Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church of Vancouver

Orthodoxy according to the Greek rite emerged on the North American continent after the 1917 revolution in Russia. Thousands of families of nobles, officers, priests, who could not get along with the new government, moved to the United States and Canada. Gradually developing new territories for themselves, migrants went to work for local business owners, started their own business. In large numbers they created church communities and built churches. More on the website vancouver-future.

How the temple on Campbell Avenue emerged

One of these churches started its existence between the late 1930s. It was created by Archpriest Olexander Kizyun. He purchased a plot of land on Campbell Avenue for the construction of the temple using his own money, personally participated in the construction, which took place in compliance with all the traditional canons of Orthodox churches.

Archpriest Olexander Kizyun was born in the Russian Empire. Leaving his homeland at the end of 1917, he went overseas as a missionary. He was ordained a priest in St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York City, after which he performed various parish assignments that led him to Alberta, Canada.

In 1931, Fr. Olexander moved to Vancouver, where he served as rector of Holy Resurrection Church from 1931 to 1937. After that, he founded the church described in this article.

Father Olexander did not manage to complete the church, but it was still suitable for worship. Father O. Kizyun served in it until the end of his days. He died in 1953 and was buried at Mountain View Cemetery on Fraser Street.

Rector of the church Filimon Gorelyk

As often happened in such cases, at first the church and its interior looked quite simple. Parishioners were met with paper icons, poor decoration, and an unpainted iconostasis. Thanks to the efforts of the next rector, Archpriest Filimon Gorelyk, a rich interior decoration appeared.

This priest had a difficult life. He was born in Belarus, during the Second World War he was in Europe and could not return to his homeland because he was afraid of persecution under the article “enemy of the people”.

In 1953, together with a group of parishioners of St. Nicholas parish, he purchased the church for sale from the widowed mother of Father Kizyun.

Wishing to preserve the church for his compatriots, he became the rector. It also included the St. Nicholas community. The temple was given a second wind. The second priest appeared in it. Services were already held in two churches: St. Nicholas and the Holy Trinity.

Since coming to the new church, Fr. Filimon and his wife continued the work of their predecessor. They organized the Parish Council, which helped to unite the faithful. A beautiful wooden iconostasis and stained glass windows appeared inside, and a parish hall was built under the church. In the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville (USA), an altar image was ordered and an altar icon was ordered.

Regular visitors of the parish were people of different nationalities – Russians, Ukrainians, Serbs, Greeks. Eventually they were joined by local residents who adopted Orthodoxy.

An important event in the life of the church and the community took place in May 2014, when it was 60 years since the founding of the (formal) Vancouver parish in honour of the Holy Trinity. The celebrations were held on the day of Trinity – the Feast of Pentecost, which is considered the patronal feast of the church.

On the occasion of the patronal feast and the anniversary of the parish, many guests came to Campbell Avenue, including Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, Bishop of the Canadian Eparchy.

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