Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, PR 201, Sundown, MB
Settled comfortably into its pleasing and tranquil church yard, Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church has served Sundown area parishioners since it was constructed in 1940. Based on similar churches in western Ukraine, Sts. Peter and Paul is attractive with its large squat central dome, dual banya towers and the cruciform plan. The large dome opens into the nave of the church. Atop each of the trio of metal-clad domes, symbolizing the Holy Trinity, is a three-bar metal cross. The peak of the roof adds a fourth cross. The straight-on view of the facade is an irresistible path to ascension.
A free-standing bell tower featuring a cupola and louvered openings completes the ecclesiastical compound.
The church’s interior, of which I was not able to get pictures, is richly ornate, featuring original iconostas, iconography and wall surfaces by John Pushka. Pushka, who came from Angusville, MB, painted other church interiors in Manitoba including the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of the Ascension in Angusville, Lakedale Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church in Silver Creek, and St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church in Gonor.
I shot lots of pictures of this church and used them to create a 2:14 video showing Sts. Peter and Paul from all angles. Enjoy.
Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Elie, MB
Located on an ancient sacred site, the pale brick of this imposing Catholic Church exudes some form of holy mist that gives the place an intriguing aura. Built in 1928 in the cross-shaped transept design, Romanesque arches abound even on the entry canopy. The tall square tower with its open belfry and steep roof culminating in an elegant lit crucifix achieves an attractive balance. The circular window over the doorway on the tower is another example of recurring Catholic detail. Brick headers emphasize the doorway and the windows. Medium-pitched parapets extend above the gable ends of the transepts with Palladian windows, a Catholic preference, beneath.
St. Francois Xavier Roman Catholic Church, St. Francois Xavier, MB
Built in 1900, this small but imposing tan brick church set on a fieldstone foundation was designed by Joseph Senecal, leading architect of Roman Catholic churches in Manitoba. St Francois Xavier was originally called Grantown, a settlement created by Metis leader Cuthbert Grant. This building replaced a substantial log church, which had served the parishioners since 1833 on the same site. Cuthbert Grant is buried in the cemetery that surrounds the church. Though somewhat obscured by a gorgeous evergreen, the front elevation is a work of symmetrical accomplishment. The corner towers with their roofs and pinnacles balance the central entrance, the side entrances and the well-proportioned square tower with its delightful cornice and dentil. Arcades surround the belfry, which is topped with a steep four-sided roof with small round openings.
St. Josaphat’s Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Shoal Lake, MB
Illustrating my hometown bias, here’s a second church in Shoal Lake. Located across the street from yesterday’s church, this white wooden Catholic Church has three modest onion domes dominating the façade. The domes and their drums are octagonal with heavy iron cross finials. The three arched windows on the front elevation compliment the domes. The entry pavilion to the rectangular nave is bracketed by the slim corner towers. This church was built in 1945 to replace the 1892 building they had bought from the Anglicans in 1919 for $1,000. The old church became the IOOF Hall and was moved to Fourth and South Railway where it still stands.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS, LEBRET, SK
Linda and I loved the Qu’Appelle Valley in southern Saskatchewan. We often stayed in Fort Qu’Appelle, hiked some trails in the valley and enjoyed the amazing vistas. Along Highway 56, the little village of Lebret rests on the north side of the valley, picturesque, quaint and dominated by an old stone church. Up the valley wall the Stations of the Cross have been marked. Pilgrims can walk the walk, marking each station.