St. John Ukrainian Catholic Church was established by Bishop Isodore Borecky in March of 1981. The first Sunday service was celebrated on April 5, 1981, at Assumption School on the corner of Parnell and Niagara Streets. Services were held there for nearly three years, as the development of the church and parish went through many exciting stages.
First there was the acquisition of land for our future church at 85 Lakeshore Rd. Then there was the clearing of the old smoke sheds, broken greenhouses, garage and barn, the demolishing of the old Avondale Store, and the readying of the site for the building of our church. Many fund-raising events were held, i.e. picnics, flea markets, dances, raffles … and many sacrificial donations made toward the building fund of our church. A large number of ladies of our parish, supported by a faithful number of men, incessantly worked (and still work) at making pyrohy, cabbage rolls, pies and other baked goods for sale, to enable us all to enjoy a church of our own. All this and much more, the clergy and faithful together brought about the blessings of the Lord, so that on October 3, 1982, the foundation stone was laid to signal the beginning of the building of our church. This was followed by the preparation of the site for services and the erection of footings. In the spring of 1983, the steel was ordered and subsequently erected in June and July of that year. Once the steel structure was up, the church began to take better and better shape every day. The obtaining of a joint cost-sharing grant from the federal and provincial government greatly encouraged all those involved. By late fall of 1983, the church was already recognizable as such from the outside: by late winter it was recognizable as such on the inside as well. On April 8, 1984, exactly three years since the first service at Assumption School, and after an outpouring of volunteer men who helped in painting and staining the church and total parish involvement in cleaning it, Bishop Isidore Borecky blessed the church and led in all the clergy and faithful for our first Divine Liturgy celebration. What a memorable and beautiful day it was!
During the next few months, the church was already being used for daily services while the remainder of the work was brought to completion. The summer months were used to complete the stucco finishing of the outside of the church and the preparation of the grounds for landscaping. In September, the sod was laid, giving the church and grounds a fresh new look in time for the next memorable event -the Consecration of the Church on October 21, 1984.
Since the establishment of the parish, our membership has grown to about 180 families and is constantly expanding. Already we have developed a vibrant parish life. We have an active Parish Council, Women’s Association, Senior Citizens’ Association, Youth Activity Group and Alter Boys Group. Our Liturgical Singing Group leads the congregation in singing at services in both Ukrainian and English. We have a Catechetical Team and provide religious education programs for children, youth and adults. Along with general fund-raising, most of the major needs (including office work, care of alter linens, and building and land maintenance) are all done by VOLUNTEERS!
91 Lakeshore Road
St. Catharines, Ontario, L2N 2T6
Sunday Divine Liturgy
10:00 am – Ukrainian/English