Basilian FAQ | Part 5
Why did Winnipeg became the head office of the Basilians in Canada?
Why were there almost no Ukrainian priests ministering to immigrants at the beginning of Ukrainian immigration to Canada, starting in 1891?
Only unmarried priests were permitted to serve in North America, where the Latin Rite predominated. There were very few unmarried Ukrainian priests available.
Why did the Basilians not come to Canada earlier?
The Order of Saint Basil the Great was the only Ukrainian religious congregation in existence and it was dying-out. The Basilians asked the Jesuits to reform them (1882-1904), basically re-launching the Order from scratch.
How did the Catholic hierarchy provide for the spiritual welfare of the immigrants?
The Catholic Hierarchy had little knowledge of the Eastern Churches. All immigrants were treated equally; the bishops and clergy zealously ministered to the immigrants. Initially they favoured complete integration of the Ukrainians to the Latin Rite.
What made the Latin Rite hierarchy change their position towards Ukrainians?
Ukrainian immigrants were unable to practice their faith in a foreign rite. They began to set-up their own chapels and non-Catholic missionaries began to take-advantage of the situation.
Who were the first Ukrainian priests in Winnipeg?
Basilian Father Damascene Polywka was a missionary who helped the Ukrainians set-up their own parish. Initially, he held services for them in their own rite at Holy Ghost Roman Catholic Church. Father Ivan Zaklynsky and other secular priests also ministered to the Ukrainians. These priests moved-on to other pastures, mostly in the United States.
How did the Basilians come to Canada?
Catholic bishops were concerned about the spiritual welfare of the Ukrainians. When they realized that immigration was increasing and that they were dealing with a different rite (Particular Church), they asked Metropolitan Sheptytsky to send clergy. Sheptytsky sent his secretary, Father Basil Zoldak, to care for the people and assess the situation.
Who invited the Basilians?
Bishop Légal (Alberta) sent Oblate Missionary Father Lacombe to beg for Ukrainian priests from the Austrian Emperor and from Metropolitan Sheptytsky. In 1902, the Basilian Order was able to release 3 priests to serve in Canada: Platonidas Filas, Sozontius Dydyk and Naucratius Kryzhanowsky. They travelled to St. Albert, Alberta and set-up their first mission at Beaver Lake (near Mundare), where there was a large concentration of Ukrainian settlers.
What made the Basilians come to Manitoba?
Archbishop Langevin was dismayed by the attitude of the first Ukrainian priests who had passed-through his Archdiocese. For this reason, he made plans to train Canadian born priests in the Ukrainian Rite. Father Filas preached a mission in Winnipeg, in 1903. When Langevin evaluated the quality of the Basilians' work, he wrote to their Superiors to send missionaries to Manitoba.
When did the Basilians arrive in Winnipeg?
The first 2 Basilians, Matthew Hura and Naucratius Kryzhanowsky, arrived from Galicia in Novermber 1903. They joined Father Zoldak and Belgian Redemptorist Father Achille Delaere in the mission to Ukrainians according to their own rite.
What did the Basilians find when they came to Winnipeg?
A spiritual community, under the patronage of St. Nicholas, had been founded in 1899 by Father Polywka. A small Church had been built in 1901 and various priests (Catholic and non—Catholic alike) had served in it. This community was Catholic but insisted on professing their faith through their own proper rite.
How did the Basilians enter Saint Nicholas Church?
Ukrainians had registered their one church as Greek Catholic, but did not give title deeds to the Archbishop. They were fearful that he would force them to embrace the Latin Rite. The Basilians begun serving at the church at the end of 1903. In January of 1904, St. Nicholas Church Committee held a general meeting, and elected Father Hura as their first permanent Pastor. Thus, the Basilians assumed the spiritual administration of the parish.
How did the Basilians solve the problem of the Church property?
Archbishop Langevin paid for the construction of a new larger St. Nicholas Church, across the street from the little church. This Church was blessed in December 1904 by Father Filas, in the presence of the Archbishop. Langevin retained the deed to the Church until he was able to pay-off the debt of $18,000. Then it passed to the Basilian Fathers who were legally incorporated by the Crown in 1908.
Where was the Head Office of the Basilians in 1902?
Father Filas was the first superior of the Basilian mission in Canada, from 1902-1904. Initially, there was no formal headquarters for the Order, only a Superior. In 1904, Filas was elected Head of the entire Order, which was then the Provincial Superior of Galicia. Until 1907. he continued to direct the Canadian Basilian mission from overseas.
When and how did Winnipeg become the Head Office of the Basilians?
In 1903, Archbishop Langevin wrote to Father Filas, suggesting that the first Basilian residence be in Winnipeg, because the Archdiocese of Saint Boniface was the centre of the Catholic Church in Western Canada. Langevin bought a house on Flora and McGreggor which became the first Basilian residence. He continued to write to Filas to appoint a “Vice-Provincial” or Superior for the Canadian mission, as it was too difficult to coordinate the mission directly from Galicia. In 1907, Filas appointed Father Sozontius Dydyk as Superior in Canada. Dydyk made his headquarters in Winnipeg, where it remained until 1923.
Why did the Canadian Superior’s Headquarters move to Mundare?
In 1912, (Blessed) Bishop Nykyta Budka was appointed bishop of the Ukrainians in Canada. Blessed Nykyta sent Ukrainian men to study for the priesthood in Canada. He then divided the Canadian mission between religious, and secular clergy. The Basilians were responsible for the missions in Alberta, the Redemptorists for Saskatchewan. Thus, Alberta became the centre for Basilian missionary activity. In 1923, a new large Monastery was built in Mundare. That same year, Father Kryzanowsky succeeded Father Dydyk as Superior of the Canadian mission. He remained in Mundare and established his headquarters there.
When did the Basilian Provincial House return to Winnipeg and why?
In 1931, The Canadian Basilian Mission became a separate Province, with it’s own Protohegumen (protoihumen), or Provincial Superior. Father Kryzanowsky was the first Provincial. Upon his death, the next Provincial, Father Benjamin Baranyk, moved the Provincial House to Edmonton, in 1940. In 1958, the Holy See established the Metropolitan See at Winnipeg, centre of the Ukrainian Church-life in Canada. The following year, newly-elected Protohegumen Father Boniface Sloboda, moved the Provincial Headquarters back to Winnipeg.