Holy trinity

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church welcomes new priest from Alberta

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, located at 725 Ninth Avenue Southwest, has served the community of Moose Jaw for over 100 years.

The Very Reverend Father Gerasim Power has been appointed priest in charge of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, succeeding Archpriest Father John Bingham, who retired after 11 years as head of the parish.

Archbishop Irénée Rochon, Archbishop of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America, appointed Power pastor on December 1, 2021.

The parish announced the new appointment recently.

“Since arriving in Moose Jaw, I have found the people of the parish and town very welcoming, and I look forward to serving the parish and community and welcoming people to church and the Christ,” Power said.

Power was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and became a priest in 1986 before being tonsured – his head shaved – as a monk in 2011. He has served parishes in British Columbia and Alberta, with his most recent position as a priest ministering to eight small parishes in northern Alberta.

While there, Power became a volunteer firefighter and later served as the department’s chaplain. He is now a member of the Federation of Fire Chaplains — an international organization — and was a member of the Alberta Critical Incident Stress Management Team.

“I am very happy to be here in Moose Jaw and I look forward to being a Saskatchewanian for life,” he added.

Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, located at 725 Ninth Avenue Southwest, has served the community of Moose Jaw for over 100 years.

In 1913, a group of Orthodox bought land from a farmer near the top of a hill at the south end of Moose Jaw and built the town’s first Orthodox church. The group later named the church after the Holy Trinity, consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

According to the parish, the first written records date from 1914, with financial reports recorded in the Cyrillic alphabet. Records of baptisms, marriages and funerals – also written in Cyrillic – also exist from 1918 to 1967. However, the records have been written in English since 1967.

The church has maintained a list of all parish priests over the past century. Many priests served the church before the arrival of Archpriest Svetislav Balevich in 1967; he served until 2002.

Father Bingham arrived in 2010 and became the fourth most senior priest, serving until December 1, 2021.

A fire destroyed the original building in 1930, but the parishioners rebuilt the church. In the late 1950s, a generous parishioner, Fyodor Kubiak, donated two plots of land adjacent to the church, and a priest’s residence and hall were built.

The hall still bears Kubiak’s name. Meanwhile, the hall has held many events over the years, as it has become a popular rental venue and a venue for special parish activities.

In 2012, the parish sold the hall and the basement of the church was renovated to provide space for fellowship and meals. A vertical lift was also added, and with an existing exterior ramp, the church became accessible to all.

The church celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013 with a visit from Archbishop Irenaeus, a celebratory liturgy, and a dinner at the Cosmo Senior Citizens Center which was attended by many current and past parishioners. Many artifacts collected over the years were also displayed.

“The church is blessed with people of all generations and many ethnic roots,” the parish added, “and opens its doors to all who seek Christ.”