Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church (Star-Peno)

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church (Star-Peno)

After reading about the history of this church, the phrase that comes to mind is, “It’s never easy, is it?”.

Early settlers, both Catholic and Orthodox were encouraged by their ministers to build a place of worship in the area and did so together, completely the first church in September, 1899. The church was consecrated by priests of both faiths and the original church was shared until 1901 when both groups wanted to use the church at the same time to celebrate Easter. Each side wanted the church and the issue was taken to court.

The local court in Start didn’t render a decision. In 1904, the court in Edmonton awarded the court to the Catholics. That decision was appealed, but dismissed in 1905 by the court of the Northwest Territories but later upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada who reversed the decision and awarded the church to the Orthodox congregation. That decision was appealed in 1907 to the Privy Council in England but was dismissed, upholding the Orthodox ownership.

In 1909, a local farmer then donated two parcels of land to build a Catholic Church and cemetery and work was completed in 1911 on a new church located about a half a mile away from this present church.

Unfortunately that second church burned to the ground ten years later in 1922. In 1926, work on a new church commenced on the land originally set aside for the cemetery. This third church was completed and consecrated in 1927.

The church’s interior was painted in 1930 by Peter Lipinski and remains the same to this day.

Source: “Lamont County’s Self-Guided Church Tours” booklet. Available online at:

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