Already a provincial historic site, St. Josaphat’s Cathedral received the same honour from the City of Edmonton two years ago, along with a $500,000 grant. Financing also came from the Edmonton Eparchy, the provincial government, corporate donors, and community fundraising, among other sources. The final cost is expected to be approximately $1.4 million. Courtesy of Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton

Edmonton cathedral given a $1.4-million facelift

By  Andrew Ehrkamp, Canadian Catholic News
  • March 9, 2018
EDMONTON – Ukrainian Catholics are celebrating the completion of a $1.4-million restoration of St. Josaphat’s Cathedral, a spiritual and historic landmark in downtown Edmonton for nearly 80 years.

“My heart is filled with joy and pride at the highly successful cathedral restoration project,” said Bishop David Motiuk of the Eparchy of Edmonton. “The cathedral stands and will continue to stand as a beacon of faith in the heart of the city of Edmonton for years to come.”

Built between 1939 and 1947 in the Byzantine style, St. Josaphat’s is the central church for Edmonton’s Ukrainian Catholics. 

The restoration project began in May 2016, focusing on the shingle roof — which experts said would have only lasted another two years — as well as the crumbling white concrete beams along the side of the building. Contractors also cleaned St. Josaphat’s signature wooden cupolas.

“I’m very proud of everyone who worked on this. It’s not your average project and everyone gave it their all,” said Dan Papirnik, chairman of St. Josaphat’s restoration committee, after a recent re-dedication ceremony.

Already a provincial historic site, St. Josaphat’s Cathedral received the same honour from the City of Edmonton two years ago, along with a $500,000 grant. Financing also came from the Edmonton eparchy, the provincial government, corporate donors and community fundraising, among other sources. 

Motiuk said the work of Papirnik’s committee did not go unnoticed.

“The care and love with which the restoration committee undertook in overseeing the project is a testimony to their faith in God and in their respect for the pioneers who built the cathedral,” he said.

This is only the third restoration in the history of St. Josaphat’s. 

It’s especially significant for Papirnik, who worked on St. Josaphat’s first restoration as a teenager in 1969. His father Fred was in charge of the project at the time. 

St. Josaphat’s Cathedral was designed and built in the form of a cross (cruciform) with seven cupolas, the largest roughly 30 metres high. The cupolas symbolize the seven sacraments and the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. The church interior has three main parts: the vestibule, the nave (the main body of the church), as well as the sanctuary and altar area.

(Grandin Media)

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