History of the Parish: St. Basil the Great Parish – Парафія св. Василія Великого
Location: 7007 – 109 Street, Edmonton. The first Ukrainian priest to visit the Strathcona District (The Canadian Pacific Railroad Station) was Fr. Nestor Dmytriw, where the first Ukrainian settlers were arriving in 1892 and later. Fr. Nestor Dmytriw blessed the Easter food on Good Friday at the immigration center in 1897. The Basilian Fathers began occasionally to care for the locality in 1902, celebrating in private homes. Otherwise, the people went for services to north Edmonton to St. Josaphat Parish.
In 1945 a three-story house was purchased 2 blocks from the University to be used as a students’ home for boys [St. Josaphat’s]. In1946 another house was purchased [St. Basil’s], and the boys were relocated there, whereas St. Josaphat’s was then used for girls. The Parish was organized in 1946, and St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic church and residence were purchased in the same year. From the beginning, the faithful followed the Gregorian calendar. The new church, residence, and the St. Basil’s Cultural Center were built in 1966-1967. The Basilian Fathers and the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate were a strong spiritual influence on the whole community. The parish provided programs for all members of the community – Acolytes, Children of Mary and Sodality, First Communion classes, Sadochok, Lectors, Sacristans, Scripture Study, UCWLC, UCBC, UCY, Knights of Columbus, Cultural Society, Choir, Ukrainian Language Arts Society, Ukrainian Folk Singers and Ukrainian Dancing. In the ensuing years, the parish took on the mosaic and stained-glass windows projects and built affordable accommodation for seniors. The Parish provides its own radio program “Vechirnia hodyna” (Evening hour) every Sunday morning.
The Parish looks after several smaller Parishes and Missions: Calmar: Holy Trinity Parish and Immaculate Conception; Leduc: Holy Trinity Parish; Pigeon Lake: St. Basil’s Camp; Thorsby: St. John the Baptist and Drayton Valley: St. Peter and Paul.
In 1950, a summer camp was purchased at Pigeon Lake, some 90 km. southwest of Edmonton, which is still operated by the Basilian Fathers.
Parish pastors who served the community: Fr. Sebastian Kurylo, OSBM (1947-1948); Fr. Athansius Chimy, OSBM (1948-1950); Fr. Victor Soroka, OSBM (1950-1953); Fr. Epiphany Paschak, OSBM (1953-1955); Fr. Eugene Kushko, OSBM (1955); Fr. Methodius Hannas, OSBM (1955-1967); Fr. Raphael Melnyk, OSBM (1967-1969); Fr. Vital Pidskalny, OSBM (1969-1970); Fr. Bernard Dribnenky, OSBM (1970-1976); Fr. Myron Daciuk, OSBM ( 1976-1979); Fr. Methodius Nychka, OSBM (1979-1985); Fr. Justin Ewaschyshyn, OSBM (1985-1988); Fr. Modeste Gnesko, OSBM (1988-1992); Fr. Christopher Zajac, OSBM (1992-1996); Fr. Josaphat Tyrkalo, OSBM (1996-2000); Fr. Gregory Hrynkiw, OSBM (2000-2001); Fr. Paul Chomnycky, OSBM (2001-2002); Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM (2002-2008); Fr. Joseph Pidskalny, OSBM (2008-).