WELCOME to the web site of the Romanian Orthodox community in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Our little church, the very first Romanian Orthodox Church in North America (1902), was built by our ancestors: immigrants, mostly from Bukovina and other parts of Romania (see HISTORY). These were people who had left everything: homes, jobs, farms, families, culture and security. In Canada they faced enormous challenges. The land was raw and unbroken. Winters were severe, unforgiving. And, perhaps hardest of all was the fact that most soon realized that they were unwelcome, undervalued, underpaid and disrespected in a British-dominated, English-speaking culture. It was “just not cool” to be a Romanian in Canada at the turn of the 20th Century.
In an attempt to preserve some sense of security and cultural identity, they built a place to congregate; to preserve and enshrine their social, cultural and religious practices; to create a kind of substitute for the land, homes and families they had left behind. In the year 1902, they built St. Nicholas Romanian Orthodox Church in Regina, Saskatchewan.
In this humble downtown church they gathered: they greeted, valued, respected and cared for each other. Here they relaxed and spoke effortlessly in their mother tongue without worry or difficulty, without embarrassment. Here they feasted, fasted and prayed; they established new friendships, new systems of support. From contacts made at St. Nicholas many found jobs, places to live, and even met their future husbands or wives. Through St. Nicholas, new Canadian families emerged, children were baptized, and loved ones laid to rest. This was a place of solemnity and reverence, a centre of celebration and rejoicing. For many, St. Nicholas became their new home: full of new “brothers and sisters and mothers”.
At St. Nicholas, you could always hear familiar voices speaking in warm and friendly tones, sometimes telling jokes and stories recalled from childhood. Here, you could still breathe in the same wonderful aromas, and taste the same delicious flavors you associated with your grandmother’s kitchen.
Countless lives of future generations of Canadians can trace their beginnings back to St. Nicholas Romanian Orthodox Church, Regina. Although times have changed, and more than 100 years have rolled by since those first days, St. Nicholas is still pretty much the same. It is still a place where you can be greeted, valued, respected and cared for; where you can hear the Romanian language spoken in warm and relaxed tones; where you can meet new friends – perhaps even a future husband or wife. At St. Nicholas, you can still breathe in the same wonderful aromas, and taste the same delicious flavors you remember from your grandmother’s kitchen. And, most importantly, at St. Nicholas you can renew and strengthen your never-ending relationship with your Creator and God.
But, you have to come. God sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to be amongst us - to be seen, heard and touched. And you can still find Him here, at St. Nicholas.
So, please come and join us. Whether you are a new immigrant to Canada, or a descendent from a generation long past, you are always welcome. Whether you speak only English or Romanian, you will always have a home at St. Nicholas. But you have to come! (see Services)