Spaca Moskalyk Ukrainian Catholic Church and cemetery (Transfiguration of our Lord), On Range Road 160, about 500 m. south of Township Road 540, near Mundare, Lamont County, Alberta, Canada
May 7, 2012 • Taken by Lorien
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Here are two captures from this old church, which was the oldest looking one from all the churches we saw on this trip. It seems the wood siding on it is the original. It also seems it's not being maintained and it's aging, but with that - it has the feel of the most authentic of them all.
My photo is this processed one, since I decided to go beyond reality to try and show you how those places felt for me.
A bit of history facts, if you're interested, from Church capital of North America - Lamont county:
This church is often referred to as “Moskalyk’s”, after the pioneering family whose quarter section was subdivided to create a churchyard. The Basilian Fathers provided pastoral care in the district, with the founder of the mission, Fr. Platonid Filas (1864–1930), travelling back and forth from the Order’s early mission to hold services in people’s homes. The settlers soon decided a proper place of worship was needed and erected a small chapel in 1904. This burned to the ground in 1924 while the present church was being built. This second sanctuary, constructed in the shape of a cross, with one large dome in the middle and one smaller dome on each side of the facade, was officially blessed in 1926. A wooden belfry was put up in 1938, and the mission cross beside the church was erected in 1964. The interior of this sanctuary, which now holds only one major service at the end of May each year, is maintained in its original condition. The “Spas” church, as it is also known, was registered as an official historic resource in 1994.
A bit about the religion of the first Ukrainian settlers in Lamont County:
Most Ukrainians who came to Canada from Galicia were Ukrainian Catholic and those from Bukovyna were Ukrainian Orthodox. However, people of both churches faced a shortage of priests in Canada. The Ukrainian Catholic clergy came into conflict with the Roman Catholic hierarchy because they were not celibate and wanted a separate governing structure. At the time, the Russian Orthodox Church was the only Orthodox Christian church that operated in North America – because they had arrived first via Alaska, and traditionally Orthodox churches are territorially exclusive. However, Ukrainians in Canada were suspicious of being controlled from Russia, first by the Tsarist government and later by the Soviets. Partially in response to this, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada was created as a wholly Ukrainian Canadian-controlled alternative. As well the Ukrainian Catholic clergy were eventually given a separate structure from the Roman Church.