The church of St. John the Baptist is the first and present church of the parish.
The church, located 22 miles southeast of Rossburn, was constructed by parish faithful in 1907. In the years preceding construction, Holy Services were celebrated by Rev. Joseph Sabourin in the homes of the settlers. After 1904 itinerant priests were Rev. A. Delaere CSSR. Rev N. Dronomyrecky 1915, Rev. A. Krajkivskyj 1917, Rev. P. Oleskiw 1920, Rev. M. Ircha 1924, Rev. P. Pasichnyk 1931, Rev. K. Lotocki 1940, Rev. M. Shwed 1943, and Rev J. Fornalchuk 1946. Subsequent turnover of visiting pastors was more frequent. The following priests were rotated through the parish after 1946: Rev. M. Hryhoraychuk Rev. G. Habrusewich, Rev. A. Zajac, Rev. V. Olach and Rev. H. Oliynyk. Rev. J. Lehky has been resident pastor of the parish since 1965. The church and faithful were visited in 1939 by Bishop Vasylij Ladyka and on Sept 14, 1975, by Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk.
The wooden church, designed by Rev. Phillip Ruh, was constructed by Ivan and Peter Koltusky. The building is dominated by a large central dome and has four smaller decorative domes apexing each of the four corners of the gabled roof. Entry to the church is through a vestibule. The church has preserved its architectural form since 1917 at which time it was enlarged to accommodate its expanding membership. The interior cruciform construction corresponds identically to its exterior form. The interior is dominated by a high open dome with four windows. An iconostas stands before the sanctuary. A large crystal chandelier is suspended from the dome which dominates the axis of the intersecting arms. A steep set of stairs leading up to the choir loft originates on the west side of the nave. The iconostas, built by Zakharko Poloz from St. Catherines, is adorned with icons painted by the hand of Jacob Maydanik. The painting of these icons as well as of others hanging upon the walls of the nave was completed in 1928. In 1984, renovation of the church resulted in the replacement of some of Maydanik’s ornamentation with the decorative painting of Phyllis Haynes and her husband from Fisher Branch, Manitoba. Renovation also included the installation of electrical lighting, heating, ceiling fans and carpeting of the floor of the sanctuary and central aisle of the nave. In 1986 the exterior of the church was renovated under the direction of Peter Prokopchuk of Sandy Lake, Manitoba. At that time new entrance doors were installed.
The building’s single sacristy exits to the church grounds. Over the main altar and ciborium rises a quadrangular baldachin resting upon four columns originating from the four corners of the altar. In the nave are ten pews which provide seating for approximately sixty faithful. Near the pews and sanctuary is a cast-iron wood-burning stove which is utilized on frigid winter days when the electrical heating proves inadequate.
Near the church lies the 1-acre parish cemetery, land for which was donated by Blashko Dziver. The adjacent 3-acre site upon which the church is located was donated by Michael Bachewich. Next to the church stand a belfry and Markian Shashkevich Parish Hall, constructed in 1939, which at one time served as the cultural-educational centre of the community.
The first Ukrainian settlers arrived in the district in 1899 from Halychyna. The organizers of the parish and first donors to the building fund between the years 1904-1907 were William and Eliah Chwaluk, Nykola Labay, Michael Bachewich, John Hucal, Sam Hucal, Matthew Hambisky, Theodore Drul, Oleksa Groshok, Tomma Kiz, Theodore Pastushenko, Mykyta Galan, Fred Groshok, George Skotylas, Michael Maydaniuk, Lawrenty Zurbyk, Max Penuita, Nick and Phillip Tutkaluk, Dmytro Kowalchuk, Nick Kachur, Simon Hrynkiw, and Michael Sytnyk.
In 1941 parish membership consisted of 60 faithful with 40 children. Active at that time were a parish Brotherhood and Sisterhood, each boasting a membership of 40 individuals. For many years cantoral duties were performed by Anton Zurbyk as well as by John Wladyka who with Volodymyr Swerida, cantors to the present day. The parish presently registers 18 members, only one of whom was born in Ukraine. The Sisterhood, led by Katherine Leganchuk, faithfully serves the parish. One of its contributions is the annual summer catechization of the children of the parish. In 1988 the parish was under the directorship of Rev. John Lehky, pastor, Vladyslav Lamb, Dmytro Kowalchuk and Maurine Lamb.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of St. John the Baptist, Dolyny, 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.