Holy Assumption Church

Shandro, Alberta

Holy Assumption Church

Founded 1899

Diocese: Archdiocese of Canada

Deanery: Alberta Deanery

Mailing address:

c/o Raymond Shandro
Box 322
Andrew, AB T0B 0C0

Parish Contacts

PO Box 691
Smoky Lake, AB T0A 3C0
Home: 780-656-3828


From Willingdon, AB
Travel north on (paved) SH857 for 8 miles, then west for one mile on Twp Rd 574 (gravel road) to Rge Rd 153, then north less than one half mile. The church is on the east side of the road. The church cemetery is at the intersection of Twp Rd 574 and Rge Rd 153, a quarter of a mile south from the church.

Schedule of Services

Services are in Slavonic and English, and the parish follows the Old Calendar.

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy, USUALLY ON THE 2nd SUNDAY OF THE MONTH.  Liturgies for 2007 will be held on February 11, March 11, April 15, June 3, July 22, August 28, September 9, November 11, and December 9.  On Holy Friday, April 6, Vespers will be held at 1:00 PM and on April 8, Pascha Services begin on Saturday evening at 11:30 PM.
Sunday Morning

Parish Background

In May of 1899, Paul Boychuk, Semion Hawrelak, George Ostashek, Anton Russ, Stefan Shandro, Nikon Shandro and their families, a group of immigrants from the province of Bukowina, Austria settled in northeastern Alberta, Canada.  Their immediate concerns were those of survival, and their first endeavors in the new country were to clear land, build shelter and plant food crops.  All being of the Greek Orthodox faith, they also felt the immediate need for a church and during that summer, they selected what they thought would be a good site for church and cemetary.  That fall, more settlers emigrated from neighboring villages in the old country, also of the Greek Orthodox faith.  The community met on January 7, 1900, and by Easter of 1900 they had approved the site for the new church.  To obtain the necessary government approvals, Nikon Shandro, Jacob Matichuk and George Ostashek then made the eighty mile trip to Edmonton.  Through an interpreter, as they could not speak English, they presented their case to the government officials, and their requests were granted.

The cemetary was blessed and consecrated in June of 1900 by Fr Jacob Korchinsky, a travelling missionary priest who visited the community for three days and served the first Liturgy on the site.  Thirty-three children were christened that day, their families travelling from many miles away by horse and oxen.

Lumber for the new church was cut in the winter of 1901-1902 and construction began that summer.  Under the leadership of head carpenter Stefan Rosychuk, a crew of volunteer labor completed the structure by the spring of 1904.  The interior, completed by Stefan Gudzowaty, was finished several years later.

On August 28, 1904, Archbishop Tikhon of North America and the Aleutians (later Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia [now Saint Tikhon]), accompanied by two priests of the faith, celebrated the first Holy Liturgy at the new church.  The church was consecrated and named in honour of the Dormition of the Mother of God.