Memorable Manitobans: Alois Krivanek (1919-2009)
Born at Nové Veseli, Czechoslovakia on 15 June 1919, one of five boys born to Franciscus and Zophia Krivanek, he decided to enter the priesthood in 1938, while attending a friend’s ordination in Prague. He began a six-year course at the Archdiocesan Seminary in Prague but completed only four years due to the military unrest at the time. He was ordained in 1943 and worked in the parishes of Jesenice, Velvary, Kourim, Kladruby Kostelec and Scapce. In 1950, facing persecution, he attempted to escape from Czechoslovakia but was arrested and sent to a Displaced Persons’ Camp at Valka Lager in Nürnberg. There he cared for the spiritual needs of refugees from Czechoslovakia and eastern Europe. In February 1951, he was permitted to emigrate to Canada.
He worked as a priest in Saskatchewan, holding positions at Fife Lake, Vanguard, Masefield, Rosenfeld and Hodgeville until 1963, when he became a hospital chaplain at San Diego, California. The next year, he returned to Canada to take responsibility for the Polish parish of St. Michael’s at Cooks Creek, Manitoba. He spent the next 27 years there, also ministering to the needs of the parishioners of St. Pius X at Glass. In 1968, he created the Cooks Creek Heritage Museum.
He retired from active priesthood in 1992 and moved to Beausejour. He died there on 18 August 2009.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 20 August 2009, page C8.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 April 2016
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