Saint Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church
515 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

   Parish Information
      History
      Ukrainian Byzantine Rite
      Patron Saint
      Priests
      Architecture

First Settlers

1878 - The first immigrants from Ukraine Podcarpatska Rus' came to Minnesota.

1887 - Rev. Fr. John Woliansky, the first Ukrainian Catholic priest in America, came from Shanandoah Pennslyvania to celebrate the first Byzantine Liturgy in Minneapolis. Father Woliansky offered the Liturgy in a private home in northeast Minneapolis because he was not able to obtain permission to say the Divine Liturgy in a Latin rite church.

1906 - The Podcarpathian Rusian (Ruthenians) established St. John the Baptist Greek Catholic Church. Before this church, the Eastern Rite Catholics attended Latin Rite Catholic churches.

1907 - 20 families of Ukrainian ancestry are members of St. John the Baptist Greek Catholic Church.

1908 - His Excellency Rev. Sotere Ortynsky, the first Byzantine rite Bishop in America, conducted a mission in Minneapolis.

1912 - Michael Husak, Nicholas Mandzen and Timothy Wozniak met to discuss establishing the first Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish in Minneapolis for the around 50 Ukrainian families in the area.

1913 - Saint Constantine's Ukrainian Catholic Parish was officially established. On January 1st, the Reverend Constantine Kurylo celebrated the Divine Liturgy in a rented hall on the corner of 22nd Avenue and 5th Street Northeast. In June, the church committee purchased the lot on the corner of 6th and University Avenues. On August 17, 1913, the cornerstone was blessed and laid by the Most Rev. John Ireland. The church and parish were placed under the patronage of Saint Constantine and his mother, Saint Helena. Fr Kurylo was the first pastor and remained at the church for a few months. Fr. Anthony Ulanitsky was the 2nd pastor, again only for a few months.

1914 - Fr. Emil Bartosh becomes the 3rd pastor in March. His tenure was short, as he died one month later on April 15, 1914. Fr. Leo Chapelsky became pastor.

1925 - The post years of World War 1 saw a rise of Ukrainian patriotism. Unrest in western Ukraine increased the feeling, causing tensions in America among Ukrainian immigrants. This caused a division in the membership and many left the church to join the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church. For 3 1/2 years following this split, there was no resident pastor. The parish needs were administered by the pastors of St. John Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church.

1936 - Fr. Walter Bilynsky becomes pastor and the parish enters a time of rejuvenation.

1938 - Fr Stephen Hrynuch becomes pastor.

1940s - Fr. Stephen Shymansky becomes pastor.

1943 - The final payment on the church mortgage was made on February 2. At this time, the Gregorian calendar was adopted. The Julian calendar was used in Ukraine. In December, Fr. John Stock was pastor.

1945 - Fr. Bohdan Olesh succeeds Fr. Stock.

1946 - Fr. Peter Leskiw becomes pastor on August 1.

1950 - Fr. Theofil Kalynych is assigned to the parish as the first assistant pastor.

1954 - Fr. Wolodymyr Smulka becomes assistant pastor. He organized and served the parish of St. Stephen in St. Paul.

1956 - Ground was broken for construction of the parochial school on April 8. The school has 5 classrooms, an office and an auditorium.

1958 - Fr. R. Hanas assumes the duties of the assistant pastor.

1959 - Fr. Leo Dorosz becomes assistant pastor.

1961 - On July 14 Pope John XXIII signed the Papal Bull erecting the Diocese of St. Nicholas in Chicago for Ukrainian Catholics. The diocese/eparchy was established in the Metropolia of Philadelphia.

1962 - His Excellency, Bishop Joroslav Gabro, from the newly created diocese of St. Nicholas in Chicago visits in May. He solemnly invested the Very Rev. Monsignor Peter Leskiw as a papal Chamberlain, having been appointed by His Holiness Pope John XXIII.

1963 - The school mortgage is liquidated.

1964 - the Very Reverend Monsignor Stephen V. Knapp, Phd, becomes pastor on October 20.

1968 - 4 homes were purchased on University and 5th Avenues for the site of the new church.

1969 - Architects Hills, Gilbertson, Fisher and Born drew preliminary sketches of the current church in the Byzantine style.

1970 - The grounds for the new church were blessed by His Excellency Bishop Jaroslav Gabro on November 1.

1972 - On October 22, the new church, rectory and art gallery were solemnly blessed by the Bishop Most Rev. Jaroslav Gabro

1973 - Josyf Cardinal Slipyj, Primate of Ukrainian Catholics visited and officially dedicated the art gallery which is named for him. The Primate also bestowed on Msgr. Knapp the title of Canon.

1978 - On November 1, Msgr. Knapp becomes Mitred Archpriest - the highest distinction for a priest in the Eastern Rite church

1980 - Sunday, May 18, the mortgage for the new church was burnt.

1985 - The house next to the school was purchased for the Sisters

1988 - Millenium of the Baptism of Ukraine and the 75th Anniversary of St. Constantine's Ukrainian Catholic Church.

1989 - His Eminence Myroslaw Ivan Lubachivsky, the Primate of the Ukrainian Catholic Church visited our parish on June 3rd and 4th. Deacon John Hricko was ordained by Bishop Lotocky in Chicago on Sunday, August 13. Father John celebrated his first Divine Liturgy at St. Constantine's on Sunday August 21. A special celebration honoring Msgr Knapp's 25th anniversary as pastor was held on October 20.

1992 - The Very Reverend Father Canon Michael Stelmach becomes pastor.