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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
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In 1936, Mr. William Krysko, a staunch Catholic, together with a handful of other brave men, organized the people in the area, and the members of the Roman Catholic rite, had their first mass, offered by Rev. Father L. Faber, in Dec., 1936, at the farm residence of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Krysko.
The congregation consisted of a few families, but they realized their need for a place of worship.
Despite the hardships of the 30's, they launched an effort to raise money for a church. By serving lunches at different functions and personal donations, the fund began to slowly grow. In the meantime church services were held once a month. The homes of Mr. and Mrs. Grenon (principal of Erickson High School), Mrs. Maggie Oleniuk, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Tytgats (C.N.R. foreman) and Mrs. Christine Johnson, were used as places to have mass.
Finally in 1937, with the Oblate Father coming into this part of the country, the dream of having a permanent place of worship began to take shape. With the help of Father Kozakewich, a private home was purchased for $650.00, with the accumulated funds and the help of a doner through the church extension society.
With volunteer help, the home was remodeled into a church. A spire was built and a spire cross was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Morris. On November 20, 1939 the church was blessed by His Grace Archbishop Alfred Sinnott by the patron of St. Simon and St. Judes. The pastor at the time was Father Kozakewich assisted by Father Tomczuk. There were only nine families as parishioners. After the blessing of the church the nine families prepared a banquet dinner which was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Grodeski for a visitors and members who attended this big celebration. Now that house bought in 1980 serves as our priest's rectory. Members' homes were often used for meetings, banquets and lunches. Later on, the Legion Hall, which was on Main St. across from the church was used for many functions and banquets, as it was so handy.
The first child christened in this church was Joanna Anna Soltys, daughter of Mark and Mary (Kopeechuk) Soltys, on January 12, 1939. Rev. Father Leo Calinski officiated. He was working in the district with Father Kozakewich. The first marriage was officiated at St. Judes church by Rev. John Bednarz on May 24, 1940 when Paul Uyzyk and Catherine Marcino, pronounced their vows of mutual fidelity in presence of their relatives and friends'.
The church was served by the following priests. Father F. Kozakewich, Father Podbelski, Father J. Bednarz, Father E. Rygusiak, Father A. Bagsik, Father P. Miczko, Father J. Suroviak.
After twenty two years our church was getting old and with hard cold winters, it was hard to keep it warm during services. Our feet were colder after the mass than they were when we first came in. Our congregation was growing and the church was getting too small, especially in the summer time when tourists came to worship with us. Members began to talk about building a new and bigger church. After many many meetings and much discussion, it was decided to use the same site for a new church. With Father Suroviak as our parish priest, it
St. Judes Roman Catholic Church.
didn't take long before he had things rolling.
In September, 1965, the little church was donated and moved to the museum site in Erickson Centennial park. The new church was then started.
During the winter of '65, the members used the Sacred Heart church for masses.
With many personal donations and many fund raising activities, such as suppers, bake sales and bazaars, the fund for the building grew. With much hard work and lots of volunteer labor, the new St. Judes Church became a reality. The first mass in this new building was held on Christmas Day, 1965, and the church has been in con tinuous use since then.
On Sunday July 17th, 1966 the St. Judes church was blessed by the most Reverend George Flahiff C.S.B. Archbishop of Winnipeg.
The church measures 36 by 76. It seats two hundred and sixteen, and has an auditorium and kitchen facilities.
On July 3, '66 the first baby christened in the new church was Louise Marion Usick, daughter of Rudolph and Marion (Shwaluk) Usick. The ceremony was per formed by Father J. Suroviak.
The first marriage was that of Linda Warwaruk and Peter Ryback on July 1, 1967. The ceremony was per formed by Father Frazik.
Since the new church was built, the priests who served here were Father Surouiak, Father F. Frazik, Father J. Mosoliuk and now the present priest is Father Sean Cahill.
ST. JUDES LADIES OF THE ALTAR
On May 17th, 1950, the ladies of St. Judes Church decided to organize themselves and work as a group in order to find ways to raise money to up-keep the church. The first meeting was held on May 17th at the home of Mrs. Maggie Oleniuk.
The first president of the group was Mrs. Winnie Marcino, vice-president - Mrs. Rose Oleniuk, treasurer -