Decision on church's future awaits harvest
The Edmonton Journal
Published: 2:05 am
When the harvest is in, Ukrainian Catholic parishioners in Hilliard will decide whether to rebuild their historic church, which was destroyed last month when struck by lightning.
By September, members of St. Demetro Ukrainian Catholic Church should know whether they will receive insurance money for the fire that virtually wiped out their century-old parish, Edmonton-based Bishop David Motiuk says.
"One can appreciate the sensitivity of losing such a centre of prayer," Motiuk says.
Fire investigators believe the church's steeple was struck by lightning early July 29.
The 3:30 a.m. lightning strike smouldered in the rooftop. By 8 a.m. the church was engulfed in flames. Volunteer firefighters from nearby Mundare were able to save the church's vestibule.
Ukrainian settlers worked to build the church for more than 10 years, finishing it in the 1920s.
Motiuk says he spoke to parishioners this week, and a general meeting will be organized at some point next month.
"It's a farming community. (We want to) make sure they've got their crops off."
Hilliard is about 70 kilometres east of Edmonton.