Orthodox IX Parishes
This association comprises of 9 of the 22 parishes of the Russian Orthodox Churches in Alberta and Saskatchewan. These parishes are guided by the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia – His Holiness Kirill.
The association got its beginning in March 1994 when Andrew Belozer from Nisku parish arranged an informal meeting at their parish hall. It took until Jan. 31/1995 to become an officially registered association. The executive elected then was: President – Andrew Belozer, Vice – pres. Steve Dobko, and Sec/treasurer – Dennis Kuta. The parish priest at the time was Rev. Alexander Smediuk. In Dec. 1997 Rev. Smediuk was replaced by Rev. Igor Kisil, who is still very faithfully serving the nine parishes.
From the beginning the association’s main purpose was to supply the parish priest with a reliable automobile. Over the years this organization has done just that and has been quit successful in accomplishing their goal. A new car was again purchased in 2003. The association’s income is mainly from large catering functions (banquets, weddings). Various parish members all volunteer their time to make these functions very successful.
Other income is from any donations from any of the members of the nine parishes. The association has also helped pay for renovations done at the Bishop’s residence., where Rev. Kisil, his wife Matushka Natalia and their son Andrei also reside. Other undertakings of the association are to look after most of the car related expenses like regular maintenance, insurance, repairs, AMA membership and cellular phone. A recently purchased new computer is another item that was made available for Rev. Kisil – who is kept very busy using it for scheduling, new letters, and related internet items.
Presently after nine years of operation the association has had only one change in the executive, in 1999 Bob Wasieczko was elected as vice – president to replace Steve Dobko. The number of parishes has stayed at nine, even though some of them are down to a handful of members. With overall membership showing a decline, Rev. Kisil and Matushka Natalia are doing there best to keep the smaller parishes active.
The association has over the years brought the members of the nine parishes closer together. It shows that you can be successful if you work together.