Wendy, the boys and i took a drive up north along the Fish Creek Road today. We came across this.
The church of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the third church of the parish.
The first church was a log and clay structure constructed by the founders of the parish in 1906 on a site eight miles west of Alvena. In 1918 it was converted into a parish hall and the second church was constructed. This was a cruciform structure with one central dome and an iconostas; the iconostas was hand carved by Stepan Meush in 1931-1932, the iconostas icons were the artwork of Isadore Hrytzak. Archbishop Basil Ladyka blessed the church on August 19, 1932.
On August 19, 1964, the church was struck by lightning and was completely destroyed in the ensuing fire. In 1965 the parishioners constructed the present church which was blessed on August 4, 1974 by Bishop Andrew Roborecki.
The church is a wood constructed rectangular structure measuring 60 x 30 feet. It stands on a concrete basement, has two frontal towers apexed by cupolas, exterior wood siding painted a light color, rectangular windows with arched summits and a shingled gable roof which is apexed by a cross above the front entrance. The church is east-west oriented.
Entry into the church is from the west by a series of steps leading into an adjoining porch-vestibule; additional entries are located at the base of the towers at north and south sides of the nave.
The east elevated sanctuary contains the main altar and has two adjoining sacristies which have exits to the church grounds. The west choir loft extends above the nave and is reached by a stairway at the south wall of the nave. The base of the interior walls has been finished with plywood, natural color of the wood has been retained, while the remaining wall areas and the ceiling have donnacona and are painted a light color.
Behind the main altar hangs a large church patron icon. On corresponding sides of the sanctuary and facing the nave are icons of the Holy Mother of God with the Christ Child and Christ the Redeemer; these three oil on canvas icons have frames finished in gold leaf and were painted in 1976 by Theodore Baran.
The church has a wooden floor which is carpeted at the center aisle and in the sanctuary area, wooden pews which seat approx. 150 persons, electricity and central oil heating.
Construction was accomplished through the generous donations and voluntary labour of the parishioners under the directorship of their pastor Rev. Andrew Choronzy, the parish executive and construction committee consisting of: Michael Lozinsky, Walter Lo-zinsky, Hryhoriy (Harry) Slywka, Michael Harasym-chuk, Nykola (Nick) Zary and John Mialkowsky. Construction costs totalled $20,000, foreman of the construction was Nick Zary.
Near the church are two wooden crosses commemorating the Holy Missions of 1942 and 1960, and a three bell masonry bell tower which was constructed in 1948 by Nick Zary; two of the bells for the belfry were purchased by the parishioners, the third was a small bell donated by liko Hrytzak. The original wooden belfry, which was dismantled, was constructed in 1914.
The church site also contains the Prosvita Home of Taras Shevchenko which was constructed in 1927; the first parish hall, originally the church, has been dismantled. The parish cemetery site, which is one-half mile east of the church, and the church site were blessed in 1904 by Rev. Sozont Dydyk, OSBM.
In 1941 the parish registered 57 members and 100 children (Prop. Knyha), in 1961 there were 135 souls (Directory) and in 1975, 60 individual members were counted.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Laniwci, is under the pastoral charge of Vonda.