Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
|The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada|
|Current bishop||Metropolitan John (Stinka) of Winnipeg, Archbishop Yurij (Kalistchuk) of Toronto|
|See(s)||Winnipeg, Toronto, Edmonton|
|Headquarters||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Liturgical language(s)||Ukrainian, Church Slavonic, English, French|
|Musical tradition||Kievan Chant & Galician Chant|
|Population estimate||About 12,000|
The UOCC is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and has the Metropolitan Cathedral (Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral (Winnipeg, Manitioba)) , seminary (St. Andrew's College), and central administrative office based in that city. Also the Church has cathedrals in the cities of Saskatoon, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Montreal.
Most of the ethnic Ukrainians moving to Canada in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were from Western Ukraine (predominantly from two provinces: Halychyna (aka Galicia) & Bukovyna). The settlers from Halychyna were predominatly Greek Catholics, and were tended early on by the local Roman Catholic hierarchy due to the fact that the Vatican wanted to assimilate the Greek Catholic's into the main stream. As the Halychany were coming to Canada a smaller group of settlers were arriving from Bukovyna (who were predominatly Orthodox). These Orthodox were initially served by the Russian Orthodox Mission (who were part of the Church of Russia). The Russian Orthodox Mission was by then established in the northwest of North America through Alaska, and it served all the needs of the Orthodox in that area. It is also noteworthy that many native Ukrainian priests served in the Mission.
Both groups of Ukrainian's desired to have a church that was truly "Ukrainian Orthodox," and a church that met their spiritual and cultural needs. This led to the creation of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada (UGOCC) in July 1918, in the city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. This convention established not only the church, but a brotherhood to protect the church. The brotherhood (which had former Greek Catholics) condemned the Union of Brest-Litovsk, which had created the Greek Catholics in Ukraine.
As soon as the Church was created, the lay leaders knew that they had to find a bishop to guide the new Church. Thus, the brotherhood approached Archbishop Alexander (Nemolovsky) from the Russian Orthodox Mission in North America. Abp. Alexander was the bishop of Winnipeg at the time. He had agreed at first to become the temporary bishop of the UGOCC, but later refused due to the fact that he claimed he did not want to lead a Ukrainian Church.
Abp. Alexander was to preside over the UGOCC's first Sobor (Church council; this is a clergy-laity conference, where the bishops, priests, and laity participate), but the Sobor still continued without a bishop, and was held on December 28, 1918 (which is interesting to note that it is still recorded as SOBOR I). The Sobor led to the establishment of the Church's first theological seminary in Saskatoon. Sobor II took place on November 27, 1919, with the presence of an Antiochian Metropolitan, Germanos (Shehadi) of Zahle.
Formation of the Metropolitanate
The UOCC had strong ties to the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church after 1921, when that body was established in Ukraine. In 1951, St. Mary the Protectress Cathedral (which was not in the UOCC at that time) had invited Metropolitan Ilarion (Ohienko) to Canada to become their church's bishop, while the Consistory of the UOCC had already invited Archbishop Michael (Khoroshy) and Bishop Platon (who reposed shortly after arriving in Canada) to come to Canada to be the Church's Metropolitan and Bishop respectivly. Once the Consistory had found out of Metropolitan Ilarion's coming to Canada, they sought him out, and invited him to become Metropolitan of the UOCC. He accepted only if St. Mary the Protectress was to be accepted back into the UOCC. The Consistory agreed, and the Central and Eastern Dioceses were created with Abp. Michael heading the Eastern Diocese with its headquarters in Toronto, and Metr. Ilarion heading the Central Diocese in Winnipeg as Metropolitan.
The UOCC Today
In 1990, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada became a canonical church by being accepted into the Church of Constantinople. A few years later its sister church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA joined her.
On January 10, 2005, at the age of 95, Metropolitan Wasyly (Fedak) reposed, three days after the Church had celebrated Christmas (Julian). His Beatitude has served in the capacity of Metropolitan and Primate for nearly twenty years. The funeral services took place on January 21 and 22 at Holy Trinity Cathedral, and many Orthodox Christians of many nationalities paid their last respects to the former Metropolitan. Eight Bishops had gathered for the funeral including His Eminence Metr. Iakovos of Chicago, who was Representitive of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
In July 2005, at the Twenty-first Sobor (XXI) of the UOCC, Archbishop John (Stinka) was elected Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of Canada. In late 2005, the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected Archbishop John as the official successor to Metropolitan Wasyly (Fedak). His Eminence would be the first Canadian-born leader of the Church in her 88 year history.
On July 23, 2006, Metr. John was enthroned in Holy Trinity Cathedral by His Eminence Metropolitan Soterios (Exarch of Canada, and representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew). Also present were their Eminences, Abps. Yurij of Toronto, and Antony of New York-Washington (UOC of USA), and His Grace Bp. Georgije (Serbian Bishop of Canada). Also present was the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America's Canadian Archdiocese, the Metropolitan and Metropolitan-Emeritus of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of Canada (Lavrenty and Michael),and representatives of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and United Churches of Canada.
Currently, the UOCC has two bishops; this number is fewer than preferred, as three bishops makes a council of bishops, and the UOCC prefers to have four bishops to help them better look after their flock. To help resolve this situation, Sobor XXI chose Very Rev. Archpriest Michael Skrumeda as bishop-elect. However, following the Sobor his consecration was postponed indefinitely and an Extraordinary Sobor will be held in August 2007 to elect at least one bishop candidate.
Bishops and Dioceses
In the UOCC, the Primate and Metropolitan is styled the Archbishop of Winnipeg and of the Central Diocese, Metropolitan of Canada, while the following two Diocesan bishops are always styled (Arch)bishop of Edmonton, and the Western Diocese and the (Arch)bishop of Toronto, and the Eastern Diocese. When the Church has four Bishops, the fourth is always styled the Bishop of Saskatoon, and Vicar of the Central Diocese. Usually the church only has four bishops, but if there is a need for more, then the titles available are Bishop of Montreal, and Vicar of the Eastern Diocese, and Bishop of Vancouver, and the Vicar of the Western Diocese.
The Western Diocese are the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories. The Central Diocese are the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and Nunavut Territory. The Eastern Diocese are the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. It should be noted however that the church has yet to establish any parishes in the three Territories or the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland), although there is talk of expansion.
Historical Bishops of the UOCC
List of bishops who have served in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada in the past:
- Metr. Germanos (Shehadi) - (1919-1924);
- Abp. John (Theodorovich) of Philadelphia - (1924-1946);
- Abp. Mstyslav (Skrypnyk) - (1947-1950);
- Metr. Ilarion (Ohienko) of Winnipeg - (1951-1972);
- Metr. Michael (Khoroshy) of Toronto - (1951-1977);
- Metr. Andrew (Metiuk) of Winnipeg - (1959-1985);
- Abp. Boris (Yakovkevych) of Edmonton - (1963-1984);
- Abp. Nicholas (Debryn) of Toronto - (1975-1983);
- Metr. Wasyly (Fedak) of Winnipeg (1978-2005);
List of Primate of the UOCC and years of primatial rule:
- Metr. Ilarion (Ohienko) - (1951-1972)
- Metr. Michael (Khoroshy) - (1972-1975)
- Metr. Andrew (Metiuk) - (1975-1985)
- Metr. Wasyly (Fedak) - (1985-2005)
- Metr. John (Stinka) - (2005-present)
Listed here are the current bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada:
- Archbishop of Winnipeg, and of the Central Diocese, Metropolitan of Canada, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
- Metr. John (Stinka) of Winnipeg (1983-present), Metropolitan from 2005 to present
- Bishop of Toronto, and the Eastern Diocese
- Abp. Yurij (Kalistchuk) of Toronto (1989-present)