Fate of old Ukrainian church to be decided this weekend

Parishioners are expected to decide this weekend whether to save an 89-year-old Ukrainian Catholic Church in Lamont County.

The Spaca Moskalyk Ukrainian Church near Mundare has an unstable foundation which engineers believe could cause the wooden structure to collapse.

Repairs are estimated to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The building was supposed to be destroyed in a controlled burn last month but an effort has been underway to save it.

Cliff Moroziuk, the parishioner leading the preservation effort, says a company has offered to do the foundation work for free. He’s hoping the burn can be put off for six months.

“So that a team could be put in place to look at raising funds to do the rest of the repairs that are required to the church,” he said.

Not everyone agrees the money would be well-spent.

Bishop David Motiuk from Ukrainian Catholic Church in Alberta says the funds could be better used to help people in need.

“The building itself will not be used for liturgical services,” he said. “This is a lot of money invested to ensure that the exterior is in good condition and the roof isn't going to deteriorate.

“Really I'm asking the community to do some soul searching.”

Moroziuk hopes those who signed a petition to save the church will come to the meeting in Mundare on Saturday to show their support.

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