Nativity of St John the Baptist parish, Thorsby

In 1907 the first church of St. Nicholas was built on 10 acres of land donated by the Government: 5 km. south-west from Thorsby. The first parish priest who blessed the church and the cemetery was Fr. Matthew Hura, OSBM. After three years as a Ukrainian Catholic Church the church land was taken over by the Orthodox. Ukrainian Catholics purchased 2 acres of land 5 km. east of Thorsby (SW 13-49-28-4) and built a church dedicating it to “Nativity of St. John Baptist”. In 1931 the parishioners purchased a parcel in the town (#5 Blk.1, Pl. 6338 E.T.) and transported the whole church structure to the new place. In 1959 the decision was made to build a new church: construction started in 1961 and was completed in 1969. On July 7 (the feast day) the church was consecrated by Bishop Neil Savaryn and Fr. Raphael Melnyk. The Parish has two cemeteries. On October 26, 1980 a monument was placed in front of the church commemorating 75 th anniversary of the Province of Alberta. Services were held once a month by the following Basilian Fathers: Fr. Matthew Hura, Fr. Basil Ladyka, Fr. John Teodorovych, Fr. Sophron Diakowich, Fr. Sozont Dydyk, Fr. Naucratius Kryzanowsky, Fr. George Zydan, Fr. Basil Kaminetsky, Fr. Juvenalis Slota, Fr. Paul Hewko, Fr. Gregory Chmilar, Fr. Boniface Sloboda, Fr. Dionisius Dzygolyk (1953), , Fr. Leontij Yakubow (1954), Fr. Martin Pryma (1955), Fr. Methodius Hannas, Fr. Sebastian Kurylo, Fr. Borys (Paul) Lysak (1956- ), Fr. Myron Chimy (1967-1971), Fr. Sylvester Kuzel (1985)Fr. John Sembrat (-2013), Fr. Greg Faryna (2013-2017), Fr. Mark Bayrock (2017-).