Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada

The Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada came into existence on July 14, 1932, in Regina, Saskatchewan in response to the 1929 decision of the J.T.M. Anderson government which forbade the teaching of religion in schools and the banning of visitations to schools by Catholic priests and nuns. Catholic trustees, including Ukrainian Catholic trustees, gathered in Regina to create the Catholic School Trustees. The Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada followed. The Brotherhood was concerned with the teaching of religion in schools, organizing Ukrainian teachers in Saskatchewan, and creating an umbrella organization to which all Ukrainian Catholics and their organizations could belong and be represented. The first Convention was held at the Prosvita Hall adjacent to St. George’s Cathedral in Saskatoon on December 28–29, 1932. The first constitution was adopted at this time. It identified the four aims that guide the Brotherhood’s endeavours: Catholic faith, Ukrainian culture, Canadian citizenship, and social development.

The years 1932–35 saw an explosion in the number of branches created. The majority of these were in Saskatchewan. Since 1932, Brotherhood members have contributed to their communities locally, nationally and internationally by protecting the rights of individuals, safeguarding the Ukrainian Catholic Church from political interference, and promoting the use of the Ukrainian language. The Brotherhood is active in each eparchy in Canada and operates at three levels: branch, eparchial, and national.

In addition, the Brotherhood was instrumental in the organization of the Markian Shashkevych Bursa (1935–53) and the construction of the Metropolitan Sheptytsky Institute, a co-ed student residence in Saskatoon. Quarterly Eparchial meeting are held, with Eparchial and National Conventions held every three years on a staggered rotation. The four aims that inspired and guided the Brotherhood at its inception continue to give the movement purpose and direction. In 2005 there were five branches in Saskatchewan: Saskatoon, Regina (two), Yorkton and Canora.

William Gulka