Congregational life was initiated at a meeting of local community activists on August 19, 1933, when a resolution was passed petitioning the Consistory of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada for membership. A reply was finally sent on February 1, 1934, along with the forms necessary to officially register a new parish. The congregation formally requested acceptance into the ranks of the UGOC at a meeting held on October 30, 1940, by which time the parish had adopted as its name, Descent of the Holy Spirit.

In the meantime, Rev. I. Mayba began providing pastoral care to the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful of Stry, who in 1934 established a cemetery on land adjacent (to the west) to site of the future church. For eight years services were held at the second Stry National Hall (constructed 1931), the first hall (built at the same site in 1928-9, on land that had been donated by Nick Bunda) having been destroyed by fire in 1930.

In April 1938 the Stry congregation applied to the Department of Lands and Mines for permission to cut 20,000 feet of lumber on a nearby timber reserve to obtain wood to erect a place of worship. The lumber for the structure was cut at the Kutash sawmills in McRae, Alberta, after which church members took turns hauling material to the building site with their horse-drawn sleighs and wagons. According to a letter to the UGOC Consistory, the sanctuary was largely completed by the end of 1941, having been constructed by volunteers working under the supervision of master builder Ivan Mnoholitny.

 The official blessing of the Descent of the Holy Spirit Church took place during a visitation by Archbishop Ioan Theodorovich on September 30, 1945 [another photo suggests the consecration took place in June 1943).

In the 1980s the interior and exterior of the church were repainted, the floor refinished, and broadloom laid down on the aisles and around the altar. A new iconostasis and new altars also enhanced the appearance of the church, as did draperies for the windows. Other improvements included the addition of an entrance porch and the installation of extra pews. During his tenure as the Stry parish priest, Rev. Lorne Kubin did a painting on the interior of the dome, as well as some large icons behind the altar.

The Cemetery 

Land for a cemetery was donated in 1934 by Yakym and Victoria Mernonenko just west of the site of the future church, on the north side of TWP 585, at SW 28-58-13 W4. The first interment was that of Maricia Shysh in 1934.

Play Memory Eternal Chant

Visit this Cemetery
GPS Co-ordinates: 54.035430, -111.862715
Cemetery GPS: 54.035169, -111.874281

Affiliation: Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada



Holy Spirit Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Stry, AB