Basilian Fathers

 In Horodok, near Lviv, Ukraine, on July 20,1617, monasteries were organized into one common community under the direction of a Superior General.  For the first time, the term “Ukrainian Order of St. Basil the Great” or “Basilian Order” was used to describe this community of monks serving the Ukrainian Community.

The Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat (O.S.B.M.) was officially established August 20, 1631.  The Basilian Order has served St Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church since 1937.

 Early Parish History  

Metropolitan Andrej Sheptycky, O.S.B.M. visited Vancouver in 1910.  He addressed a gathering of about 40 Ukrainians and suggested they organize a parish.  In 1911 Father Kryzanowky, O.S.B.M visited Vancouver, he celebrated the Divine Liturgy and baptized three children.  When he left, the faithful were without regular spiritual guidance until 1927.

Father Antonine Ulanitsky

The first priest to organize a parish in Vancouver for the Ukrainians was Father Antonine Ulanitsky in 1927.  During his brief stay he gathered  several Ukrainian families and formed St. Stephens Parish. His successor was Father Joseph Bala, who arrived in March 1928 and when he left in August 1929, the parishioners were again left without regular spiritual assistance for seven years.

In January 1936 Father Nicholas Bartman arrived and reorganized the Parish. He remained for about a year and a half building the parish.

On September 2, 1937 Bishop Basil Ladyka, O.S.B.M. placed the parish under the guardianship of the Basilian Fathers, Father Sebastian Shewchuk, O.S.B.M. is the first Basilian pastor assigned to Vancouver.

Father Sebastian Shewchuk

In 1944, the Basilian Fathers moved from the Fraser Street Church to a newly purchased church on Princess and Pender. The new church was opened May 7, 1944 and is named under the Patroness of the “Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary”, commonly known as St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic church.  Father Theodosius Dobko, O.S.B.M. and Father Sylvester Koller, O.S.B.M.  served the new parish.

Father Basil Kamenecky, O.S.B.M. , Father Theodosius Dobko, O.S.B.M., Father Dionisius Dzygolyk, O.S.B.M , Father Boniface Sloboda, O.S.B.M. ,Father Vital Pidskalny, O.S.B.M., Father Volodymyr Shewchuk, O.S.B.M. were pastors of St.Mary’s at the Princess Street Parish.

The assistants during  this time were Father George Zydan, O.S.B.M., Father Sylvester Kollar, O.S.B.M., Father Theodosius Greb, O.S.B.M.,Father Christopher Kondratiuk, O.S.B.M., Father Peter Kotowich, O.S.B.M., Father Lawrence Dzygolyk, O.S.B.M., Father Josaphat Tymochko, O.S.B.M.,Father Stephen Wincentailo, O.S.B.M., Father Peter Hewko, O.S.B.M., Father Josaphat Jean, O.S.B.M., Father Eugene Kushko, O.S.B.M., Father Damien Weleschuk, O.S.B.M.,  and Father Benjamin Baranyk, O.S.B.M.

In 1962 the  new Church site on Ash Street welcomes new Pastors to the Parish: Father Victor Soroka, O.S.B.M., Father Myron Daciuk, O.S.B.M. (who later became a Bishop) Father Stephen Chmilar, O.S.B.M. (now a  Bishop in Toronto),Father Bernard Dribnenky, O.S.B.M., Father Paul Chomnycky, O.S.B.M., (currently a Bishop in the U.S.A.) Father Vincent Prychidko, O.S.B.M.,

Father Ignatius Holowaychuk, O.S.B.M., Father Joseph Pidskalny, O.S.B.M.,Father Daniel Wach, O.S.B.M., Father Josaphat Tyrkalo, O.S.B.M. and the current Administrator is Father Serafym Grygoruk, O.S.B.M.

Current Administrator Father Serafym since 2013

Current Administrator Father Serafym since 2013

The assistants who served at the current site were: Father Borys Lysak, O.S.B.M., Father Orest Slobodian, O.S.B.M., Father Martin Balagus, O.S.B.M., Father Benedict Hrynyshyn, O.S.B.M.,  Father Isidore Dziadyk, O.S.B.M., Father Juvenalius Slota, O.S.B.M., Father Sebastian Kurylo, O.S.B.M., Father Anthony Holowaychuk, O.S.B.M.,  Brother Nicholas Koziak, Father Soter Pidskalny, O.S.B.M., Father Roman Kravec, O.S.B.M., Father Christopher Zajac, O.S.B.M., Father John Sembrat, O.S.B.M., Father Bernard Dribnenky, O.S.B.M.,  Father Harry Boretsky, O.S.B.M., Father Methodius Nyczka, O.S.B.M., Father Leon Yakubow, O.S.B.M., Father Theo Machinski, O.S.B.M., Father Modeste Gnesko, O.S.B.M. and Father Marcos Zubyk, O.S.B.M




Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church
560 West 14th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1P6
phone: 604.879.5830 | fax: 604.874.2727
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