SMOKY LAKE – St . ONUFRY Parish

SMOKY LAKE – St . ONUFRY Parish- Парафія св. Онуфрія

Location: SE-6-60-17-4) 4 acres of land donated by M. Pohranychnyi ; 8 km. from the town of Smoky Lake. The church was designed by Fr. Philip Ruh, a Roman Catholic Oblate priest, and the building (30’ x 17’) was started in May 1915, completed and consecrated by Bishop Nykyta Budka the same year. In 1915 there were already 40 families. The inside painting and the iconostasis, done by A. Nykolyshyn, were completed in 1928. The original founders were: S. Zarutsky, P. Olshanovsky, Onufriy Kulchytsky, S. Kushniryk, P. Lashuk, M. Mychalchuk. There were originally 19 families. The cemetery started in 1905, although officially it was incorporated in 1907 thanks to P. Olshansky, who struggled on foot to Edmonton.

In 1915 and 1925 Bishop Nykyta Budka, and later Bishop Vasyl Ladyka in 1937, visited the Parish. Bishop Neil Savaryn was often their guest.

Around 1965 three outlying parishes combined to build a new parish of St. Volodymyr and Olha with the great support of Fr. Theophile Hurko. The annual grave side services (parastasy) are continuing to this day.

In 1995 the old St. Onufrius church (lock, stock and bell tower) was dismantled and trucked 2,875 km. east, to be reassembled at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Que. St. Onufrius remains a consecrated structure in the Museum and can hold religious services of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of Canada in a new respectful place.

The Parish priests were Fr. Theophile Hurko (1963-1976), Fr. Michael Kowalchyk (1976-1978), Fr. Philip Shinduke (1979-1984), Fr. Anton Tarasenko (1984-1995), Fr. Serhij Harahuc (1996-1998), Fr. William Hupalo (1999-2000), Fr. Janko Herbut as a deacon 2000-2001, and as a priest (2001-2008); Fr. Don Bodnar (2008 – )