Spas Moskalyk - Transfiguration of Our Lord

12 km. northeast of Mundare or 21 km. northwest of Vegreville

Lamont County(NE-36-53-16-W4)

Spas Moskalyk, Alberta

The importance of the name Spas Moskalyk lies in its association with the name of the Ukrainian settler Hryhori (Harry) Moskalyk. In 1904, he donated land on his homestead for the building of the first church and a cemetery.

In 1900, the area began to be settled by settlers who came from Bilivtsi (Borshchivs'kyi district, Ternopil's'ka oblast) and Snyiatyn (Snyatyns'kyi district, Ivano-Frankivs'ka oblast) areas (north of Chernivtsi).

Most of the early settlers observed the Ukrainian Greek Catholic faith. Early spiritual care was provided by a French priest. Afterwards, a Polish priest, Fr. Francis Olszewski served the community. Afterwards, a Ukrainian Catholic priest (Father John Zaklynsky) from Star had services in the homes of the various settlers. From 1903, the Basilian Fathers from Mundare began to provide regular services. In 1903 a cemetery (4 acres of land) was acquired. In 1904 a small wooden chapel was built and blessed by Father Platonid Filas, OSBM.(1)

Throughout this time, there was continuous political religious upheaval. Under the patronage of the Presbyterian Church of Canada, attempts were made to try to convert the new settlers to Protestantism. This resulted in deep divisions throughout the various communities in the area. By the early 1920s, this conflict had subsided. However, there was continuous political upheaval in the area between the Russophile and the Ukrainophile supporters throughout the 1920-30s.

In 1924, the parishoners decided to build a larger church. It was built by Charles Gordon, building contractor and owner of a lumberyard in Vegreville. During the construction, the small wooden chapel burned to the ground. (2)

In 1926, Bishop Nykyta Budka visited the church and blessed it. In 1928, Bishop Basil Ladyka visited the parish. (3)

In 1935, Nick Lysakowski and his wife painted the interior with stencil bands and motifs. (4)

In 1939, Peter Lipinski (1888-1975) painted seven icons and the tabernacle.

In 1938, a wooden bell tower was built. Two large bells were donated by Petro Siratski, and Ivan and Franka Morozuik. (5)

In 1964, a mission cross was erected by the church. (6)

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Oriented on the east-west axis, the wood-frame church is designed on a central longitudinal cruciform plan, with a large, tall, central drum and onion-shaped dome in the Byzantine tradition.

This tripartite structure has an apse, with a large central dome with a large, central, open octagonal drum with an onion-shaped dome, complete with a cupola and a small dome terminating in a ball surmounted by a metal cross. The narthex is flanked by twin towers with octagonal drums rising out of a pyramidal roof line and topped by onion domes with metal crosses. There are twin apsidal sacristies off the sanctuary. On each side of the walls (south and north), there are large, rectangular, arched windows with pressed glass that form the shape of a cross. In addition, there is a red brick chimney on the exterior wall of the north transept. (7)

There is no iconostasis.

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