ATHABASCA – Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish – Парафія Успіння Матері Божої
Location: Athabasca town: Lots 23 & 24, Block 4, Pl. 8672 S. (H.B. Res.), approx. 136 km. north of Edmonton; incorporated under Ukrainian Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Western Canada. The first beginnings go back to the early 1950’s. Fr. Stephen Chabursky invited the surrounding parishes to help buy a house with additional land in the town of Athabasca. The price was $2,750.00. Individual donations were made by the parishioners and friends. The surrounding parishes donated as follows: Richmond Park $750.00; Rossington $280.00; Halych $240.00; Meanook $227.00 and New Pine Creek $93.00. Donation came also from Bishop Neil Savaryn of $100.00 and from the Superior of the Basilian Fathers in Edmonton $300.00.
We have the names of the first founders of the parish: Mykhaylo Demchuk, Hryhor Bodnar, Stefan Vaslytsia and Petro Dyskont. Later others joined the parish: Danylo Bilida, Ivan Kiselytsia, Ivan Pakholok, Mykola Berezovskyi, two Vasyl(s) Kowalchuk and Stefan Bilida. Mykhaylo Demchuk, all made an effort to have a church in the town and not in the village.
On November 1, 1963 the Parish council decided not to buy a Roman Catholic church in Grosmont, but to build a new church. They contracted the job to Paul Husak in Edmonton and hired a carpenter by the name of Mykola Khashchivskyi. The Parish council took a loan of $6,000.00 from the bank. The corner stone was blessed in August 1964, and church was blessed by Bishop Neil Savaryn on June 25, 1967. In the presence of the pastor Fr. Peter Petryshyn and many priests and guests, Bishop Neil donated $700.00 and many other faithful followed his example with their own donations.