Saint Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
of Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Canada
Our Serbian Church is a real martyr; one that is troubled persecuted and has endured much suffering. An innumerable multitude of martyrs of their faith have rooted themselves in its roots. Suffering and persecution of the Serbian Orthodox Church through the ages were present in those times that could be called peaceful. With great respect we remember our brothers and sisters who came to the Hamilton region at the beginning of the last century and met the challenges that go along with coming to a new environment. Not knowing the language, culture, rules and regulations, were certainly additional obstacles to overcome. However, even under these circumstances, there was awareness that only an organized Church community would succeeding preserving the Orthodox faith, Serbian culture, traditions, customs and prevent the assimilation and disappearance of the small Serbian community in Hamilton.
Through great efforts and sacrifice, in 1913 a small group of Serbs created the first of the CSO in Eastern Canada dedicated to St. Father Nicholas. A few had managed to collect enough money to buy the land at the corner of Beach and Northcott Street in Hamilton and to build a small church dedicated to St. Father Nicholas. The descendants of those early settlers, as well as other Hamilton Serbs who had adopted Canada as their new home, decided in December of 1963 to build a magnificent new temple in the glory of God and have it be dedicated to St. Father Nicholas. They also agreed that our CSO be in full canonical and administrative unity with the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade, whose jurisdiction it comes under.
Words of action had finally become actualized. In June1964 the land on which today we find our Cathedral Church and Church hall, was constructed. Digging of the foundations began on October 5th,1964 and a consecration foundation was made on November 8th, 1964. Finally, this beautiful temple; a symbol of sacrifice and renunciation of Orthodox Hamilton Serbs was consecrated on June 20th,1965. Through great efforts of the faithful Serbian people we have successfully overcome numerous problems in the life and work of the St. Nicholas Church community. The mortgage has been paid off and a parish house built. Our Holy temple is a vivid place, to say the least. Even during the ordeals of the war in the homeland, we as an organization rushed to the aid of the suffering people of Serbia and Bosnia &Hercegovina, sending our assistance, accepting and helping those who had come from war-torn areas.
The desire for progress made for a step forward in yet another major project. This was of course the expansion of the Church property. The land adjacent to the Church property has been purchased. The plans moving forward are to build a retirement home with all the necessary facilities and infrastructure here, once all the necessary conditions are befitting. A new copper roof has been installed on our Holy Temple, Serbian school classrooms have been refurbished and the flooring in the Church hall has been changed. All these are a testament to the faith and love to the Church of the faithful Serbian people. With faith in God, a great determination to succeed and the commitment and effort of each individual, our community has achieved large and noticeable results .
Dear faithful people, you are the most beautiful ornament of our sanctuary. Believers attend every service and pronounce their prayers to the Merciful Lord to have them heard. This is the basic mission and designation of our Church and we need to emphasize our spiritual progress along with the everyday material possessions in our lives. Through prayer and worship, sacraments, tips and interviews with priests, believers find a comfort and find a way of overcoming a variety of temptations and challenges to which they are exposed day to day.
We pray to the Lord our Savior and St. Father Nicholas to strengthen us and make us wiser in order to work better and progress farther. To give us unity and strength, courage, and peace, faith, hope and love, so that we can better witness and understand our Orthodox faith.
Consecration of the Church 1965
In the early days of the 20th century a small group of Serbs, mainly from the Krajina Region of the former Yugoslavia, came to Hamilton and immediately started thinking of building their own church. By 1913, St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church rose on the corner of Beach Road and Northcote Ave. Four years later, on December 15, 1917, the church was consecrated by Saint Bishop Mardarije. In 1924, the Church Hall was added and the place quickly became the centre of the Serbian social and cultural life.
During the lengthy period after World War II, there was a tremendous influx of Serbian refugees into the Hamilton area. Amongst them, many WWII war veterans, the majority of whom were Chetniks, They quickly participated in and contributed to the activities of church life.
The original church on Beach Road remained until 1972, when the little wooden church was demolished and the land taken over by the ever expanding Dofasco Steel Co. The icons and church bells were carefully removed and placed in our sister church of St. Nicholas on Barton Street which was built and consecrated in 1974.
In 1957 the new Serbian Community Center was built on Barton Street E. As our community grew, the need to build another church became evident. This coincided with the time of the “Church Split” of 1963 and plans were made for a new church to be built.
In 1964, a parcel of land of 3 acres with two older homes on , was purchased at 153 Nash Road S. During that same year on June 7th, Rev. Borko Borčić came to Hamilton as our new parish priest. During his short stay (1964-1967), this energetic priest organized the life of our church community and patiently guided the building of our new house of worship. On June 14, 1964, the ground breaking ceremony took place and construction began on October 5, 1964. The Church cornerstone was blessed by His Grace Rt. Rev. Bishop Stephen. The President of the Building Committee was +Marko Chelar.
On June 20, 1965 the consecration of Church and Church Hall was performed by Bishop Stephen. The ‘Kum’ was +Ilija Marijan.
The first 25 years of our parish/church history is outlined in the St Nicholas Church 25th anniversary commemorative book (1965-1990).
1990. After a break of two years Iconographer, Drago Marunić, completed the fresco paintings in our church to the utter satisfaction and pleasure of our parishioners.
June 3, 1990. This year’s Pentecost was of special importance to our church. His Grace Bishop Longin of (at that time) Australia-New Zealand was the guest of honour. He consecrated three gold-plated crosses, gifted by Ranko Vukosavljević, the president of our Church School Congregation, who was formerly recognized for his community involvement.
On June 14, 1990, the three gilded crosses were raised and placed on top of the three cupolas of our church.
In October 1990 we celebrated 25 years of existence of our MSH. This past period was marked by numerous important events in the life and work of our Serbian community gathered around the Cathedral of St. Nicholas Church. We will only mention some of the events. A new heating and cooling system was installed, two new kilns for the kitchen were ordered, many other projects were needed that were necessary for the successful operation of our SMC. Numerous cultural manifestations, plays, folklore performances, choirs have beautified this period of existence of our Cathedral. His Holiness Blessed Memorandum of Patriarch Pavle visited us with his visit to Hamilton on August 3 and 4, 1992. His Holiness was accompanied by the High-Lighted Metropolitan of the Montenegrin-Littoral Amphilochi and His Eminence Bishop
The Irish Irish (now Patriarch of Serbia). It seemed that the entire Serb community from Hamilton came to salute His Holiness. The patriarch has met with many
Important figures of Canadian national and political life. During many years of our resettlement in Canada from our homeland, we always felt that our Serbian heritage, one beautiful and bescignoble treasure, which needs to be preserved. Our Church Choir has designed and organized countless village promises as a unique way to preserve and preserve our Unique heritage. All traditional features were present on the brook: decorated entrances, handmade works, carpets covering the stage and placed in various places in the hall, candles that were lightly burnt in their candlesticks, a home-made temple that smelled and stimulated appetites.
Besides the stage performance, which she tried to conceive and to forget the rural atmosphere, the dancers and folk customs, the members of the choir also transferred their repertoire through the song. Bal- Fund for the collection of funds in the composition Desa Bibić, Milan Despinić, Tom Lazić, Đorđe Rakas, Slavenka Pankeričan, Vesna
Pankeric, Beth Parojevic, Stevan Pejic, Dragica Sobot and Senka Sobot organized funds for the construction fund. The board decided to organize parties that would at the same time be a cause for socializing. For example. * Bal pod maske *, * Kraljevska porodica *, * Festival vina *. These were evenings filled with interesting costumes, dinner, with plenty of dancing, socializing and cheerful pursuits. In addition to Gala igranki, the same Committee for the Collection of Financial Locations organized a party called "Former Dances" *. In the spring of 2003 and 2004 dancers dressed in clothes from the 50s, 60s, and 70s danced by music time from that time. It was very fun and interesting to organize these gamers as well as to attend or participate in them. All these activities were always supported by valuable sister members of our Car. Without their help and support, it is difficult to imagine the realization of everything that has been done and achieved
Raising the church bells in 1990
10th Anniversay of the Saint Nicholas Cathedral 1975
Saint Nicholas Cathedral, with 3 golden crosses on the domes 1990.