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]Obituary for Monsignor Dr. Lev Chayka
Jan. 05, 1923- Mar. 04, 2022
Monsignor Dr. Lev Chayka peacefully passed into the arms of his Saviour, Jesus Christ on Thursday, March 4th 2022.
Predeceased by his loving parents, Gregory and Olena (Lokshyn)and his sisters Maria Lachowich and Olga Hawryluk. He will be lovingly remembered by his many cousins, nephews and nieces, friends, parishioners, and all of his Religious Brothers and Sisters, Ukrainian, French-Canadian and all those with whom he shared his life and work.
In 1948, Msgr Lev Chayka arrived in Canada through invitation by his uncle Dmytro Chajka of Beamsville. He continued his education in French and was consecrated a Ukrainian Catholic priest in Toronto in 1952. Due to his fluency in French, Bishop Isidor Borecky assigned him as “Pretre Fondateur” to the far northern mining communities in Abitibi-Timiscaming.
His aim was always to serve and build-up the Ukrainian Catholic Community in Canada, particularly among the Ukrainian immigrants in the mining towns of the North. He served his flock faithfully from his arrival in 1954 to 2022. He was the energetic, moving force who organized and even physically participated in the building of the first, beautiful Ukrainian Catholic Churches in Northern Quebec. He used the famous architect, Ruh, to design his churches; HOLY PROTECTION in Val d’Or, and CHRIST the KING in Rouyn. He also oversaw the complete “rebuild” of St. Vladimir’s in Kirkland Lake where he served for years.
He travelled countless miles (over 500 km a Sunday) to serve the needs of his faithful. He used television and a weekly Radio Canada program for 50 years, to bring Divine Liturgies, Ukrainian culture, music, and news to those living in remote settlements and missions across the Northern areas of Quebec and Ontario. He became known as the VOICE of the UKRAINIAN COMMUNITY.
Monsignor Lev served his faithful with all of his effort! He was involved physically in the building of the churches and was often found with workers’ tools getting the work going. He was a talented motivator and communicator, which was evident in his letter-writing and parishioner organizing. He focused on youth engagement by teaching them their Ukrainian culture and customs, Catechism, songs, music and dancing, scouting, reading and writing, and Ukrainian history. He loved to showcase the beauty of their culture to others and at Christmas he would take them caroling to all the houses.
During his last 5 years of life, he wrote and published 3 books and a 4th is on its way, partially translated by Walter Kish (a history of the Northern Ukrainian Church).
His many honorary titles include Dr.(PhD), Cure Fondateur, Radnyk, Kryloshanyn, Mitrat(Mitered Archpriest), Monsignor, Laureate of Cultures in Quebec, and Pope’s Chaplain(Prelate).
Due to his efforts, engagement with the community and guided by his Faith, Monsignor Lev Chayka was integral to the preservation and integration of Ukrainian culture in Canada.
May he rest in Eternal Memory
Panachyda (prayer service) will be held on Thursday, March 10, 2022 at 1:00pm at the funeral home Co-op Funeraire 582 Central Avenue, Val d'Or J9P 1P8
The funeral will take place on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. at 12:00pm at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Shrine 952 Green Valley Cres, Ottawa, ON
K2C 3K7 Tel.: 1-613-723-1673