Sunday, 27 May 2012

This Doors Open I visited a Martyr !

North End church bell tower

A limited amount of Doors Open time this year so I went to St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church on Jefferson Avenue. I drive by it often and on a couple of occasions have pulled over to get a photo of its domes but had never been inside.

This year is St. Joseph's 60th anniversary so I thought I'd see it from the inside and find out more about Bishop Velychkovsky Martyr's Shrine located there, (and celebrating its 10th year.)

St. Joseph's

The church was constructed in 1962 and is a beautiful, peaceful space. What I found most interesting is that rather than being filled with relics of old, this church is still a work in progress.

St. Joseph's

Many of the mosaics date to 1987 (its 25th anniversary), the Iconostas are just a couple of years old and the large stained glass window of the nativity over the entrance is from 2010. Over the next year the inner dome will be replaced with a stained glass skylight.

Velychkovsky ca. 1973 (source)

St. Josephs is also home to the Bishop Velychkovsky Martyr's Shrine.

Vasyl Velychkovsky was from Ukraine and jailed numerous times by Soviet authorities for practicing religion. He was banished from his homeland in 1972 and came to Winnipeg but died after just a year due to lingering injuries resulting from the torture he received while in prison.

St. Joseph's

He was buried at All Saints' Church but after being beatified as a Martyr in 2001 by Pope John Paul II, his body was exhumed and enshrined in the chapel in St. Joseph's. The small museum next to the chapel provides detail about the mans life.

It's an interesting look back at a brief piece of Winnipeg's Ukrainian not-too-distant past. I'm definitely glad I went !

1 comment:

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