Parksville BC Saint Mary Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church 1954

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Saint Mary The Protectress Ukr Orthodox Church Parksville.JPG

Parksville, BC, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Saint Mary Protectress, 1954

Establishment of a mission ; organisation

The parish community of Saint Mary Protectress (Protection of the Theotokos, or Protection of the Mother of God) in Parksville, British Columbia, was established in 1954. For a long time, this community was served from Port Alberni, where the parish was first established.

Purchase of the Temple

On 28 June, 2009, the parishioners purchased what was previously the First Christian Science church in Parksville, and they immediately began renovations to the interior to make the building into an Orthodox Temple. On 18 October, 2009, the first Divine Liturgy was served in the parish’s new spiritual home, and there has been positive progress since then.

St Mary Protectress Parksville BC.jpg

A few years after this significant beginning, the spiritual family of Saint Mary the Protectress parish began to take on many different fundraising efforts. One of the main fundraising efforts was preparing and selling frozen pyrohy and pies, and the monthly pyrohy dinners, which began to grow in attendance every month.

Until 2017, this parish was served by the Priest Chad Pawlyshyn, who divided his time between the 2 principal communities of Saint Mary in Parksville and Saint George in Victoria. Father Chad Pawlyshyn was transferred in 2017 to the parish of Saint Peter and Paul in Kelowna, British Columbia.

Deacon Chris Parker, also present in the parish, leads the service of the Typika on the Sundays when there is no Divine Liturgy.

Other communities supported

Within the parish district, this parish cares for the following communities : Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Comox Valley, Ladysmith, and Duncan.

The wife of a previous priest (Father Peter Haugen), Dobrodika Erin Haugen, wrote the following article about the Sanctification of the Temple of Saint Mary the Protectress, Parksville, British Columbia.

 Roughly three years ago the members of what was formerly a parish in Port Alberni, due to declining  
 membership, sold their property and moved to the more central and accessible city of Parksville.  
 On June 28th of 2009 they purchased a building, a church of First Christian Science, and began the 
 process of converting it into the Orthodox Church of St. Mary the Protectress.
 On October 18th of 2009, with the blessing of His Grace [Bishop Ilarion (Rudnyk) Bishop Ilarion], 
 Fr. Peter Haugen blessed the nearly completed church so that we could begin to hold services at our new 
 home.  Over the past three years as the process of moving and renovating took place, the members of 
 St. Mary the Protectress had been holding services at Yates Funeral Chapel, also in Parksville. How 
 wonderful it was to finally have a Church of our own!
 Finally, on June 6th of this year, His Grace Bishop Ilarion was able to come to Parksville to see for 
 himself the fruits of our labor and in a very special and unique service, consecrate our Temple; his 
 first consecration in Canada. The weekend began with fellowship on Saturday evening where parishioners 
 were able to come to the Church and meet His Grace in a casual setting, also giving His Grace a chance to 
 view the Church and plan the service with Fr. Peter for the following day. The consecration was actually 
 meant to take place on Saturday evening, but in a humorous twist, His Grace Bishop Ilarion’s luggage 
 containing his vestments was delayed – No one is immune from the trials of flying!
 The service on Sunday morning was truly special. It meant so much for the parishioners of St. Mary the 
 Protectress to see their work finally pay off. The church was bursting at the seams with our own church 
 family and many other visitors both from other parts of the island, and as far away as Saskatchewan. The 
 consecration service was followed by a Divine Liturgy served by His Grace Bishop Ilarion, Rev. Fr. Peter
 Haugen, and Very Rev. Fr. Michael Sokyrka.  Following service those in attendance had a chance to reflect 
 and rejoice during a wonderful banquet.
 Now that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Mary the Protectress has been consecrated, the parishioners
 are able to focus on the next chapter – The growth and expansion of their church family. We are grateful 
 to His Grace Bishop Ilarion for his visit and for helping to see our vision realized, and we thank all 
 those who have helped us come this far. Glory Be to Jesus Christ!

This parish, which is a part of the Vancouver Island Parish District of the UOCC Western Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. The bishop is Bishop Ilarion (Rudnyk).

This parish follows the Old (Julian) Calendar.

The Altar Feast-day of the parish is the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God, 14/1 October.

In 2018, the pastorate was vacant, and the community was served by visiting clergy. The deacon is Deacon Chris Parker.

Address :

Saint Mary Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Church

594, Karls Way

Parksville, British Columbia

V9P 1Y8

Web-site :


Directions :

Parksville is 150 km (93 mi) north of Victoria, and 38 km (23 mi) north of Nanaimo.

From the Island Highway (#19A), exit at Columbia Drive, and follow Columbia Drive eastwards towards the town. Turn first left on Sharon Place and drive to Karls Way. Turn right. The Temple is on the left.

From Admiral Tryon Boulevard, drive westwards on Columbia Drive. Turn right on Dalmatian Drive. Turn left on Karls Way. The Temple is on the right.

Reference :

District web-site

Additional information :

UOCC parish listing

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada

UOCC Western Diocese

Bishop Ilarion (Rudnyk)

Revolvy article about the Patriarchate of Constantinople

UGOC history

A Brief History of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada

'Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada' in "Orthodoxwiki"

'Ukrainian Canadians' in "Canadian Encyclopaedia"

'Ukrainian Canadians' in "Wikipedia"

'Ukrainian Diaspora' in "Wikipedia"

'Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada' in "Orthodoxwiki"

'Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada' in "Wikipedia"

Ukrainian Immigration to Canada

Canadian Encyclopaedia article about Parksville, British Columbia