The current church of St. Peter the Apostle in Birtle, MB. is the first and present church of the parish.
The first meeting concerning its construction took place in 1956 in the presence of Rev. Peter Romanyshyn. At that time a building committee was appointed which was comprised of Ivan Labay, Michael Malchuk, Nykola Juba, Michael Mykhasiv, Paul Yaskiw, and Paul Sidoryk, foreman. In 1960, at the completion of the project, the Parish Executive consisted of Ivan Labay, Lena Lepischak, and Pearl Juba. The Sisterhood was represented by Sylvia Yaskiw, Olha Yaskiw, and Anna Yaskiw. The church was blessed by Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk on July 16, 1961.
The single-nave church has two frontal towers apexed by sheet metal-covered domes with crosses and a stucco exterior. The gabled roof is covered with asphalt shingles. Entry to the church is via a steep set of stairs with handrails and through a vestibule which is separated from the nave by a wall with an imposing pair of entrance doors inlaid with decoratively coloured panes of glass. Stairs leading up to the choir loft are located on the right side of the vestibule. The church interior measures 34x 27 feet; its length is extended by 20 feet by the sanctuary whose width is 19.5 feet. The sanctuary is adjoined bilaterally by two sacristies each of which exit to the church grounds. Stairs to the basement originate within the west sacristy. The sacristies appear to be added on to the lateral walls of the nave and angularly vaulted wall behind the main altar. The upper expanses of the plywood walls are whitewashed; the lower sections retain the natural appearance of wood. The linoleum-covered floor is uniformly carpeted up the central aisle and in the sanctuary and sacristies. The interior is dominated by a vaulted ceiling.
The arched summits of the church’s numerous rectangular windows are inlaid with semicircular half-rosettes of coloured glass. A large glass cross is built into the frontal wall over the main entrance. The church patron icon of St. Peter the Apostle and representations of Jesus Christ the Teacher and the Mother of God adorning the lateral walls of the nave are painted icons. All other holy images are glass mounted oil prints. The land upon which the church and belfry are situated was purchased from the town. The bell was donated by Michael Lasiuta.
The parish had 13 founding members; there were 15 members at the time of construction of the church. Of this number, five deserve special mention for their dedication and service: Ivan Labay, Michael Malchuk, Mykola Juba, Michael Mykhasiw, and Paul Yaskiw. The parish currently registers 12 members. The parish was spiritually served by Rev. Peter Romanyshyn 1953-1963, Rev. Roman Zakrewsky 1963-1967, Rev. Stefan Borys 1967-1982, Rev. Roman Muzychka 1983, Rev. Adolf Vateha 1983 onward, and others from Rossburn, the seat of the pastoral district. In 1988 the parish was under the directorship of Rev. John Lehky, pastor, Michael Malchuk, Peter Juba, Anna Chychaliuk, Parania Yaskiw, and Parania Juba. Olha Yaskiw represented the Sisterhood. Cantoral duties are performed by Fedor Twerdun.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of St. Peter the Apostle, Birtle, is under the pastoral charge of Rossburn.
**This description was first written in 1989. It is incomplete and we look forward to updating this information in due time.