Saturday 24 May 2014

Petro Kamenetsky: Priest, Patriot, Prisoner of War

In the Vatican Archives, Nunciature in Canada series, there is a fascile containing correspondence from the Prisoners of War Committee at the Vernon, BC internment camp to the Apostolic Delegate, dated April and May 1919. I was surpised to find that one of the documents had been notarized by Ukrainian Greek-Catholic priest, Rev. Petro Kamenetsky, “himself a prisoner of war in this camp.” Although he was not the only Ukrainian Catholic priest arrested in Canada, during the First World War, Kamenetsky apperas to have been the only one to have been interned. For this reason alone, his interesting life-story deserves to be explored during this centenary of the outbreak of the war.

Born:  26 June 1891, Vikno, Skalat (Husiatyn), Ukraine
Arrived in Canada: 28 September 1913, Halifax, NS
Ordained priest: 23 March 1914, Toronto, ON
1st pastorship: 1 April 1914, Sifton and Ethelbert, MB
Interned: August 1918, Vernon, BC
First pastor of the following churches:
- 1917, St. George's Church (Cathedral), Saskatoon, SK
- 10 October 1937, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Toronto, ON
- 1962: Protection of BVM Parish, Toronto, ON
Appointed honourary canon: 1940
named domestic prelate (Monsignor): 1959
elevated to mitred archpriest: 1969
died: 31 January 1973, Toronto, ON