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Obnova Club

Obnova, the Ukrainian Catholic student organization equivalent to the National Federation of Newman Clubs, was formed in L’viv, Ukraine in 1929. In 1934 Obnova, which means “renewal,” was incorporated into the International Movement of Catholic Students, Pax Romana. Obnova aimed to provide Ukrainian Catholic students a forum where they could acquire formation in Catholic principles of faith, ethics and morals. The first organizational meeting of Ukrainian Catholic students at the University of Saskatchewan was held on January 21, 1953, at the Newman Club. A temporary constitution was drawn up and a slate of officers appointed. The club selected the name “Sheptytsky Club,” and established its centre of operations at the Sheptytsky Institute. Members were mainly students enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan; but students attending Siast (Kelsey Campus), Saskatoon Business College, and other institutions of learning were also welcomed. Several of the members were in the work force or professions,but enjoyed associating with the students; some members were not Ukrainian or even Catholic, but were accepted if they chose to accept Obnova’s principles and to participate in its activities. The Obnova Club organized retreats, discussion groups, caroling, and communion breakfasts to promote the spiritual growth and development of the members. Cultural activities such as Ukrainian dancing, choir, and drama flourished. Social activities included dances, sporting events, tournaments, the annual formal graduation,and public speaking competitions. The Obnova Club ceased to exist some time in the mid-1980s.

William Gulka

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