing to go overseas ... Pray to God that we find another one, so that at least two could remain in Canada.”17
Bishop Grandin on April 18, 1901 received a letter from Msgr. Falconio, who declared: “. ..I just got a letter from Propaganda. His Em. Cardinal Ledochowski did not welcome the idea of the visit of Msgr. Sheptyckyj to Canada.”18
Metropolitan Andrew had no choice but to postpone his visit and send his secretary, Rev. Basil Zoldak, to Canada in September 1901. Father Zoldak was given a written message from Archbishop Andrew to Father Lacombe (dated September 11, 1901) in which he said: “... I learned that Cardinal Ledochowski instead of approving my project opposed it and, therefore I am obliged to postpone my visit till next year. I expect to be in Rome in November, and I shall talk then about my plans. If such is God’s will, I shall come to Canada next year. In the meanwhile I am awaiting that time...”19
Father Lacombe’s answer was: “... We implore you again to come here ... Come and help us to save all those souls. We are very sorry that Rome and the Austrian government do not understand the situation and that they do not favour your coming, which is so much desired by us. The longer we wait and postpone our plans, the harder it will be to bring those poor people on the right path.”20
The visit of the Metropolitan was a necessity. Everybody agreed that he was the only one who could help. For that reason, Archbishop Langevin wrote on February 27, 1904 to Father A. Delaere, C.Ss.R.: “The question of the Metropolitan’s visit will be settled in Rome, when I will go there this year.’21
It seemed as though the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith for some reason did not wish the Metropolitan to visit Canada. It was not until the International Eucharistic Congress in Montreal in 1910, which the Metropolitan Andrew attended without asking permission of the Sacred Congregation, that he was able to fulfil his intention.
As the number of the Ukrainian settlers in Canada steadily increased, there increased also the need for clergy. The Latin Hierarchy realized that the Latin clergy, even with best intentions, was unable to serve satisfactorily the spiritual needs of Ukrainian Catholics of the Oriental rite. Therefore, Bishop Legal went to Rome in the spring of 1898 and requested that Ukrainian priests be sent to Canada. He approached also the provincial of the Basilian Fathers in this matter but was informed that there was a shortage of Ukrainian missionaries.
In that same year, Bishop Pascal also went to Europe, where he visited Vienna, Lviv and Rome. At that time there took place in Vienna a meeting of Catholic Bishops of Austria.22 In Vienna, Bishop Pascal met one Ukrainian Bishop from Galicia (probably Bishop Chekhovych from Peremysl, who was interested in the Ukrainian settlers in Canada). This Bishop promised to help by sending his clergy. Bishop Pascal asked also that a Basilian mission be started in Manitoba. The efforts of both Canadian Bishops, Legal and Pascal, met with positive results. On October 21, 1899, the first Basilian, Father Damaskin Polivka, arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba.23
The hope of securing secular priests for missionary work in Canada was not realized. That is why efforts were made to bring more priests of the Basilian Order. That was the main reason why Father Albert Lacombe, O.M.I., as already mentioned, went to Europe in 1900. On May 20, 1900, he and Bishop Dontenville of New Westminster, British Columbia, called on Cardinal Ledochowski and the Austrian ambassador in Rome. Bishop Dontenville submitted to Pope Leo XIII a memorandum about the need of religious care for Ukrainians in Canada. It was the second memorandum presented by the Catholic Hierarchy of North Western Canada.24
Father D. Polivka, O.S.B.M. left Manitoba in 1900 for the United States and there was nobody to replace him. Metropolitan Sheptyckyj and the Canadian Bishops again renewed their efforts to bring Basilian Fathers to Canada. The Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith was in favour of the settlement of Basilian Fathers in Canada. Archbishop Langevin was informed about this on January 21, 1901, by Cardinal Ledochowski. To obtain a better picture of the situation in Canada, Metropolitan Andrew sent over his secretary Father Basil Zoldak at the end of 1901. He studied the question closely in order to be able to make a detailed report and after half a year of his missionary work, he requested Bishop Legal to allow Father Alphonse Jan, O.M.I., to go with him to Lviv and “to present the situation of souls without care and to induce the clergy to take care of them.” The permission was granted, and on June 17, 1902, Rev. A. Jan, O.M.I., and Rev. B. Zoldak left Edmonton for Europe. In Lviv, Metropolitan Sheptyckyj welcomed them, and asked the Provincial of the Basilian Fathers to send priests on missions to Canada.25 But the Father Provincial, unfortunately, could not satisfy that wish.
The Metropolitan then made an appeal to obtain permission from the Holy See to send Basilian missionaries to Canada. In letters of August 20, 1902 and September 20, 1902, he wrote to Cardinal Gotti that Father Zoldak “could get a few helpers, which I am ready to send to Canada on a repeated request of the Hierarchy of the North-West, if your Eminence does not refuse ... And so I ask for your permission. Ready to go are Fathers: Lomnyckyj, Dydyk and Strockyj of the Basilian Order ...”26
Indeed on September 23, 1902, the first Basilians, Rev. Platonid Filas, Rev. Sozont Dydyk, Rev. Antin Strockyj and Brother Jeremia Janishevskyj, arrived in Montreal, Quebec. With them came also four Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Conception.
In the archives of the archdiocese of St. Boniface, Manitoba, there is a letter written by Very Rev. Peter Bapst, the Provincial of Basilian Fathers, dated October 13, 1903, in which it is stated that Metropolitan Andrew, with the approval of the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, sent three Basilian priests to Canada. Those missionaries were sent to the following dioceses: St. Boniface, Manitoba, St. Albert, Alberta and to Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. But because of the schism, which was encouraged by the Russian mission and started to spread in the diocese of St. Albert in Alberta, Ukrainian missionaries and Sisters went first to St. Albert.
Metropolitan Andrew, following his duty as a Bishop, preached the word of God, and where he could not do it personally, he communicated his thoughts by letters. In his pastoral letters to the Ukrainians in Canada, he wrote about dogmas and also about church news that would interest them. A year later when he realized that it would be impossible for him to visit Canada in 1900, he wrote his first pastoral letter, entitled “To the Ruthenians, settled in Canada.” His next pastoral letter, “Truths of faith,” was published in 1902.
In 1910 the Metropolitan was finally able to visit the United States and Canada. This afforded him an opportunity to view at close quarters the problems of his people. During this visit, he made a promise to his faithful to send priests and to write a book, which would contain all the doctrines of the Catholic Church. After his return to Lviv, he wrote the promised book, a pastoral, under the title “To Ruthenian Canadians,” which was published in 1911.
These pastoral letters are thus the three special writings of the Metropolitan directed to the Ukrainians in Canada. In them he stressed the most important points of the faith and the principles of religion. The introductory instructions tell us many interesting facts about the settling of Ukrainians in Canada, and about the efforts of the Metropolitan to solve their religious problems.
One of his subsequent documents, the most important one for its results and for its historical value, was written in Lviv on March 18, 1911. It is entitled an “Address on the Ruthenian question to their Lordships, the Archbishops and Bishops of Canada.” This memorandum was written in English and French.
When in 1921 the Metropolitan visited Canada for the second time, he delivered an address to the clergy of the Toronto diocese, during their retreat in St. Augustine’s Seminary. This address was delivered on August 26, 1921. It was published later in the “Catholic Register” of September 1, 1921.
Apart from pastoral letters, the correspondence of the Metropolitan is also of great importance. It illustrated his efforts concerning religious care for Ukrainian settlers in Canada. All that correspondence, which I found in different archives in Canada, amounts to some hundred letters. It can be divided into two parts: 1) correspondence with non-Ukrainians, and 2) correspondence with Ukrainian Canadians.
It includes correspondence with the hierarchy of North-Western Canada, i.e. mostly with Archbishop Langevin, Father Lacombe, Father Delaere, and others. It is possible that the Metropolitan also wrote letters to other Canadian Bishops, but I have not had an opportunity to verify it. In his letters, he discussed the actual problems at that time: the registration of churches, supplying Western Canada with Ukrainian priests and his intended visit to Canada.
The Metropolitan corresponded frequently with the newly appointed (1912) Ukrainian Bishop Nicetas Budka and with the Basilian Fathers. In those letters, he answered and explained the questions he was asked. In the archives of Rev. Father Josaphat Jean, O.S.B.M., there are letters of the Metropolitan, which refer to his plan to colonize a part of Abitibi, Quebec, with a million Ukrainians from Galicia, Volynia and Yugoslavia, and to start there a mission of Studyt monks. In the archives of the Basilian Fathers in Mundare, Alberta, there are preserved four letters, which the Metropolitan wrote to Canada from his exile in Russia, during the First World War.
I am convinced that there are many more important letters written by Metropolitan Sheptyckyj yet to be discovered.
The International Eucharistic Congress was to take place in Montreal between September 5th and 11th, 1910. Metropolitan Andrew decided to take part in that Congress and at the same time to visit Ukrainians in Canada and the United States.
He left Lviv on August 14, 1910 and arrived in Montreal early in September where he was greeted by Archbishop Langevin, Bishop Legal and Bishop Pascal. Archbishop Langevin again repeated his wish that the Metropolitan would visit the Ukrainian settlers in Western Canada.
The Metropolitan travelled in Canada from coast to coast. He stopped at large and small settlements where Ukrainians lived. His longest stay was in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. He celebrated Mass, he preached, he taught, he brought comfort to suffering souls, he tried to speak with all, he heard confessions without rest from dawn till night.27
The people greeted him warmly; they thanked him for his coming and asked for Ukrainian priests and a Ukrainian Bishop. The Metropolitan promised to help and indeed two years later, Pope Pius X named the first Ukrainian Bishop Nicetas Budka, who came to Canada towards the end of 1912.
The two-months visit of the Metropolitan brought great consolation to the faithful. Archbishop Andrew not only visited Ukrainian settlements, he also discussed important matters with the Latin Hierarchy and took necessary steps for the arrival of a Ukrainian Bishop.
On December 14, 1910, he returned to Lviv. His visit to North America had lasted four months. In December 1911, he went to Rome to present a brief on the religious needs of the Ukrainians in Canada.
We know now that one of the Metropolitan’s important documents of great historical value was his “Address on the Ruthenian question to their Lordships, the Archbishops, and Bishops of Canada” of March 18, 1911. In this memorandum, the Metropolitan discussed all the most important problems concerning Ukrainian Catholics in Canada. He asked for the appointment of a Ukrainian Bishop as the only remedy against all the dangers that threatened the Ukrainian Catholic rite in this country.
Archbishop Langevin qualified this memorandum as “important and necessary,”28 and stated that it had a positive influence on Canadian Bishops. In a letter of December 30, 1911, he informed the Metropolitan that he would send him a copy of the minutes of the Bishops’ Conference, which took place on November 6, 1911, in Quebec, after the consecration of Bishop Mathieu, and also all statements referring to the nomination of the future Ukrainian Bishop.
The nomination of the Ukrainian Bishop was discussed in letters which came from such centers as Lviv, Rome, St. Boniface and Ottawa. There was some delay in choosing a person for that post. The Canadian Hierarchy expected to have someone they knew from his missionary work in Canada, such as for instance Very Rev. Platonid Filas, Provincial of the Basilian Fathers in Galicia, who worked as a missionary in Canada. But his modesty prompted him to refuse such a high post. There were also other candidates. Finally, the Metropolitan chose the Rev. Nicetas Budka, prefect of the Ukrainian Theological Seminary in Lviv. He was approved by the Holy See and on December 6, 1912, Bishop Budka arrived in Canada.
This appointment came just in time. It was the result of the pleadings of the Ukrainian Canadians, of the efforts of Father Delaere and the Basilian Fathers, as well as of the representations of the Bishops of North-Western Canada, but mainly owing to the persistent action on the part of the Metropolitan and to his memorandum. “The memorandum was the last alarming cry about the threatening situation,” wrote the Very Rev. Basil Laba, professor of the Ukrainian Theological Academy in Lviv. “The new Ukrainian Bishop had the necessary qualities and managed in a short time to normalize religious life for his people.”29
The Metropolitan also helped the Ukrainians who settled in new countries. As a result of his efforts there was founded in 1910 the “St. Raphael Association,” which took care of the Ukrainian immigrants.
After the First World War the American government imposed restrictions on settlers from Central Europe. The Polish government also put obstacles in the way of emigration of Ukrainians. The overpopulation in Galicia persisted. On February 14, 1925, the Ukrainians founded a new association under the name “Care for Ukrainian emigrants,” whose aim was to alleviate the problem of overpopulation in Galicia. They counted on the possibility of emigration to Canada. But in the meantime the Canadian government limited the number of immigrants from the Polish Republic. It was necessary therefore to try to persuade the Canadian government to modify its decision. Metropolitan Andrew hoped that Rev. Josaphat Jean, a Canadian missionary among the Ukrainians in Yugoslavia, would be able to arrange this matter. On March 7, 1925, Mykola Zayachkovskyj, president of “Care for Ukrainian emigrants” Society requested Father Jean in a letter to proceed to Canada and to submit to the Canadian government the request to allow a certain number of Ukrainian immigrants to enter Canada as settlers.30
On April 3, 1925, Dr. Volodymyr Batchynskyj from Lviv, former Member of the Austrian Parliament, and Father J. Jean from Yugoslavia arrived in Canada. Their mission to the federal government was successful and in May 1925 they received permission for a settlement of ten thousand Ukrainians.
Father Jean also tried to fulfill other wishes of the Metropolitan, especially concerning the foundation of a monastery for Studyt monks. On June 29, 1925, the government of the province of Quebec allotted in the Abitibi district 250 sq. miles of land for settlement. On it, the Studyt’s monastery had to be built and around it Ukrainians from Galicia, Volynia and Yugoslavia could settle. These lands comprised the cantons of Castagnier and Vassal, and parts of Duverny and La Morandière. Each settler was to receive a homestead of 100 acres for $10.
The decision about the foundation of the Studyts’ monastery and the settlement of Ukrainians in Abitibi were communicated in letters by Father Jean to Metropolitan Sheptyckyj and his brother Clymentyj, abbot of the Studyt monks. In March 1926, three Studyt brothers arrived in Canada. At the beginning of 1928, the first fifteen families of Ukrainians settled near the monastery.
But soon difficulties arose. They were caused by restrictions imposed by the Polish government and the depression which hit the country. Thus the plans and hopes of Metropolitan Andrew and Canadian and Ukrainian wellwishers did not attain the expected results.
In summing up the efforts of the Metropolitan Andrew Sheptyckyj for Ukrainian Canadians, three things have to be emphasized: first, his persistent efforts to secure Ukrainian missionaries for Canada; secondly, his great moral help to the Catholic Hierarchy of North-Western Canada, and finally, the nomination of a Ukrainian Bishop. The work of the Metropolitan Andrew for Ukrainians in Canada brought the desired results. The Ukrainian Church became stronger, the Ukrainian Catholics rebuilt their religious life, established themselves in Canada, entering its social, economic and cultural life on a par with other citizens. From the small number of sixty-five years ago they have increased to almost half a million; and by their work, their moral, cultural and material contributions they have helped to enrich their new country.
1See E. Borschak, Un prélat Ukrainien – Le Métropolite Cheptyckyj (18651944), Paris, 1946, p. 7.
2See “Bohoslovia” (Quarterly), Lviv, 1926, v. 4, p. 24.
3For further reference, see B. Kazymyra, Metropolitan Andrew Sheptyckyj and Ukrainian Canadians, Toronto, 1954.
4L. Myshuha, Jubilee book of the Ukrainian National Association, Jersey City, 1936, pp. 8 seq.
5See “First Ukrainian immigrants in Canada,” in The Jubilee Calendar for Ukrainian families for 1941, p. 83.
6W. A. Chumer, Memoirs, 1892-1942, Edmonton, 1942, p. 25.
7W. Petersen, Planned migration, p. 119 seq.
8See G. A. Davidson, The Ukrainians in Canada, Montreal, 1947, p. 5.
9A. Langevin, Mémoire sur la situation des sujets ruthènes de Sa Majesté apostolique, l’Empereur d’Autriche, dans l’Ouest Canadien, Vienne, le 2 juillet 1904; copy in the Archives of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, Man.
10Rome, December 19, 1898; photocopy in the Archives of the Basilian Fathers, Mundare, Alta.
11Archives of the Oblate Fathers, Edmonton, Alta.
12See Journal du T.R.P. Lacombe: Voyage en Autriche; Archives of the Oblate Fathers, Edmonton, Alta.
13See R.P. Lacombe en Autriche et en Galicie, in Petites Annales de la Congrégation des Missionnaires Oblats de Marie-Immaculée, Paris, 1900, p. 383.
14Archives of the Oblate Fathers, Edmonton, Alta.
15Archives of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alta.
16Archives of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alta.
17Archives of the Oblate Fathers, Edmonton, Alta.
18Archives of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alta.
19Archives of the Oblate Fathers, Edmonton, Alta.
20Copy in the scrapbook of Rev. Lacombe; Archives of the Oblate Fathers, Edmonton, Alta.
21Archives of the Redemptorist Fathers of the Ukrainian rite, Yorkton, Sask.
22See Letter of Rev. Delouche, O.M.I., Belgian Provincial from Liège, to Archbishop Langevin, Vienna, September 16, 1898; Archives of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alta.
23For further reference, see Jubilee Book of the Parish of St. Nicholas in Winnipeg, 1905-1955, Toronto, 1955, pp. 26 seq.
24Memorandum was written in St. Boniface, Man., on June 30, 1900;. Archives of the Oblate Fathers, Edmonton, Alta.
25See letters of Rev. A. Jan, O.M.I., to his Superiors in Rome. Copies of
these letters are in the Archives of the Oblate Fathers, Edmonton, Alta.
26See Jubilee Book of the Basilian Fathers in Canada, 1902-1952, Toronto, 1953, p. 69.
27Canada and its provinces, v. 11, pp. 194-195.
28See his letter to Metropolitan Sheptyckyj of December 30, 1911; copy in the Archives of the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, Man.
29 See “Bohoslovia,” op. cit., p. 238.
30In the Archives of Basilian Fathers in Mundare, Alta.