Rossburn Farms

ROSSBURN – farms. The church of the Holy Apostles Saints Peter and Paul is the second church of the parish.

The first Divine Liturgy for the Ukrainian settlers of this area was celebrated by Rev. A. Delaere in 1901 in the home of Stefan Panas. After the Mass a meeting was held during which a committee was struck whose mandate became the organization of a parish and construction of its church. The committee was comprised of Oleksa Yacyshyn, Prokip Hrycak, Nykola Sidlar and Andrew Shust. The two acre site for the church and cemetery, located 1/2 mile south of Rossman Lake (NE 14-20-24) was donated by Stefan Panas. Co-operative labor led to the completion of the church that very year. It was the first church of the region. As it soon was taken over by members of a Russian Orthodox religious sect known as Serophynci, the Ukrainian Catholics of the area began organizing their own distinct church community. At a meeting held in 1903 in the home of I. Hrankowski it was resolved to build a new church. Maxim Yaskiw donated twelve acres of land and by 1904, united co-operative labor and effort resulted in the completion of the second, present church. The Building Committee consisted of Wasyl Shmyr, Nykola Sidlar, Andrew Shust and Maxim Yaskiw. The first Divine Liturgy in the new church was celebrated by Rev. Matthew Hura in 1904. The church and faithful were visited by Bishop Nykyta Budka in 1913 and, sometime later, thrice by Bishop Vasylij Ladyka who blessed the church on June 9, 1935, during one of his visits. The following chronologically lists the names of those pastors who, in addition to those already mentioned, have spiritually served the parish: Rev. A. Delaere-before 1908, Rev. N. Kryzhanowsky 1908-1909, Rev. J. Dydyk 1910-1914, Rev. Nestor Drohomerecky 1915-1916, Rev. Peter Kameneckyi 1917, Rev. A. Krajkivskyj 1918-1920, Rev. Peter Oleksiw 1920-1924, Rev. Dr. Ambrose Radkevych 1921-1922, Rev. Michael Ircha 1924-1929, Rev. Myron Krywucky 1931-1934, Rev. Peter Pasichnyk 1931-1934, Rev. Michael Hruhoreychuk 1934-1937, Rev. Peter Sulatycky 1936-1937, Rev. Constantine Zarsky 1938-1940, Rev. Theodore Kocaba 1940, Rev. Cyril Lotocki 1940-1941, Rev. Maryon Shwed 1941-1946, Rev. Joseph Fornalchuk1946-1949, Rev. Evhen Oliynyk 1949-1956, Rev. John Lehky 1956-1960.

The wood constructed single-nave structure has a gabled roof covered with asphalt shingles and a centrally located small decorative dome and cross. Two small crosses project over the west and east summits of the gabled roof. Six windows with angulated summits are built into the lateral walls. Entry to the church is through west and south doors of a vestibule. The exterior walls are painted white, the dome is covered with silver sheet metal, and the roof and trim of the dome, windows and doors is painted black. The church stands upon a small hill and is separated from the forest which borders it on three sides by a wire fence with symmetrically and uniformly placed posts painted white with black summits. The aery spaciousness of the grounds with their meticulously manicured lawns gives an impression of great tidiness and order. The visual effect of the church and the large belfry beside it, framed by such beauty, evokes in one emotions of peace and quiet tranquillity. The nave measures 21 x 20 feet while the sanctuary is 13 feet long and 14 feet wide. The choir loft, supported by two vertical main floor columns, is reached by stairs originating to the right of the main entrance. The sanctuary is separated from the nave by a single-section particleboard iconostas upon which are painted the traditional iconostas holy images. On the wall directly behind the main altar hangs a large church patron icon of the Holy Apostles Saints Peter and Paul. The sanctuary is adjoined upon its left side by a sacristy which exits to the church grounds. Four banners adorn the nave; nine pews, standing upon a painted wooden floor, provide seating for approximately 50 faithful. The lateral walls of the nave are structurally reinforced by a metal cable. The ceiling over the interior expanse strives towards a vaulted appearance. Originally the church was heated by a wood burning stove and lighted electrically. A belfry stands east of the church, to the west – the cemetery. The first cemetery of the parish lies upon a 2-acre site in the northeast corner of this section. The church bell was donated by Maxim Yaskiw, Yakiw Hullick and Tachia Kachan. Principal monetary benefactors of the parish included Fedor Maduke, Maria Belinski, Maria and Nastia Zapuchliak, John Topniak and Dorata Shewchuk.

The Ukrainian settlers at Rossburn-farms distinguished themselves with dedication and selfless spirit of sacrifice in their generosity of effort for their church. In similarity to other Ukrainian settlements of the area, they also provided for the cultural educational development and growth of their community. Witness to this effort is the presence of bilingual schools attended by their children and taught by their educators, night classes in adult English language instruction, and organization in 1908 of the literary society “Prosvita” within which centred the cultural activity of the area. They also participated actively in numerous public assemblies at which problems requiring communally approved solutions were no doubt discussed. The weekly publication ‘The Canadian Farmer: 1908, noted that during that year six such assemblies had already been held. A representative from Rossburn was delegated to participate in the first Ukrainian conference, an event brought to realization through the initiative of teachers of the bilingual language program in Winnipeg.

Unfortunately, in similarity to other parishes of Ukrainian settlers, the relentless passage of time resulted in many pioneers passing on into eternity and in the youth relocating to larger centres for reasons of expanding and improved employment opportunities; on December 13, 1959, the church was officially closed. Currently, once a year, on the feast day of the Holy Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, a Divine Liturgy is celebrated in the church and cemetery. Families of former parishioners participate in the event which is hosted and catered by the local women. In 1978 it was resolved to restore the church and a subcommittee of the Parkland Ukrainian Pioneer Association was formed with the elected officials being: Ernie Antonow, Ed Shust, Marion Antoniw, Nick Maryniuk, Mike Antoniw and Rev. John Lehky, pastor of the region. With monetary assistance from a Canada Works labor grant, volunteer labor from the children and grandchildren of former members, and funds donated to pay for the materials, the church, belfry, and church grounds were restored. Today, the church proudly stands in tribute to the heritage and sacrifices of our forefathers whose selfless endeavor, perseverance, religious and cultural faithfulness, and cultural accomplishments have added so much to the quality of life in this country.

The first parishioners as recorded in the minute book of 1907 were: Danylo Chwaluk, Dmytro Charney, George Chicheluk, Fedor Chuhai, Kornylo Chopp, Michael Chegus, Hilko Danyliuk, Roman Ewanyshyn, Alex Hrycak, Michael Hrycak, Prokip Hrycak, Hrynko Herchak, Alex Hullick, John Hrankowski, Yakiw Hullick, Fedor Hullick, Alex Kachan, Onofrey Korolyk, Yurko Lazaruk, Michael Luhowy, Michael Maryniuk, Hilko Matskiw, Andrew Matskiw, Trofym Mackedenski, Hryhory Pomehichuk, Stefan Panas, Andrew Shust, Nykola Sidlar, Paul Slobodeski, Joseph Sianchuk, Danylo Shewchuk, Wasyl Stech, Wasyl Shmyr, Safran Sheremata, Andrew Topniak, Maksym Yaskiw, Yurko Yaskiw, Petro Yaskiw, Semko Yanick and Tymko Zapuchliak. Within a few years the following Ukrainian Catholics also became members of the parish: Fedko Antoniw, Hrynko Berehulka, Hryn Belinski, Onofrey Belinski, Petro Chupa, Paul Chegus, Mykyta Ewanyshyn, Alex Fostakowski, Kazik Glugash, Wasyl Hubinski, Florian Hrankowski, Mykola Kachan, Semko Klym, Michael Komhur, Demian Lazaruk, Michael Leschasin, Ewan Pradiniuk, Michael Raginski, Ewan Ryshytylo, Ewan Stech, Wasyl Sidlar, Michael Shust, Michael Sidlar, Victor Shmyr, Wasyl Yanick and Wladimer Yaskiw.

The Ukrainian Catholic parish of the Holy Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, Rossburn-farms, despite an absence of registered members, remains 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.

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