Our Parish Priest

Father Taras Kinash

Father Taras Kinash

Fr. Taras was born in Nyzhankovychi, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine on 23 September 1985. Before graduating secondary school he had been an altar server for five years.

In 2002 he entered Ivano-Frankivsk Orthodox Seminary and graduated in 2006. That same year he became a student in the Master’s program for Religion Studies and Philosophy at The National University of Ostroh Academy. During this time he became a participant of the Canada World Youth Exchange Program and visited North Battleford, SK, where he volunteered with the Pe-Ta-Pan Preschool Centre for Aboriginal children and attended many cultural events as well as church services in Canadian Ukrainian Orthodox churches. He earned his Master's Degree in 2011.

In 2009 he married Olya Kovalchuk and they moved to her hometown of Tetiiv, Kyiv Oblast. Their son, Matthew, was born in 2012. In 2014 he started to volunteer with the Ukrainian army and established a non-government organization whose objective was overall local development. He also managed several social projects particularly the English speaking club, a local newspaper, a business hub and other activities.

In 2014, the construction of the first Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchy was started in the town of Tetiiv. Fr. Taras first became a cantor at the church. In July 2015 he was ordained as a deacon by His Grace Archbishop Agapit and then, in September 2015, was ordained as a priest by His Grace Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kyiv.

Fr. Taras became the Parish Priest in Tetiiv with a congregation of approximately 200 permanent parishioners. With the assistance of a cantor, Fr. Taras led a children's choir for two years. Additionally, he co-managed a summer Orthodox camp for three years. years in a row co-managed summer Orthodox camp. The parish also volunteered for the Army and Senior's houses. When the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was created in Ukraine, His Grace Metropolitan Yuriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada visited Kyiv for an enthronization service. Fr. Taras was introduced to Metropolitan Yuriy and they found they had much in common.

In September and October 2019, Fr. Taras was invited by the UOCC to visit Canada. During this trip he attended classes at St. Andrew's College, participated in social events and services at Holy Trinity Cathedral and St. Mary the Protectress Cathedral in Winnipeg as well as in churches in Saskatoon, SK and Dauphin, MB.

In 2020, Fr. Taras and Dobrodika Olya welcomed their daughter Anna into their family. Through the years, Fr. Taras was in close contact with the UOCC. In October 2021 he was interviewed by our Cathedral’s Parish Council for the position of Parish Priest after Fr. Ihor Okhrimtchouk unexpectedly passed away in June 2021. In December 2021, the Cathedral’s Parish Council approved the selection of Fr. Taras and started the process of transfer.

In February 2022, due to Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Cathedral’s Parish Council worked tirelessly to secure special permission for Fr. Taras to leave Ukraine. With the support of the Ukrainian Embassy in Canada, permission for Fr. Taras to leave Ukraine was granted. On April 22, 2022, Fr. Taras and his family arrived in Ottawa and he served his first church service on Saturday, April 23 as Parish Priest of our Cathedral.

Our Former Parish Priest

Fr. Ihor Okhrimtchouk

Father Ihor Okhrimtchouk , B.Th., B.Comp. Sci, B.Ed.
22 March 1970 - 23 June 2021

As parish priest at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Ukrainian Orthodox Church since May 2002, Fr. Ihor Okhrimtchouk has provided spiritual care to members of our parish through group lectures, discussion groups and one-on-one counselling. He is passionate about building both a strong Orthodox Christian and Ukrainian cultural community in Ottawa. Born in 1970 in Lanivtsi, Volyn, a village in western Ukraine, Fr. Ihor completed secondary school there and later enrolled in Ternopil Polytechnical Institute prior to conscription in the army of the Soviet Union in 1988.

After completing military service, Fr.. Ihor immigrated to Canada in December 1990 and began theological studies in Winnipeg at the Faculty of Theology, St. Andrew’s College, University of Manitoba, eventually completing a Bachelor of Theology degree in 1988. Along with theology, Fr. Ihor took courses at the University of Manitoba in management, economics and computer science.

Fr. Ihor was ordained to the diaconate in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada in 1996 at the Dormition of Theotokos Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Surrey, B.C. Three years later, on October 10, 1999, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood of the UOCC at the All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Transcona, Manitoba. Between 1999 and 2002, Fr. Ihor held pastoral assignments with St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Portage La Prairie, MB and with Holy Ghost Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Brandon , Manitoba. Father Ihor’s pastoral identity has been strongly influenced by the mentorship of many clergy, lay organizations and laymen and women of the UOCC and other Orthodox clergy as well as clergy from other denominations and faith traditions.

A fervent believer in continuing education, Fr. Ihor completed a Bachelor of Computer Science at the University of Manitoba in 2001, and a Bachelor of Education at the University of Ottawa in 2006. He has since completed graduate courses in theology, pastoral care, community dynamics and development at St. Paul University in Ottawa, where he is currently a candidate for a Master of Arts in Counselling. Fr. Ihor is a member of the steering committee of the Ottawa Interfaith Council as well as being a registered member of the Ontario Teachers College. He is frequently called upon as a representative of the Orthodox faith at interdenominational venues in Ottawa.

It was also at St. Andrew’s College, University of Manitoba, where Fr. Ihor met Jennifer Atamanchuk, a fourth-generation Ukrainian-Canadian, and a student at the University of Manitoba. On July 22, 1995, Ihor and Jennifer were married at St. George's Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Dauphin, Manitoba. Since their marriage dobrodiyka Jennifer assists Fr. Ihor in many volunteer capacities within the church. Currently, she plays an active role in youth and cultural programming at the church. She is a registered dietitian at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. The couple have two children.

Father Ihor passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 23 June 2021 in Ottawa.