Our Parish


                        Saints Peter and Paul

This feast day commemorates the martyrdom of the two great Apostles, assigned by tradition to the same day of June in the year 67.  They had been imprisoned in the famous Mamertine Prison of Rome and both had foreseen their approaching death.  Saint Peter was crucified; Saint Paul, a Roman citizen, was slain by the sword.  Tomorrow the Church commemorates the Apostle of the Gentiles; today is dedicated primarily to Saint Peter.

The Chief of the Apostles was a native of Galilee like Our Lord.  As he was fishing on its large lake he was called by Our Lord to be one of His apostles.  Peter was poor and unlearned, but candid, eager and loving.  In his heart, first of all, his conviction grew, and then from his lips came the spontaneous confession:  Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!  Our Lord chose him and prepared him to be the Rock on which He would build His Church, His Vicar on earth, the Head and Prince of His Apostles, the center and indispensable bond of the Church’s unity, the unique channel of all spiritual powers, the guardian and unerring teacher of His truth.

All Scripture is alive with Saint Peter; his name appears no fewer than 160 times in the New Testament.  But it is after Pentecost that he stands out in the full grandeur of his office.  He sees to the replacement of the fallen disciple; he admits the Jews by the thousands into the fold and in the person of Cornelius, opens it to the Gentiles; he founds and for a time rules the Church at Antioch.

Ten years after the Ascension Saint Peter transferred his apostolic capital to Rome, going in person to the center of the majestic Roman Empire, where were gathered the glories and riches of the earth, along with all the powers of evil.  From there he sent Saint Mark, his valued secretary, to establish the Church of Alexandria in Egypt.  In Rome Saint Peter’s Chair was placed; there for twenty-five years he labored at building up the great Roman Church.  He was crucified by order of Nero and buried on the Vatican Hill, where now the Basilica stands which bears his name.



Historical Overview of Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Parish


  • January 20 – First liturgical service held in a rented hall with Rev.S. Huculak serving.
  • February 3 – first meeting where the following executive was elected:
    • President – Makar Melnichuk
    • Secretary – E. Kobranowich
    • Treasurer – N. Kudla
    • Auditors: A. Osowetski, H. Yasinowski and Vasile Ambrosi


  • January 17 – First annual meeting held with 15 members in attendance. Purpose of meeting: to purchase two acres of land from Vasile Ambrosi for $1000 on which to build a church and cultural centre (hall).
  • March – Ukrainian Cultural Society – secular association independent from the Consistory (disbanded in 1964)


  • Land title obtained and property registered as Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church; Kelowna, B.C.


  • Church choir, directed by Isadore Woronchak who in 1986 was ordained and from 2007 – present is serving in Kelowna and Vernon. V. Rev. Archpriest Isadore Woronchak retired in 2010 and serves as emeritus priest.


  • 33 members authorize the parish executive to research costs to build a church. This committee comprised of:
    • Woronchak
    • Melnichuk
    • Kowalchuk


  • April 12 – 33 members present; Isadore Woronchak presented three plans to build a church.
  • April 4 – 28 members agreed to proceed with the building of the church.


  • July 12 – contract signed to build the church with Nicholas Kitz as contractor.
  • July 18 – Church site consecrated by V. Rev. M. Fyk (Calgary, AB) and Rev. J. Rybalka, assigned priest.
  • July 20 – building of church commenced


  • April 12 – Church building substantially completed first liturgical service held with instillation of domes and building of iconostasis to follow.
  • July 9 – first Archpastoral liturgy service performed by Archbishop Andrew assisted by Rev. J. Rybalka and Rev. Deacon John Tkachuk.


  • Ukrainian Women’s Association, Dr. Savella Stechisen Branch was organized and the Ukrainian Self-Reliance Association. Both organizations have made significant contributions to the Church.


  • October 26 – loans were obtained from parish members for the purchase of the domes and for completion of the interior including the iconostasis.
  • October 26 – burning of the mortgage was performed by V. Rev. N. Moroz, Wm. Todor, President and Wm. Barabash, Past President.


  • Parish congregation purchased 200 cemetery plots at Lakeview Memorial Gardens.


  • Completion of iconostasis. Builders were Mr. A. Boychuk and Mr. J. Worbeck. Iconographer: Mrs.S. Stackursky of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Cost: $15,000.


  • Fire in the church destroyed some of the wooden icon structures which were replaced in 1980.

1980’s – 1998

  • Kelowna, Vernon and Kamloops joined as a parochial district with one priest serving all three parishes. In 1994, Kamloops opened a new church with an assigned priest. Vernon became a sister parish to Kelowna.


  • July 11 – Church celebrates 25th anniversary with Archpastoral liturgy performed by Archbishop JOHN.


  • portion of church property was leased for the construction of a 27 unit affordable housing complex for seniors. Founding Directors: P. Stelmaschuk, Wm. Tokarik, J. Boyko, M. Dubyk, H. Pawlyshyn, A. Danyliu.


  • Official opening of Orchard Haven Housing Society by His Eminence Metropolitan Wasyly.
  • July 1995 – July 2000 – Joanne Rak elected to the UOCC Consistory Board. Since 1996, Joanne has served as Council member of the Western Eparchy and is on the Board of Directors of the UOCC Foundation from its inception (2002).


  • Church celebrates 50th anniversary with Archpastoral liturgy performed by Metropolitan JOHN.


  • July – Maria Diakonow elected to the Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada Foundation.


July 09. 60th Anniversary Celebration.  (Khram)

Honoured Guests: His Eminence, the Most Rev. Metropolitan Yurij, Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.

His Grace, The Rt. Rev. Bishop Ilarion, Bishop of Edmonton and the Western Eparchy.

Very Rev. Archpriest Taras Udod, Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, Winnipeg.

Rev. Fr. Protodeacon, Yaroslav Boychuk, Edmonton.

Dinner and program followed in the Parish Hall.  Ladies of the Parish catered the delicious meal!