Congregation Agudas Israel
715 McKinnon Avenue
At the beginning of the 20th century, many Jews fled to Western Canada from their native homelands in Europe. During this time, the Saskatoon community was very small. The first religious ceremony was held in a rented house. In 1919, a new synagogue was built on the corner of Avenue F and 21st Street. In the same year, a Hebrew school opened on Avenue I and 19th Street, and was later replaced by a Hebrew school on Avenue F and 21st street.
Despite consisting of only a handful of individuals at the turn of the century, the Saskatoon Jewish Community continued to grow. The concept of a Jewish community centre was on the rise in Saskatoon in the 1950s. There were many reasons behind the push for a Jewish Community Centre. The first reason is that after World War II, the Jewish community experienced a huge growth in numbers. Another reason was the decreasing nature of the synagogue on Avenue F and 21st Street. Also, while the majority of the Jewish population lived on the west side in the early 1900s, most lived on the east side by the 1950s.
The land of the community centre was originally slated to become a park and playground. However, Mayor Sidney Buckwold, a member of the Jewish community and the city’s real estate committee, fought to keep the Jewish community. On July 7, 1954 the city council real estate committee recommended that 150 of the 500-foot frontage be sold to the synagogue for $8,235. City council accepted this recommendation and the rest of the property was designated a park and playground.
The sod turning ceremony for the new synagogue occurred on May 15, 1957. Congregation Agudas Israel officially opened its doors in 1958 at 715 McKinnon Avenue. Mayor Sidney L. Buckwold, the only Jewish Saskatoon mayor, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony. The synagogue consists of a sanctuary, social hall, Hebrew school, and an extra room used for the needs of the community. The new synagogue differed from the old synagogue in a few ways. English was used for the majority of the service instead of Yiddish. Fundraising and taking collections for charity at funerals and other ceremonies were discontinued, and mixed seating for both men and women was introduced. The celebration of Bat Mitzvahs at the synagogue began in 1962. On June 14, 1965 the Congregation Agudas Israel Board of Trustees were given the power to close the synagogue on Avenue F and 21st Street. Today, the facility still operates as a community centre that serves the religious, educational, and social needs of the community.
If you would like to know more about Congregation Agudas Israel, please visit the following link: http://agudasisrael.org/
This information was gathered from the following sources:
– Congregation Agudas Israel (1998). Heritage and History: The Saskatoon Jewish Community. Congregation Agudas Israel. Saskatoon.
– Rose, G. (n.d.). Agudas Israel Synagogue/Jewish Community Centre. In The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Retrieved from http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/agudas_israel_synagogue__jewish_community_centre.html
Congregation Shir Chadash
610 Clarence Avenue South
Congregation Shir Chadash was formed on March 6, 2000. It is located in the Albert Community Centre at 610 Clarence Avenue South. The first Rabbi of the Congregation was Rabbi Steven Kaplan, who served from 2000 until 2003. Services are now led by members of the Congregation or by invited spiritual leaders. “Shir Chadash” means “A New Song” and guests are welcome to come and share Jewish holidays, mitzvot, and other social events.
The Congregation consists of approximately 30 to 50 members. Full Jewish Sabbath services are offered weekly on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings. Adult Hebrew classes are held weekly. The Congregation produces a bi-monthly newsletter that outlines the activities and upcoming events. Congregation Shir Chadash also provides full funeral and cemetery services. In March 2000, the Congregation Shir Chadash cemetery was consecrated. It is located in a section of Woodlawn Cemetery. Gates surround this portion of the cemetery.
Congregation Shir Chadash houses the Rachel Neumann Memorial Library, commemorating a member of the Congregation. The library contains books, games, music, and movies. Members can borrow and donate to the collection.
If you would like to know more about Congregation Shir Chadash and the services they offer, please visit the following link: http://www.shirchadash.com/
This information was gathered from the following source:
– Congregation Shir Chadash (n.d.). Our History and More. Retrieved from
Our Lady of Lourdes
1235 12th Street East
Our Lady of Lourdes Parish is a daughter of St. Joseph’s Church. On September 16, 1963, Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel and Auditorium officially opened and was blessed by Bishop Francis J. Klein. The architects were Webster, Forrester, & Scott and the contractor was Boychuk Construction Company. Originally, Our Lady of Lourdes was under the direction of St. Joseph’s Parish and served by priests from St. Joseph’s Church. However, with the fast growing community, it became apparent that the Our Lady of Lourdes chapel population was big enough to become a parish.
Our Lady of Lourdes received official parish designation on August 15, 1965. In September 1965, the Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes was officially formed. With this designation, Our Lady of Lourdes became a full parish under the Episcopal Corporation of Saskatoon and gained rights to perform marriages, christenings, and burials. The first Parish Priest of Our Lady of Lourdes was Father Donald J. McIntosh. On October 10, 1965, a property on the corner of 12th Street East and Wiggins Avenue was purchased and used as a rectory. The Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Women’s League Council was organized on October 19, 1965 with 45 members. The Parish Council was formed in 1966.
The parish was built to support the vastly growing community at St. Joseph’s Church. Prior to the summer of 1962, there was a building boom along 12th Street East extending to the other side of 8th Street (now known as Grovesnor Park). To accommodate the growing number of parish members, St. Joseph’s Church on the corner of 8th Street and Broadway was not expanded because this would have meant securing additional occupied properties near the church and individuals would still have to travel a far distance to attend services. Instead, the idea of establishing a chapel on the corner of 12th Street East and Wiggins Avenue was proposed. Not only would the church accommodate the overflow of crowds, but access to the church would be easier for individuals moving into the new Grovesnor Park area. Another reason behind the proposed site was the fact that the Episcopal Corporation of Saskatoon owned two houses along the schoolyard property of Bishop Murray School.
In May 1984, a bronze sculpture called “Our Lady of Prairie” was dedicated to the parish. It was created by Martensville artist Bill Epp and commissioned by the parish.
The chapel seats approximately 300 people and has doors that open up into the Bishop Murray High School gymnasium. The parish and the school share the gymnasium and a fully equipped kitchen area.
For information on the services and programs offered at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, please call 1-306-343-0289 or visit http://saskatoonrcdiocese.com/parish/our-lady-lourdes.
This information was gathered from the following source:
– Our Lady of Lourdes Parish (1990). Our Lady of Lourdes Parish 25th Anniversary Album.
Saskatoon: Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church
1202 11th Street East
Located on the corner of 10th Street East and Munroe Ave, Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church is an Eastern Byzantine Catholic Church. It is one of three Ukrainian Catholic Churches in the City of Saskatoon. It is currently the largest parish within the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatchewan.
The church was built during a time when many Ukrainian Catholics were moving into the city from rural areas. St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, located on the west side of Saskatoon, could not accommodate the increasing numbers. In 1953, interest grew in establishing a new parish in Nutana. Several different sites were examined. With the blessings of Bishop Andrew Roborecki, the present location was chosen and purchased in 1954. The Redemptorists, a religious order of priests and brothers, have provided pastoral care to the parish virtually from day one. The first pastor of Saints Peter and Paul was Father Vladimir Korba, CSsR.
On Sunday, June 27, 1954, about 250 people attended the sod turning for the new church. Construction of the church came in stages. Starting in November 1955, for the next six years, the congregation worshipped in what came to be known as the “basement church”.
On December 17, 1961, the upper church was blessed by Bishop Andrew Roborecki. Following this special moment, the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated. The new church became a reality because of the efforts and sacrifices of many parishioners. It was built by the construction firm W.C. Wells Construction. The architects were Kerr, Cullingworth, Riches and Associates.
Entering the church of Saints Peter and Paul, one encounters a special form of sacred art called iconography. Icons have been described as “windows to heaven”. Icons are physically painted, but spiritually they are “prayed”.
One of the first icons in the new church was that of Saints Peter and Paul. It was painted in 1963 by the well-known iconographer, Theodore Baran (1911-1995). It hung in the church for many years. Today it can be seen in the sacristy of the church. A major project to complete the interior of the church took place in 1976. The world-renowned iconographer, Siatoslav Hordynsky (1906-1993) was entrusted with this task. Today the church’s atmosphere of prayer is enhanced by the 26 icons created by Hordynsky. Also within the church are three colorful stained glass windows. The stained glass windows, which adorn the interior entrance of the church, were created by parishioner and local Saskatoon artist, Harvey Heshka.
Throughout the years, many church leaders have visited Saints Peter and Paul, most recently, Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk from Ukraine in September 2012. Seven icons, painted by the iconographer Marianna Savaryn, were commissioned for this occasion and blessed by the Patriarch.
The parish rectory, located directly north of the church on the corner of 11th Street East and Munroe Ave, houses both the parish offices and the priests’ residence. For more information regarding the parish please phone 306.343.6516 or visit the parish website, http://www.sspp.ca/
Information provided by Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church.