Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spaca Moskalyk Ukrainian Catholic Church, Lamont County, Alberta

I was moved by a recent Edmonton journal article that reported on the status of an 89 year old rural church building northeast of Mundare, about an hour east of Edmonton; the beautiful, yet humble wooden sanctuary -- a testament to the faith, love, resilience, and commitment of a small community of immigrant settlers in the frigid but expansive Alberta prairies -- was about to be burnt to the ground some time this month in a decommissioning ritual. In a race against time, I felt almost a sense of duty to visit this building and document its character in a sketch or two. After a trip to Elk Island National Park with the kids, I drove an extra 45 minutes on gravel roads to find the structure.


It was a beautiful sunny day, minus 6 but windy... and though my heart raced, my hands (as well as my paint and brush) froze... I felt I did not do justice to those craftsmen who built the church, along with the many artisans who decorated and furnished its interior. They certainly endured (embraced, even) the Prairies in a way I wasn't able to that day.  (More photos here.)

My daughter gives it a try as well.

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