Photographs |Churches

The origins of the Sachava district Orthodox community can be traced back to the beginning of the twentieth century, when priests attached to the Russian Mission in nearby Wostok began providing pastoral care to local settlers. In 1904 title was obtained to forty acres of land at the site of the present church. A simple log sanctuary was subsequently erected and dedicated to St. Michael. This church was destroyed by fire in 1914. The congregation quickly rallied and, with some financial help from the American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, was able to construct a much more luxurious edifice. The new church featured a majestically carved iconostasis that had woodwork and pillars of stained mahogany and was trimmed with gold leaf.

A large residence was also built at this time in the hopes of accommodating a permanent priest. In 1916 a hermitage was opened and consecrated in honour of the Great Martyr, St. John of Suceava (Sachava or Suchava), the patron saint of Bukowina – where most of the local homesteaders had immigrated from in the late 1890s. However, the war and revolution in Eastern Europe shook the foundations of the Russian Orthodox Church overseas and severely undermined its missionary efforts in North America. The congregation found itself without the regular services of a priest. The concomitant establishment of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church in Saskatoon also had serious repercussions at St. Michael’s. The new formation attracted support from those members who were more conscious of their Ukrainian heritage and regarded Russian spiritual leadership as oppressive.

From late March 1920 to February 1924 the congregation was served by Ukrainian Orthodox priests, despite several attempts by Russian clerics and their supporters to regain control over the church. This struggle, which divided families and friends, finally ended when the Ukrainian Orthodox proponents withdrew from the congregation, and eventually built their own church across the road from St. Michael’s. Unfortunately, tragedy later befell the second St. Michael’s church when it was struck by lightning and consumed by fire in June 1978. The present sanctuary was constructed in 1980–81.

See HERE for more information and a detailed history of this parish.

Play Memory Eternal Chants

Visit this Cemetery

GPS Co-ordinates: 53.830908, -112.331224

Affiliation: Orthodox Church in America



Church of the Archangel St. Michael – Sachava, AB