On Bright Monday, April 29th 2019, St. John's celebrated the blessing for beginning of construction and then the groundbreaking for our new parish hall.
Since the Odessa Hall was closed in September, 2011, the parishioners, led by the parish council and building committee, have worked diligently to plan and fund-raise for the building of a new parish community and cultural centre. Following the Divine Liturgy, everyone present processed outside to the festive singing of the Paschal Troparion, and Fr. Bohdan, accompanied by the parish choir, conducted the service of blessing. Following this parish council Vice-president Natalie Prychitko welcomed all present, and invited the dignitaries present to say a few words. Regional Chair John Henry congratulated the parish on this great accomplishment, Councillor Bob Chapman offered greetings on behalf of the city of Oshawa, and former Councillor Nester Pidwerbecki, a great friend of our parish for many decades and a devoted supporter of this project, also expressed his delight that the hall is finally being built. Taras Pidzamecky, CEO of the Ukrainian Credit Union, expressed his joy and the support of the Credit Union, and we were also honoured with the presence of both the contractor, John Fayer (also a great friend of the parish) as well as Debbie Armstrong and Steve Cattell, owners of the Armstrong Funeral Home in Oshawa, our largest business sponsor and great benefactors to both our parish and the entire Ukrainian Community in the Oshawa area.
Following the groundbreaking ceremony everyone proceeded to the Fellowship Room under the Church for an informal reception and snacks, sponsored by one of our original parishioners from the founding of the parish in 1935, Julie Dobroshinsky.
With the help of God, the cooperation of the municipal and provincial authorities, and the hard work of Fayer Construction we expect the hall to be finished and ready for use by the end of this year.
Due to the great generosity of our parishioners, we have been able to raise enough money to build the hall. But we will stil need extra funds to complete the paving and landscaping. If you would like to help us please feel free to send your donation marked "Building Fund" to St. John the Baptist UOC, 35 Bloor St. East, Oshawa, Ontario, L1H 3L9. Better yet, visit us for a service and offer your donation in person. First and foremost, we ask your heartfelt prayers for the safe and successful completion of this project!