Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Parish built by pioneers

Ukrainian Catholic church celebrating 80 years in 2012

  • Print

Many people struggled to survive during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

But the Ukrainian pioneers who settled in Brooklands in the early 1900s needed a church where they could worship in their own language and continue to uphold the cherished customs that were an integral part of their faith.

And so it was, as Mary Pankiw, a lifetime member of this parish tells us, "With hope in their hearts and prayers on their lips, they set out on the greatest of journeys, paved with pennies, nickels and dimes to erect the symbol of their faith."

And now, this same tiny church built on the corner of Ada Street and Logan Avenue in 1932 will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2012.

Alex Pankiw, grandson of Mary and also a member of the parish, says Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church is "Winnipeg's last Ukrainian Catholic pioneer-built parish."

"I just think it's such a fascinating little church with such a personality," says the 16-year-old great-grandson of one of the pioneer founders of the church. "My great-grandfather helped to dig out the basement with his horses," Alex says.

At that time, the area was known as the Village of Brooklands.

"One of my friends, his grandfather, was the head carpenter who worked on the church," says Andrew Pankiw, president of the parish and Alex's father.

The small white wooden church with blue trimming has three domed towers designed in Cossack Baroque style. It was built at a cost of $4,000.

The interior of the church is warm, cosy, inviting and richly decorated. Tradition is important here and many items originate from when the church first opened.

Icons and other artwork were painted in the 1940s by the multi-talented Ukrainian artist Jacob Maydanyk.

"He was known for his icons and church artwork and he also had a Ukrainian comic strip that was quite popular," says Andrew. "He had a general church goods store on Main Steet where the new Youth for Christ (building) is now. He did the artwork in quite a few Ukrainian Catholic churches in Manitoba."

Maydanyk, who was born in Western Ukraine in 1891, came to Canada in 1911 at the age of 19. He studied to be a teacher and later established the Providence Church Goods store in Winnipeg. He not only did his own iconography, he hired artists such as Theodore Baran and Leo Mol.

Some of Maydanyk's work, such as silvery stars on a blue ceiling and other designs, were painted over in the 1980s.

"It was about the time of the 50th anniversary," says Andrew. "I was only 16 at the time and when the church executive was contemplating the preparations, they were either going to build a new church or renovate this one... I'm not sure why they did it. I was disappointed."

Fortunately, much of Maydanyk's artwork has survived. According to Alex, the richly coloured icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Christ and the icon of Christ/King of Heaven are both by Maydanyk as is the icon depicting the Pentecost on the back wall of the sanctuary and the four evangelists on the ceiling.

Stained glass windows that feature a huge gold cross in each window were installed in the 1980s.

Two side altars contain many framed icons of the Mother of God and Christ.

The small parish only has about 25 members today but Andrew stresses: "It was a community effort to construct the parish and that co-operation and effort continues to this day with the community."


If you have a story idea about a special place of worship, please email:

Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church is located at 40 Ada St.

Tours are available upon request. Contact the church at

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 24, 2011 I12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Total Body Tune-Up: Farmer's Carry

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005
  • A young gosling prepares to eat dandelions on King Edward St Thursday morning-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 17- bonus - May 24, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google