Sheptytsky Institute History & the MSSS < HOME >
Sheptytsky Institute officially opened its doors as a residence for post-secondary training and education of Ukrainian Catholic students on August 16, 1953. On that day 3,000 people were in attendance at the official opening and participated in a day filled with blessings and prayers, dinner, displays and a concert. Please pray for all who have passed through the doors of the Institute – alumni , friends of our community, our supporters and benefactors.
Upon arrival to Canada, Ukrainian immigrants desired to be an integral part of the “new” society in their new homeland. They valued education and built many schools, churches and halls across the province. These became centers of growth and learning. In general, the local community provided an environment which fostered the preservation of culture, customs and traditions.
At the elementary level, the children attended the school in their community. For their high school years, students usually had to make arrangements to attend a high school which was located away from their home community. Some students may have had the good fortune to attend Catholic institutions of learning such as Sacred Heart Academy (a girls’ high school established 1917) and St. Joseph’s College (a boys’ high school established 1920) in Yorkton.
In 1935, the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood established the Markian Shashkevych Bursa, a humble home for boys attending university, Normal School, business college or high school in Saskatoon. In 1937, it was replaced by a much larger and more impressive facility at 304 – 4th Avenue North in Saskatoon. For the next 18 years this residence was home to many of those who rose to prominence in the armed forces, in professions, business and politics. There were mayors, MLAs, MPs, senators, doctors, superintendents, principals, all with Ukrainian roots, who stayed at the Markian Shashkevych Bursa.
After a time, the Bursa could not accommodate the sheer numbers of students who desired to stay there during their studies. New trends were also emerging in Canada; it was changing in character and composition. Once again the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood took up the challenge. In April, 1944, the Brotherhood issued a proclamation to build a new residence. In 1945, a site was purchased at College and Wiggins Avenues. With the arrival of His Excellency, Bishop Andrew Roborecki, in 1951, nearly $400,000 was raised through parishes, church organizations and private donations. Construction of the new Institute began in 1950, the cornerstone was laid in 1952, and the Metropolitan Sheptytsky Institute was officially opened in 1953. It could accommodate 70 students as well as a chapel with a choir loft and seating for 100, and a museum. It was also the headquarters of OBNOVA Club, a Ukrainian Catholic university students’ organization.
The photo on the left shows the construction of Sheptytsky Institute. Photo donated by S.Nahachewsky.
Early residence life. See Student Centre for links to pictures starting in 2002.
Gatherings at Sheptytsky Institute - Through the years included clergy and various other Eparchial groups.
The group of photos below are from a little packet of slides found in the residence office in 2002. If you know what event they are celebrating, the year, or any of the people please forward this information to the office!
Photos 4 & 5 are from 1963 Obnova Club Christmas program. (See 'Dutchak' photos below.)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
In 2010, Anthony P. Dutchak forwarded a treasure of archive photos from the "early days".
Click on each photo to read the captions he overlayed on the photo files as well as names of the many individuals he identified.
"This set of five photos is dedicated to those students that took residence at the bursa during the school year 1938-1939.
I am able to identify only my father in these photos. It is my hope that there may be other people that can identify individuals in this class.
That would be wonderful. I am sure that these people went on to contribute to the good of society and were indeed proud to be a part of the Bursa '38-'39."
"This group of photos originates from a Christmas program that the Obnova Club presented at St. George's Hall, circa '63.
Steve "the cook" (Deacon Steve) was a walking encyclopedia of skits and songs.
The program was aired on CFQC radio - and we had a very appreciative live audience!
The Obnova Club also did a few "yearly" performances at St. Thomas More. Eventually, these performances were curtailed due to lack of interest."
"Life in Residence! 1961 - 1964"
"One would be remiss, not to mention "Steve the Cook".
He was an integral part of the fabric of
"Life at Sheps" in those days.
I am aware that "them boys" had him
wired on occasion - but I believe his
vocation at that time opened the
"pearly gates" for him upon his arrival!
It is therefore appropriate to include
Deacon Steve's obituary in recognition
of his contribution to our life at the Institute!"
Thank-you Mr. Dutchak for this great collection of photos!
_ _ _ _ _ _ _
Metropolitan Sheptytsky Institute remained under the jurisdiction of the Episcopal Corporation of Saskatchewan until 1975. By the late 1960’s, increasing secularism and growing pluralism began to impose new values and new lifestyles on a traditionally Christian society. By 1974, the Institute began to experience financial difficulties. The structure itself was in need of major renovations and upgrading in order to conform with mandatory building codes. Bishop Roborecki summoned a meeting of the laity to deal with these matters. A Provisional Board was formed and assigned the task of assessing the situation and recommending the changes necessary to once again make the Institute a viable operation.
The Provisional Board recommended the creation of the Metropolitan Sheptytsky Society of Saskatchewan (MSSS), to be incorporated under the Societies Act of Saskatchewan. A 17-member board representing six regions of the province assumed responsibility for the Institute on December 1, 1975. It elected a 5-member Executive and several committees. An Operations Manager and an Executive Secretary were hired in 1976. These two positions were merged into one in 1982.
Prior to the extension of the second
floor over the chapel (1984), this was the artwork on the back wall of the sanctuary. It was painted in 1966 by iconographer Teodor Baran.
The 1978-79 school year was the final year in which Sheptytsky Institute was an all-male residence. During the 1979-80 school year, the Institute became co-ed.
From MSSS minutes of two 1980 meetings: "In his remarks, His Excellency Bishop A. Roborecki indicated that he is always pleased to attend Board of Directors Meetings, and hear the problems which may exist. …Naturally we run into problems and differences…We must realize that we are dealing with young men and women, and very often patience is required in dealing with their demands. His Excellency stated that no other Institute is trying as hard to mold character and develop future leaders with emphasis on Christian Life and Love of Mankind as does Sheptytsky Institute. For this effort, the Metropolitan Sheptytsky Society and Sheptytsky Institute must be complimented. His Excellency sincerely thanked the Directors for their interest, energy and time spent developing future leaders who will play an important role in our Ukrainian Catholic Community as are so many previous graduates of Sheptytsky Institute assuming their responsibilities in our Society at present. …He commended the Management Committee and the Board of Directors for a job well-done…His Excellency stated that our resident students will some day look back on their stay at Sheptytsky Institute and will appreciate what has been done for them.”
The Institute began generating revenues through Summer Camps and programs. In 1984, the second floor was extended from the choir loft, over the entire chapel, to house a library. Two rooms were provided for the Ukrainian Catholic Religious Education Centre, the resource center and educational-extension branch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Saskatchewan. The museum was moved to its own premises near St. George’s Cathedral. During this time, a modernization of the kitchen facilities enhanced the Institute’s profile. The Religious Education Centre eventually assumed the space occupied by the library.
In 1998, the Metropolitan Sheptytsky Society and St. Thomas More College entered into a Management Agreement whereby the College assumed the management functions of the Institute. The Institute Board and the Eparchy of Saskatoon continued to arrange and oversee cultural-heritage initiatives and spiritual programs such as Campus Pastoral Ministry for the residents.
Dan Marciniuk served as Manager from 1978
until his retirement in 1998.
In September, 2002, the Management Agreement was replaced with a Letter of Understanding, whereby the Institute and the College would continue to move together in a number of areas including campus pastoral ministry, technology, recruitment and other areas of mutual interest. The Institute management was once again in the hands of the Metropolitan Sheptytsky Board. Ms. Sylvia Baran was hired as General Manager.
In 2010, the Agreement between the MSSS and the Eparchy expired and was not renewed by the Eparchy. MSSS Management responsibilities of Sheptytsky Institute officially ceased May 15th, 2010 and management responsibilities reverted back to the Ukrainian Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saskatchewan.
Showing the development of the Ukrainian Catholic community and its relation to what has become Sheptytsky Institute. The period from 1975 to 2010 also includes MSSS involvement specific to Sheptytsky Institute.
Ukrainian immigration (First Wave) to Canada begins
Sacred Heart Academy (Yorkton) opens
St. Joseph’s College (Yorkton) opens
Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood formed (in Saskatchewan)
Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood decides to establish a bursa
Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood incorporated
Markian Shaskkevych Bursa established in the former Belmont Hotel
Markian Shashkevych Bursa moved to 304 – 4th Avenue North (opposite the present H.M.C.S. Unicorn)
Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada formed
Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky died on November 1st
Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood decided to replace the present Bursa
6 lots purchased on College Drive for $1,650.00
Construction of Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky Institute begins
Andrew Roborecki appointed Exarch of Saskatoon
October 5th – cornerstone of Sheptytsky Institute laid
August 16th - Sheptytsky Institute officially opened
Markian Shashkevych Bursa closed
Episcopal Corporation of Saskatchewan formed and registered
His Excellency, Rt. Rev. Andrew Roborecki consecrated and installed as Eparch (Bishop) of Saskatoon
March – Metropolitan Sheptytsky Society of Saskatchewan (MSSS) is incorporated
December 1st – Metropolitan Sheptytsky Society assumes control of Sheptytsky Institute on behalf of the Episcopal Corporation of Saskatchewan. The Agreement "...assigns to the [MSSS]... total responsibility, management and operations of the said Institute..."
Final year that Sheptytsky Institute is a totally male residence
Sheptytsky Institute becomes co-ed
Museum discontinued. (Relocated at 201 Avenue M South)
Major renovations take place including: Modernizing the kitchen; replacing windows throughout the building
In addition to the offering of accommodation for spring and summer session students, summer business begins to include sporting groups and U of S summer school participants and various sporting camps
A Library is added by constructing a floor extension from the choir loft in the Chapel to the north wall of the building, thereby creating a large room.
Ukrainian Catholic Religious Education Centre opens
New double garage built at the back of the Institute to provide storage space.
Management Agreement signed with St. Thomas More College, Ukrainian Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saskatchewan and the MSSS
Metropolitan Sheptytsky Society of Saskatchewan (MSSS) lends support to the creation of the Prairie Centre for Ukrainian Heritage (PCUH)
Major renovations to interior of Sheptytsky Institute include dropped ceilings, carpeting throughout, washrooms are upgraded
Campus Pastoral Minister added to Sheptytsky Institute staff
June 21st, 22nd & 23rd - 50th Anniversary Reunion
September 15th, Metropolitan Sheptytsky Society resumes management of Sheptytsky Institute. A Letter of Understanding replaces the Management Agreement.
July, 2003 - Eparchial Youth Coordinator office moved from Eparchial Religious Education Centre to its own office on the lower level, next to the Residence Office.
August 16, 2003 - Divine Liturgy commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the official opening of the Institute.
July 3, 2004 - Divine Liturgy and social held to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of Sheptytsky Institute as a co-ed residence.
A series of Festal Icons were mounted on the walls of the Chapel.
Icons of the Blessed Mother of God and Christ the Teacher were donated by the writer, T. Zinkowski
The Chapel was improved with the addition of appropriate coverings for the altar and tetrapod
Renovations to the kitchen include stainless steel double sink unit and island.
New Building Manager and Food Services staff hired.
Ukrainian Catholic Episcopal Corporation (UCEC) take control of two residence rooms to provide UCREC storage space and a Family Life Office. The UCEC also designates the meeting room for its restricted use, and makes arrangements to coordinate bookings for residents, the MSSS and others. The UCEC relocates the Ministry office to one of the larger spaces and, the Family Life Office moves from its original location in the UCREC to the former Ministry office space.
Negotiations begin between MSSS representatives, the Bishop and his Consultors, to revise the Agreement and building Lease.
The Eparchy expressed a desire to change existing management arrangements with MSSS, to allow for a new Eparchial vision. Bishop Bryan’s letter to the MSSS Board, dated June 30, 2009, stated that: "The Ukrainian Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saskatchewan (Eparchy) does not have confidence that the Metropolitan Sheptytsky Society of Saskatchewan (Society) has been able to adapt to the needs recognized by the Eparchy among the faithful people. The Eparchy wants to use a greater portion of this building it owns to do this work mandated by the Sobor Document of 2005. Certainly MSSS is open to new ways of doing this but not to the extent the Consultors and the Bishop find appropriate. Over the last six months the Eparchy has stated how this might develop but the MSSS Board continues to have reservations..."
The Eparchy presented MSSS with a Revised Operating Agreement which proposed i) co-management by the Eparchy and MSSS, and ii) one-year leases rather than a longer term lease.
MSSS rejected the Revised Operating Agreement, due to the fact that i) the new agreement would not allow MSSS “unfettered administrative and financial control with all powers associated therewith” (Agreement); and ii) the new agreement would create a breach of The Non-profit Corporations Act, 1995, for the MSSS.
The Agreement between the MSSS and the Eparchy expired and was not renewed by the Eparchy. MSSS Management responsibilities of Sheptytsky Institute officially cease May 15th, 2010. Management responsibilities revert back to the Ukrainian Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saskatchewan.
Contents of this page prepared by the MSSS; Photos on this page are property ofMSSS.