of the arrival of
Father Athanasius Filipow, OSBM
On January 13, 1905, Father Athanasius Filipow, OSBM arrived in Beaverlake, Alberta from Austrian Galicia (today's Western Ukraine). He had been was summoned to replace the first Basilian missionary to Canada, Fr. Platonides Filas, OSBM, who had been elected Superior of the Basilian Order and was returning to Lviv to assume his duties.
Father Athanasius had already arrived in Winnipeg on January 6, celebrateing Christmas 1905 (January 7) with the Basilians at St. Nicholas Church. From there, he proceeded to his assignment at Beaverlake (today Mundare), Alberta (1905-1907). Subsequently, he was assigned to St. Nicholas Parish in Winnipeg, where he served as Parish Priest from 1907-1922 and from 1924-1933; a total of 23 years. Father Filipow was one of our longest-serving Pastors.
Father Filipow was also the initiator of the Apostleship of Prayer, the devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, among the Ukrainian Catholics in Canada (December 22, 1905). He was a zealous missionary and unfailing pastor in a time of great austerity and danger to the Catholic Faith of our people. Following on the work of Father Matthew Hura, Filipow was a promoter of Ukrainian cultural heritage, as a zelous organizer and supporter of St. Nicholas School and as president of "Prosvita" reading Association (1907-1911).
In 1933, Father was appointed Superior of the Mundare Monastery, where he had begun his mission in 1905. He died there in 1937, the same year that the Basilians of St. Nicholas Church established Holy Family Cemetery. That year, a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was erected in his memory, at Holy Family Cemetery. This statue was given a new base and moved to its current position, in the middle of the cemetery, in 1959.
In 1985, the Knights of Columbus established a Chapter at St. Nicholas Parish. They chose Father Filipow as their namesake.
A Divine Liturgy was celebrated on January 13. 2005, commemorating the centennial of Fr. Filipow's arrival. At that Liturgy, a marble photograph of Filipow was blessed and later placed in the cemetery memorial.
Panachyda for Fr. Filipow was celebrated on October 1, 2005 at Holy Family Cemetery. Present were Basilian Fathers, Sister Servant of Mary Immaculate, members of the KofC Fr. Filipow Council and their spouses and Matthew Delande & family. On this occasion, an inscription on the resevrse side of the statue of the Sacred Heart, designed by Delande Memorials and donated by KofC Fr. Filipow Council & parishioners, was blessed.
To commemorate the centenary of Fr. Filipow founding the Apostleship of Prayer among the Ukrainians in Canada, Moleben to the Sacred Heart was celebrated on December 2, 2005, during St. Nicholas Parish Mission.
Fr. Athanasius McVay, OSBM
Blessed Nykyta Budka & Father Athanasius
Blessing of All Saint Cemetery, 1920