Saturday, February 3, 2007

About South Saskatchewan Coucil of Orthodox Parishes

South Saskatchewan Council of Orthodox Parishes (S.S.C.O.P.) is an unofficial organization, which combines the following Romanian Orthodox Churches of the southern Saskatchewan:

-> in Assiniboia - Descent of the Holy Spirit (Romanian Episcopate - O.C.A.)
-> in Flintoft - Saints Peter and Paul (Romanian Episcopate - O.C.A.)
-> in Elm Springs - Ascension of Our Lord (Romanian - Patriarchal)
-> in Wood Mountain - Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord (Romanian - Patriarchal)

The meetings of S.S.C.O.P. are held twice a year, with the priest-in-charge present.

The purpose of S.S.C.O.P. is to share the resources, at the time of great shortage of priests, and the constant migration of Orthodox people within the Province of Saskatchewan.

At this time, all these parishes are being served, with the blessing of respective hierarchs, by the clergy of Saint George's Romanian Orthodox Cathedral and Saint Nicholas Romanian Orthodox Church, both in Regina, SK.

Officers of the S.S.C.O.P. are:
President - Mrs. M. Popescul
Secretary - Mrs. J. Ciocia
Treasurer - Mrs. A. Rayner
Member - Mr. G. Bachiu
Member – Mr. L. Marcenko

for a few images and a brief history, please see listing for each of the four churches, up on the left, in Jan. & Feb. 2007 menu

Friday, February 2, 2007

Descent of the Holy Spirit Church in Assiniboia

Our ruling bishop is:

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman
of the Orthodox Church in America (O.C.A.)

Our diocesan bishop is:

His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel
of the Romanian Episcopate (O.C.A.)

and his assistant:

His Grace, Bishop Irineu
of the Romanian Episcopate (O.C.A.)


a general view of our church

icon of the parish feast (Descent of the Holy Spirit)
located in the Ikonostas, on the right side

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A short history of this parihs is taken from "Heritage 85 - Town of Assiniboia"

On February 25, 1957, a meeting was held in Radu Motors office to decided on building a church in Assiniboia. [Mr.] John J. Radu was [the] President and [Mr.] Sam Cristo [the] Secretary. Attending the meeting were: [Mr.] John J. Radu, [Mr.] Sam Cristo, [Mr.] John Radu Sr., [Mr.] Paul Calimente, [Mr.] George Tarita, [Mr.] George Nicholson, [Mr.] Don Ciocia, [Mr.] Chris Jonescu, [Mr.] Bill Hysuick, [Mr.] John Bachiu, [Mr.] Simeon Strugar, [Mr.] Ted Oancia, [Mr.] John Costi, [Mr.] Ted Hysuick, and [Mr.] Bill Watamanuk.

It was decided by those present to start plans for a new church, which was to be affiliated with the Saints Peter and Paul Church at Flintoft.

The Committees of the Saints Peter and Paul, and [the] Descent of the Holy Ghost, held a meeting in the home of [Mr.] John J. Radu, to decide on a date for a general meeting of all members, to decide on building the new church in Assiniboia. It was decided to hold a general meeting on April 7 in the church hall at Flintoft.

At that meeting, [Mr.] Ted Oancia was [a] Chairman, and [Mr.] Bill Deminchuk [a] Secretary.

The church name was registered in Regina. Now, work could commence. A committee of seven people were elected to canvass for pledges. They were: [Mr.] Ted Oancia, [Mr.] John J. Radu, [Mr.] Nick Lucon, [Mr.] Sam Cristo, [Mr.] Radu Ciocia, [Mr.] Cris Tonita, and [Mr.] James Moldovan. It was decided to tender for bids in the Assiniboia Times, and the Moose Jaw paper.

At a general meting, held July 28, 1957, it was decided to build the church by volunteer help with [Mr.] Peter Thompson and [Mr.] Bob Breulich supervising and working along with the volunteer help. It was decided to begin hauling gravel and digging the basement starting August 1st.

The construction committee elected were: [Mr.] John Radu Sr., [Mr.] George Tarita, [Mr.] Paul Calimente, [Mr.] Chris Jonescu, [Mr.] John Nicholson, [Mr.] John Bachiu, [Mr.] Ted Oancis, [Mr.] Sam Cristo, [Mr.] Cosma Kiriak, and [Mr.] Steve Toma. The committee was empowered to pay bills and control spending.

The firrst annual meeting of the Descent of the Holy Ghost [Romanian Orthodox] Church was held January 23, 1958. In the same year, the church manse was moved-in from Flintoft.

Priest serving the parish were: the Reverend John Dinu, the Reverend V. Parvanescue, the Reverend J. Shunda, the Very Reverend Daniel Nenson (Dean of the Canadian Deanery of the Romanian Episcopate, O.C.A.), the Reverend Brendon O'Keefe, and the Reverend Gratian Radu.

The church has not had a resident priest for quite a few years now. The church is served two Sundays a month from the center of Regina. Some of the preists serving twice a month [were]: the Very Reverend Archimandrite Martinian (Ivanovici), the Very Reverend Daniel Nenson, andn the Reverend George Tuff.

Some of the other priests who served on a part-time basis were: the Reverend Peter Avram, the Reverend (?) Postelnic, the Reverend (?) Tofron, the Reverend Daniel Maxim, the Reverend John Toconita, and the Reverend Richard Grabowski.

Saints Peter and Paul Church in Flintoft

Our ruling bishop is:

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman
of the Orthodox Church in America (O.C.A.)

Our diocesan bishop is:

His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel
of the Romanian Episcopate (O.C.A.)

and his assistant:

His Grace, Bishop Irineu
of the Romanian Episcopate (O.C.A.)


a general view of our church

icon of the holy patrons of our church (Sts Peter and Paul)
located in the Ikonostas, on the right side

the Ikonostas of our church

the Royal Doors of our church

one of the icons

remains of the stone house, buit by the first priest, priest-monk Dionisie (Nichofor)

first (sod) house of the first cantor of the Flintoft church

Second (log) house of the first cantor of the Flintoft church

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a short history of this church by Ms. Betty Lascu
from "Prairie Trails and Pioneer Tales" p. 48

The Saints Peter and Paul [Romanina Orthodox] Church was built in 1911 in the northwest corner of NW 34-6-3-3.

The lumber was donated by [Mr.] Nicholai Zora, a pioneer of the Zehner District who had relatives in this area. The lumber was hauled with team of hourses and oxen. [Mr.] Garvel Bancescu, a local corpenter who homesteaded NW 6-7-2-3 supervised, and local farmers provided volunteer labour.

It is believed the Iconostasis was brought from Jerusalem or Greece. Many of the monks did the Icon paintings using natural herbs and natural products.

A priest, Dionisie Nichifor, a sixty-year-old monk was persuaded to come to Canada. He filed on the SW 34-6-3-3 and conducted services in the new church. He lived in his homestead in a stone house. His land was farmed for him by the church members.

The priest Cantors were: [Mr.] Peter Tatousi, [Mr.] Chris Adamache, and [Mr.] John Oncescu.

After eighteen years of service, [the Very Reverend] Priest-monk Dionisie, due to illness, returned to Romania to live with his sister, where he later passed away.

The next priest was Teofil Maxim, who lived in Flintoft, and walked or was taken by team buggy to church every Sunday.

The church was used regularly until 1957, when a new church was built in Assiniboia. It was used occasionally after that.

The first funeral held in church was that of [Ms.] Cristache Oancia, in 1912, and the first wedding was that of Mr. and Mrs. Tudor Radu, in 1913.

A memorable event of the church took place on June 29, 1936. His Grace Bishop Policarp, with the asssitance of other priests. consecrated the church.

As the years passed, older pioneers moved away, while others passed away. The church too, showed many signs of deterioration. On different occasions, [His Grace] Bishop Valerian (D. Trifa) visited the parish. Seeing the church's condition, he encouraged the parishioners to do something to presenrve its natural beauty, along with its valuable Iconostasis.

In the fall of 1977, six members of the parish volunteered to collect pledges for restoration of the church. They organized a bbuilding commitee consisted of: [Mr.] John Jonescu, [Mr.] Trian Lascu, [Mr.] Dan Stoian, [Mr.] Nick Stoian, [Mr.] Nick Topola, and [Mr.] Steve Kosti, and with the help of other church members, renovations began.

On August 9, 1979 the stone altar was demolished, as it could not be lifted or moved. The church was then moved and a cement slab foundation was built. The church was then moved back to its original site. The bell tower, approximately fifty feet from the church, was also lifted and placed on a new foundation.

The exterior and interior have been restored as close to the original as possible. New sidewalks and an outdoor washroom were built.

On June 29, 1981 the restored church was consecrated by His Grace Bishop Nathaniel (Popp) of Jackson, MI, U.S.A. The Very Reverend Archimandrite Martinian (Ivanovici) with the assistance of other priests officiated at the service.

The Saints Peter and Paul Church celebrated its 70th Anniversasry (also known as "Hram") with a festive banquet held in the limerick Community Center.

Today, the church stands restored, a well known landmark and a tribute to the many pioneers who worshipped and prayed inside. A tribute must also be paid to the members who resotred this church in our pioneers' memory.