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Exploring the treasures of Springfield

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The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Cooks Creek, Man.

PHOTO BY DARLENE LITCHIE Enlarge Image

The statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Cooks Creek, Man. Photo Store

Did you know that the R.M. of Springfield, which neighbours the Transcona area of Winnipeg, is actually the oldest and largest rural municipality in Manitoba, established in 1873?

There you will find the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church (also known as The Prairie Cathedral), the Cooks Creek Heritage Museum (CCHM) and Pope John Paul II Hill, also known as Pope’s Hill.

The Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church is an active parish of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg.  It is also a National Historic Site of Canada (1997).  

The Prairie Cathedral, circa 1930, is a work of the notable priest/architect Father Philip Ruh, is among the largest Ukrainian Catholic churches in Western Canada.

The Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church, with its ornate interior, emulates the richness of a grand European church. It is also home to the venerated Icon of the Mother of Perpetual Help, a replica of the miraculous icon in Rome.  

The Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, located on-site, is a very impressive structure unto itself. The Grotto is a representation of the Grotto of Lourdes in France.

The Prairie Cathedral (located at the corner of Highway 212 and Zora Road) is presently open to the public every weekend and holiday from noon to 6 p.m.  Admission is by donation.

The Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church will soon be celebrating its 60th annual Pilgrimage on the Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This extraordinary event will be held Aug. 15-17, 2014. Alternatively, Divine Liturgy is celebrated every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. All are welcome!

The Cooks Creek Heritage Museum (located one mile north of the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church), was founded in 1968 by Father Alois Krivanek. It is housed in the old rectory of the St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church, a provincial historic site of Manitoba (1986).  It is primarily dedicated to those who emigrated from Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine and who settled in Canada at the turn of the last century.

Pope John Paul II Hill is the site in Birds Hill Park where Saint Pope John Paul II conducted a multi-cultural celebration of faith in 1984.

For more information, contact the Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church at 204-444-2478 or visit www.immaculate.ca.  

Also see the Cooks Creek Heritage Museum website at www.cchm.ca

Darlene Litchie is a community correspondent for Transcona.

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