Announcements of Saint Sophie Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral

FAMILY FUN WEEKEND of the Eastern Eparchy June 9 – 11

COMMEMORATION OF BAPTISM OF UKRAINE & CAMP CLOSING – will be celebrated on Sunday, July 23, 2017. The Divine Liturgy will begin at 10:00 am in The Holy Equal to the Apostles Great Prince Volodymyr and the Holy Equal to the Apostles St. Olga Chapel, followed by the blessing of the water, lunch, and a concert by the campers.

VISITING SICK Please note that Fr. Volodymyr will be visiting parishioners in hospitals and nursing homes on Wednesdays. If you know of any parishioner or would like Fr. Volodymyr to visit you, please call him at 514-947-2235 to arrange a time.

METR. ILARION UKRAINIAN SCHOOL invites students to enrol and take up the study of the Ukrainian language and its literature. Classes are held every Saturday morning at 9:00 am on church premises. For more information, call Dobr. Ludmila Popovich at 438-881-8054.

SUNDAY SCHOOL – Every Sunday from 10:00 am to 10:45 am for children over the ages of 4. For more information, please contact Dobr. Ludmila Popovich at 438-881-8054.

Order of Services

Sunday, June 4
Pentecost. Trinity Sunday
9:30 am Divine Liturgy
Vespers following the Divine Liturgy

Sunday, June 11
1st Sunday after Pentecost. Sunday of All Saints
10:00 am Divine Liturgy


Saint Sophie Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral

Saint Sophie Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (Ukrainian: Українська Православна Катедра Святої Софії) is a Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is located on Saint Michel Boulevard, corner De Bellechasse Street, in the borough of Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.

It was designed by architect Vladimir Sichynsky and constructed from 1960 to 1962. Its front facade is in stone, although its exterior walls are made of brick. Its roof is made of copper.

The parish priest is the Very Reverend Father Volodymyr Kouchnir.

History of the Parish

St. Sophie parish (“Sophie” means “wisdom of God”) was formed in 1925 when 15 people joined to form a Ukrainian Orthodox Brotherhood. They worshipped in the Syrian Orthodox Church at 54 Notre Dame St. East.

Fr. Semen Sawchuk, Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada (UOCC) performed the first Liturgy in the Ukrainian language at this church in June 1925. The parish bought a building on de Lorimier St. near Ontario St. in order to have a Church of its own. It was consecrated in 1929. Fr. Volodymyr Sluzar, celebrated the first Divine Liturgy of the newly-formed parish. In 1931, the Quebec government granted a charter to St. Sophie parish. Fr. Sluzar directed the parish for 48 years.

As the membership increased, it became evident that a larger building was needed. In 1954 a large lot on the corner of Bellechasse and Blvd. St. Michel was bought, as many Ukrainians had settled in the Rosemount area. On this corner, overlooking farmlands and fields, an imposing church was built in the traditional Byzantine style, designed by architect V. Sichinsky. He used the Cathedral of St. Volodymyr in Kyiv as his model. Later a residence for the parish priest and one for the caretaker were also built on the property. The buildings were completed in 1962 and the church was consecrated by Metropolitan Ilarion and Archbishop Michael and was designated a “sobor”. In 1988, St. Sophie was elevated to the status of “cathedral.”

In 1988 the Makarenko Studio of New York decorated the sanctuary with icons. The nave area of the church was repainted in 2007. Necesary renovations are continuing.

We cherish our ancestral heritage and the Ukrainian language and culture which we strive to preserve in our parish life.

St. Sophie Cathedral is a member of the Eastern Eparchy (division) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, which has its headquarters in Winnipeg. Its newspaper, “The Herald”, is sent to all members each month. We gather to worship during the Divine Liturgy on Sundays, certain weekdays, and holidays. Our faith in God’s goodness and the desire to gain His Grace unites us in prayer. Friendship, peace and the opportunity to grow spiritually in Christian love and to unite with Him in the holy mystery of communion – these are the aims of our parish. Come to God’s house and find strength in His blessing, which is given to all.

When East met West

Not too long ago a few hundred years ago, the Huns invaded Europe for glory and riches. While it was an unstoppable force that was led by Attila, something strange happened. When his army reached Rome, the horde decided to turn around and go back.

Call it a sign from the Gods or the persuasive skills of the pope, but Europe was spared from destruction and ruin. The armies of Attila never came back to Rome. While Attila had his eyes set on Eastern Roman Empire, he never was able to actualize his goals as he died shortly after.

Accounts from Fordham’s sources tell us that: ”

The old man of harmless simplicity, venerable in his gray hair and his majestic garb, ready of his own will to give himself entirely for the defense of his flock, went forth to meet the tyrant who was destroying all things.

He met Attila, it is said, in the neighborhood of the river Mincio, and he spoke to the grim monarch, saying “The senate and the people of Rome, once conquerors of the world, now indeed vanquished, come before thee as suppliants. We pray for mercy and deliverance. O Attila, thou king of kings, thou couldst have no greater glory than to see suppliant at thy feet this people before whom once all peoples and kings lay suppliant. Thou hast subdued, O Attila, the whole circle of the lands which it was granted to the Romans, victors over all peoples, to conquer. Now we pray that thou, who hast conquered others, shouldst conquer thyself. The people have felt thy scourge; now as suppliants they would feel thy mercy.”

Almost 1 thousand years pass before a new threat from the East arose. This time it was the Mongols, the predecessors of the Huns, however, the Mongols were more organized and was even considered the scourge of the devil himself. As Genghis Khan himself is believed to have said “I am the punishment of God…If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”

His grandsons and armies spread terror throughout western Asia as cities fell one by one, and by 1240s the Mongol armies were at the doorstep of Poland and Eastern Europe. Ogedei, the grandson of Genghis, led the armies into Europe and had been very successful. The unorthodox tactics by the Mongols overwhelmed the traditional Christians battle strategies and it seemed Europe was at the mercy of the horde from the east.

Interestingly though, the “barbarians” didn’t force their subjects to adopt the Mongolian culture and learn mongolian, more about their culture at Orgil Productions, if interested, but the Mongols actually adopted the culture of the land.

While they traditionally worshiped Tengri, many Mongolians adopted the religion of Islam and Christianity as they settled in the places they conquered. Despite their feared benevolence, another act of God or random chance saved Europe from the east.

Ogedei, known for his heavy drinking, fell ill and died in 1241. The Mongols returned east to elect their new Khan and emperor and the armies rode back home. Had it not been for Ogedei’s death, who knows what Europe would have looked like. Nonetheless, the conquests of Eastern Europe and the annexation of Russia, AKA the Golden horde, shaped the Slavic nations we know of today.

Before the Mongol invasion, the Balkans and Slav orthodox Christian fought each other regularly, but after almost 2 centuries of Mongol rule, principal states of Russia and Slavs united under one banner successfully succeeded from the Mongol empire. However, that’s a story for another time.

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