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Our Brief Parish History

GRANDE PRAIRIE – Assumption (Dormition) of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish (Парафія Успіння Матері Божої)

The Ukrainian Catholic Church started missionary work in Grande Prairie around 1932. The Basilian Fathers were providing spiritual guidance during those early years. The services were held at the Roman Catholic Sacred Heart Academy. Starting in 1952 Fr. Peter Moysiuk celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the house of Mrs. J. Litkr (born Polna). In 1958 a Building Committee was established: N. Sych (president), P. Pankiw (vice president) and I. Moolyk (secretary). G. Repetowsky was elected to be the campaign manager to acquire the needed funds. Other members, like N. Kachalaba, M. Skwarok, P. Pankiw, W. Labinsky and the Moolyk family, got involved. Between 1962-1964 the church was being constructed and, in 1964, the Feast of the Nativity was celebrated in the new church. On July 20, 1964 Bishop Neil Savaryn, Eparch of Edmonton, consecrated the church in honor of the Dormition (Assumption) of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the presence of the Parish priest Fr. Bohdan Karychek and Fr. Demetrius Baziuk, the parish priest from High Prairie. The cantors (Diaky) were Harry Bihun from Grand Prairie, F. Yanishewski from Spirit River and Stotski from Royce. This very special event culminated with a meal shared by all present.

In 1958 there were approximately 20 members and in 1985 there were 25 members. The Ladies and the Men of the Parish organized themselves to provide much needed help for the day to day Parish life. Their catering provided much financial support. In 1974 to 1977 the Parish was organizing their own youth camp at Lac Cardinal under the leadership of Fr. Philip Shinduke.

Priests that served the community were the Basilian Fathers until 1950 followed by Eparchial clergy: Fr. Peter Moysiuk (1952- ), Fr. Emilian Nakonechny (1957- ), Fr. Euthymius Melnychuk (1960- ), Fr. Bohdan Karychek (1963- ), Fr. Demetrius Baziuk (1970- ), Fr. Philip Shinduke (1972-1979), Bishop Demetrius Greschuk and others (1980-1983), Fr. Richard Zuback (1984-1985), Deacon and later Fr. Benny Ambrose (1986-1992), Fr. William Hupalo (1993-1995), Fr. Ivan Nykyforuk (1996-2003), Fr. Gary Sedgwick (2003-2008), Fr. Taras Kraychuk (2008-2010), Fr. Roman Planchak (2010-2018) and Fr. Mark Sych (2018-).