Tin Can Cathedral

The Seraphimiten were the first independent Ukrainian church in North America, which consisted of followers of Bishop Seraphim. The Seraphimiten Church arose independently in Winnipeg. She had no connection to a church in Europe.

Ukrainian immigrants, especially from the former Austro-Hungarian provinces of the regions of Bukovina and Galicia, began in 1891 after their arrival in Canada with the establishment of their community and the church. The newcomers from Bukovina were mostly Orthodox believers who are immigrants from Galicia came mostly from Eastern Catholic Churches. The parishes used the known to them from their homeland Orthodox Byzantine rite. By 1903 the number of Ukrainian immigrants in western Canada was large enough to gain the attention of religious leaders, politicians and educators for their interests.

First Church was the iron scrap Cathedral ' (English Tin Can Scrap - Iron Cathedral or Cathedral, Ukrainian Бляшaна Катедра / Bljashnaja katedra ) in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada ⊙ 49.912256-97.134147.


The central figure in the Ukrainian community in Winnipeg at this time was a native of Galicia Cyril Genik ( 1857-1925 ). After leaving school at a Ukrainian school in Lviv and a brief study of law at the University of Czernowitz. he left his home. Genik was a friend and best man, Ivan Franko, whose book Лис Микита (Fuchs Nikita ) with biting satire denounced the clergy and also showed socialist inclinations. Franko called for land reform in favor of poor farmers and settlers, as well as the liberation of the people from the tutelage of the clergy. Genik, which was used after his arrival in Canada of the Canadian Government Immigration Agent for the Dominion Lands Act, to allocate land and farms the newly arrived settlers. The primary school teacher Ivan Bodrug (1874-1952), his cousin and his friend Ivan Negrich (1875-1946) also came from Bereziv at Kolomyja in Galicia. The three men formed the nucleus for the leadership of the Ukrainian community, and were considered the Bereziv Triumvirate ( Березівська Трійця ) known. Genik was the eldest of the three, and the only already married. His wife Pauline (nee Tsurkowsky ) was the daughter of a priest, an educated woman; they had three sons and three daughters.

The other main character was Bishop Seraphim, with real name Stefan Ustvolsky. In the end, Ustvolsky had been dismissed by the Russian Holy Synod in St. Petersburg of his priesthood. His journey begins when for personal reasons, he claimed, traveled to Mount Athos and there consecrated bishop of St. Anphim to have been. Today it is assumed that the Holy Anphim Bishop Seraphim alias Ustvolsky has actually ordained. He did so in defiance of the Russian Tsar, who was at this time in a dispute with the Holy Synod of the violence of the Russian Orthodox Church. So supposedly ordained bishop, Seraphim traveled to North America, where he was supposed to stay only with some Ukrainian priests in Philadelphia. In Winnipeg arrived, but he showed no loyalty to the Russian Orthodox Church or to anyone else and remained in Canada. Ukrainians in the rural areas accepted him as a traveling holy pilgrimage, a tradition that goes back to the beginnings of Christianity.

Another person who has been involved in those events around the iron scrap Cathedral, was Seraphim's assistant Macarii Marchenko. Marchenko served as a deacon and cantor and assisted Seraphim in worship. He learned Seraphim in the United States know and came with him to Winnipeg. The Roman Catholic Archbishop Adélard Langevin from the Archdiocese of Saint -Boniface, St. Boniface and head of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Western Canada saw that his priests no longer met the needs of the Ukrainian people in Canada. Another participant in these events was William Patrick, director of the Manitoba College of University of Winnipeg, a Presbyterian College in Winnipeg and the Liberal Party of Manitoba and at the same time Russian Orthodox missionary.

Formation and development

The leadership of the community asked for help with Canadian politicians to build a church building. The Canadian politician, member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba (English Legislative Assembly of Manitoba ) Joseph Bernier, took its at, where he referred to a law of 1902, which said: The " The Good Greek Ruthenians is to promote ( Ukrainians also Ruthenians were called) and the United Church were under suzerainty and communion with Rome. " Archbishop Langevin declared, " the Ruthenians as the Catholics must prove that they have the property about their church, and not as Protestants ... to an individual or a committee of lay and independent of the priest or a bishop. " The size of the Ukrainian population in the rural areas also had the interest of the Russian Orthodox missionaries attracted, which should be avoided, however. At this time, gave the Russian Orthodox Church about $ 100,000 per year for their missionary work in North America. To interest the Ukrainian immigrants for the Presbyterian church and he invited young men from the Ukrainian community of Manitoba College, a (now University of Winnipeg ), where special courses for young Ukrainians were offered, the priest wanted to be Orthodox Church in the newly established Independent. The director of the college, Dr. King, asked in fluent German candidates Bodrug and Negrich. Genik translated their educational documents from Polish into English. They became the first Ukrainian students at a university in North America. The Manitoba College was associated at that time with the University of Manitoba.

Genik, Bodrug and Negrich did a lot to strengthen their community. They came in April 1903 to Winnipeg and brought Bishop Seraphim with in order to preserve the independence of the Municipality of European churches. With Seraphim, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church got its head. To appease the Ukrainians at the same time, the Community Seraphimiten Church was called. They celebrated the familiar Byzantine rite. Bishop Seraphim began to ordain priests and deacons Kantore, or to consecrate. In December 1903, the building on the east side of McGregor Street between Manitoba and the Pritchard Avenue, the Holy Ghost Church was consecrated by Bishop Seraphim. In November 1904, the construction of the iron scrap Cathedral on the corner of King Street and Stella Avenue began. It was consecrated by around 50 priests and many deacons. Among the clergy were numerous Leseunkundige what initially led to difficulties in carrying out the priestly duties in the settlements of the Ukrainians. Seraphim preached an independent orthodoxy, insisting on its own fiduciary ownership of church property. Within two years the church had nearly 60,000 followers.

Due to various indiscretions and problems with alcohol, Seraphim lost the confidence of his sponsors, who had originally brought him. They tried to move Seraphim to go and at the same time not lose ourselves confidence in their community. Seraphim went to St. Petersburg to obtain official recognition and to obtain further funding of the Russian Holy Synod for the Seraphimiten Church. In his absence, organized Bodrug Ivan and Ivan Negrich that Thelogogiestudenten were at the Manitoba - mate, and other priests of the Seraphimiten Church, own help and procured guarantees for further financing of the Seraphim church, with the aim that this would gradually follow the Presbyterian model. In the late autumn of 1904 Seraphim returned from Russia, but did not guarantee " пособія " with. After his return he discovered the betrayal and promptly excommunicated all the priests involved. He has published in the local press Fact file similar images of the supposed traitors, printed with name on the chest. His revenge was short-lived. Soon it became known that he had himself been excommunicated by the Russian Holy Synod. Reported is the following statement: " ... if the Holy Synod and the Seraphim excommunicated all his priests, he leaves in 1908, never to return again .... "


The after the construction of iron scrap Cathedral and the establishment of the first " Seraphimiten community " resulting differences led to further autonomy of the established Ukrainian believers. As a result of this religious power struggle for supremacy and orientation of the " Seraphimiten " so was one of the first independent Ukrainian- Canadian communities in Canada.

Ivan Bodrug, one of the dissenters from the Seraphimiten Church, was subsequently head of the newly independent church and was a charismatic priest with his own right. He preached a rather Protestant Christianity because of its Evangelical Presbyterian influence. He lived until the 1950s.

The first used by Seraphim Holy Spirit Church was demolished. The second was built with funds Presbyterian building is located at the North End of Winnipeg. The churches were built independently of each other at the corner of Pritchard Avenue and McGregor Street.

The Catholic Archbishop Langevin increased its efforts to assimilate the Ukrainian community in the Roman Catholic community. He founded the Basilian Church of St. Nicholas with the Belgian priest Father Delaere and other clerics from the Congregation of St. Basil priests, who were able to read Old Church Slavonic, and were dressed according to the Byzantine- Greek rite, and could also hold sermons in Ukrainian as in Polish. Its church was built on the other side of the street of the independent Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of St. Vladimir and Olga at the McGregor Street in North End Winnipeg. One such competition but also offered Ukrainian- Canadian children have a greater chance to learn and speak the Ukrainian language.

The Liberal Party of Canada was aware that the Ukrainians are no longer allied with Archbishop Langevin. The Roman Catholic Church, which was oriented more like the Conservative Party, funded for the first Ukrainian newspaper in Canada, The Canadian builder ( Канадійскій Фермер ). The first editor was none other than Ivan Negrich.

Seraphim disappeared by about 1908, but it was about him still in the " Ukrainian Voice" ( Український Голос, appears today in Winnipeg ) reported. According to these reports, he is said to have sold up to 1913 workers of the railway construction company in British Columbia Bibles.

Cyril Genik moved with his eldest daughter and one of his sons to the United States to North Dakota, where he returned after a few years to Canada and died there in 1925.

Macarii Marchenko explained by Seraphim's departure, he was not only the new bishop of the Seraphimiten Church, but also the arch- patriarch and archbishop. Not all community members welcomed this development and the excommunication of Seraphim. Marchenko describes in his travel accounts of his pastoral work in the 1930s with the Canadian Ukrainians in rural Canada Gebietehn the decline of the eastern rite.