The church of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the first and present church of the parish.

Parish faithful constructed the church in 1911 upon an acre site located 20 km. northwest of Rossburn. Rev. A. Delaere spiritually served the parish during its early formative years; subsequent pastors were Rev. N. Drohomyrecky 1915, Rev. A. Krajkivskyj 1917, Rev. P. Oleksi 1920, Rev. M. Ircha 1924, Rev. P. Pasichnyk 1931, Rev. K. Zarsky 1937, Rev. K. Lotocki 1940, Rev. M. Shwed 1943, Rev. J. Fornalchuk 1946, Rev. R. Zakrewsky 1947, Rev. V. Luchkiw 1949, Rev. J. Zlepko 1952, Rev. J. Lehky 1957 to the present day. The church was visited by Bishop Vasylij Ladyka on Sept. 28, 1930 and on Sept. 27, 1940 and by Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk on July 27, 1958.

The wood-constructed single-nave building has three rectangular windows with sharply angulated summits built into each lateral wall. The gabled shingled roof is apexed centrally by a small lantern-like tower which is crowned by a dome and small decorative cross. Single-armed crosses project over the west and east summits. Entry to the church is through west and south oriented doors of a porch-vestibule. Within the church, stairs leading up to the choir loft which is supported by two pillars and which contains a single window, originate to the right of the main entrance. The sanctuary is adjoined upon its left side by a sacristy with a single window which exits to the church grounds. A small bell, purchased in 1929, hangs at the entrance to the sanctuary. A flat ceiling rises over the sanctuary. Upon the central panel of the pentagonally-angulated sanctuary wall hangs a large painted depiction of the Ascension (unsigned). The walls to the left and right of the main altar are also adorned with holy images. The sanctuary is separated from the nave by a partition whose three carved-out entrances imitate the appearance of the Royal and Deacon’s Doors of an iconostasis. A red curtain is draped over the central Royal Doors. Upon this partition hang representations of Jesus Christ and the Mother of God, painted upon particleboard. Four other holy images in the nave are painted on canvas, affixed to the wall, and additionally ornamented with painted decorative borders. The upper expanses of the nave, supported structurally by a metal cable, are decoratively bordered as well. The nave is dominated by a vaulted ceiling from the centre of which is suspended a candle-lit chandelier. The wooden floor of the church is painted and partially carpeted in the sanctuary. Within the nave are ten pews, each providing seating for approximately ten faithful, as well as choir stalls located upon the right wall. A wood-burning stove stands to the immediate left of the choir stalls. The nave measures 26.5 x 22 feet; the sanctuary’s dimensions are 17 x 13 feet. A single-bell belfry stands near the church; east of it lies the parish cemetery. The church and cemetery land was donated by Trofym Dutchak. On a somewhat wooded site across the road from the church stands the Ruthenia Hall which at one time served as the cultural-educational centre of the community. The Ruthenia school and 1924 post office of the same historic Ukrainian name at one time also stood upon this site.

Settlement of this area by Ukrainians dates back to 1900. Founders of the parish were Ivan Baydak, Alex Boychuk, Roman Gayowsky, Joseph Wladyka, Ivan and Yakiw Deydey, Hnatiw Kostiw, Stefan Kotsan, Sam and Ivan Pushka, Fedir Pushka, Yurko Walko, Fred and Harry Wushky, Nykola Verbowski, Wasyl Kaban, Ivan Derkach, Nykola Juce, Benedict Laskowsky, Wasyl Nahirniak (Nahirnay) and Trofym Dutchak. The parish originally had 21 founding members; only ten member families are currently registered. Anthony Olinyk was cantor for many years; upon his death in 1977, Ivan Stefanyshyn replaced him in that capacity. A Sisterhood has served the parish from its very inception; it currently consists of 4 members. In 1988 the parish was under the directorship of Rev. John Lehky, pastor, Anthony Sawchuk, and Eugene Kaban.

The Ukrainian Catholic parish of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Ruthenia, 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.

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