In 1910 the first Ukrainian settlers began arriving in Saskatoon and its outlying areas. An organizational meeting of the Ukrainian Catholic Parish of St. George was held on September 29, 1912 at which time its first Executive was elected. That same year 40 people were registered as members.
The first church, a small wooden structure that had served the Roman Catholic parish of St. Paul on 22nd Street East and Spadina Crescent in Saskatoon, was purchased in 1917.
Building of Cathedral
Construction of the second, current church of the parish, was begun in 1939 and completed in 1943. The church is a massive masonry structure that stands on a high concrete basement measuring 104 x 90 feet with intersecting wings that are 30 feet wide.
Its architectural plan is a four-column, seven-domed, cruciform-shaped, Byzantine-style basilica with north, south and east apses.. The central area of the church is dominated by a large octagonal dome, which is reinforced by the arcades of the vaulted ceilings and is supported by four massive octagonal columns. Each side of the octagonal drums supporting the dome has two arched windows that collectively illuminate the dome.
The icons and artistic decoration of the church’s interior was done, between the period of 1950 and 1955, by the late Theodore Baran, a member of the parish; and the Iconostasis was added in 1991.
The church annually receives hundreds of visitors who are moved by its solemn and deeply spiritual atmosphere, and marvel at the beauty of its architecture and artistic decoration. These visitors include community and political leaders; students from the Saskatoon school and university systems; as well as eminent clergy from the Ukrainian and Roman Catholic churches and other Christian churches.
With the establishment of the Saskatoon Eparchy on April 7, 1951, the present church became a cathedral and, on May 3, 1951 witnessed the installation of its first bishop, Most Reverend Bishop Andrew Roborecki. Subsequently, the Cathedral has been the scene for the installation of three other bishops; Most Rev. Basil Filevich (1984), Most Rev. Cornelius Pasichny, OSBM (1996) and Most Rev. Michael Wirchar, C.Ss.R. The present Eparch is Most Rev. Bishop Bryan Bayda, C.Ss.R.
The Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of St. George equals other monumental buildings of Canada, in architectural and artistic expression.