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Memorable Manitobans: Philip Ruh (1883-1962)

Click to enlarge

Philip Ruh
Click to enlarge

Cleric, architect.

Born in Alsace-Lorraine near the Franco-German border, on 6 August 1883, Philippe Roux (later Philip Ruh) studied with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Holland and joined the order there. He was sent to Ukraine to learn the language, customs and Byzantine rite. In 1913, he was posted to serve as a missionary to the Canadian Ukrainian Catholics in central Alberta. He spent 10 years in Alberta and was later transferred to Manitoba, coming to Cook’s Creek in 1930. He was parish priest there until his death in 1962.

Ruh designed, altered or influenced more than 50 churches, halls, schools and other structures in Canada, on the prairies, in Ontario, Quebec, and in Michigan and Pennsylvania in the United States. In several cases he not only designed the structures, but he worked with volunteers on the site, contracted the construction and raised project funds, striving always to keep debt to a minimum. Ruh designed Ukrainian Catholic churches around Manitoba and at Kenora, Grimsby, and St. Catharines in Ontario; at Saskatoon, Regina, and Krasne in Saskatchewan; and at Edmonton, Leduc, and several mission areas in Alberta. His most well-known structures were the “Prairie Cathedral” and Grotto at Cook’s Creek.

He died at Winnipeg on 24 October 1962 and was buried in the cemetery of the Ukrainian Catholic Church at Cook’s Creek.

Some of Ruh’s architectural works in Manitoba included:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church

Mountain Road, RM of Rosedale

1924-1925

Destroyed by fire (1966)

Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sixth Avenue NW, Portage la Prairie

1925-1927

Demolished (1982)

Holy Ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ Ukrainian Catholic Church

Winnipegosis, RM of Mossey River

1927-1929

 

Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception

Cook’s Creek, RM of Springfield

1930-1938

 

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church

Mink Creek, RM of Ethelbert

1932-1933

 

Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Resurrection

1106 First Street NW, Dauphin

1936-1939

 

Redemptorist Fathers College / St. Vladimir’s College

Roblin, Municipality of Roblin

1941

 

St. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church

Cloverleaf, RM of Brokenhead

1943

Demolished (c2009)

St. Dymytrius Ukrainian Catholic Church

Ladywood, RM of Brokenhead

1948-1949

 

Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church

East Selkirk, RM of St. Clements

1951

 

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church

6297 Henderson Highway, RM of St. Clements

1952

 

Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Church

500 Pacific Avenue, Selkirk

1954

 

Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Church

East Kildonan, Winnipeg

1954

 

Blessed Virgin Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Catholic Church

Rossdale, RM of St. Andrews

1958-1960

 

Churches built in Manitoba by Mike Sawchuk, a carpenter trained and influenced by Rev. Ruh:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church

Mink Creek, RM of Ethelbert

1932-1933

 

Sacred Heart of Jesus Ukrainian Catholic Church

Gilbert Plains, RM of Gilbert Plains

1935-1936

 

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church

Toutes Aides, RM of Lawrence

1937

 

Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church

Sandy Lake, RM of Harrison

1937

 

Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church

Zoria, RM of Gilbert Plains

1937

 

St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church

Roblin Farms, RM of Shell River

1940

 

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church

927 Assiniboine Avenue, Brandon

1940-1941

 

See also:

Propam’yatna knyha (Jubilee Book) 1891-1941. Yorkton, Saskatchewan (1941).

Misioner i budivnychyi (Missionary and Architect) by Philip Ruh, 1960.

Pioneers of Manitoba by Robert Harvey (1970).

Missionary and Architect, A Translation of the Autobiography of Reverend Philip Ruh, O.M.I., translated by Morris Kowalchuk, editor Gloria Romaniuk. Winnipeg (1984).

Ukrainian Churches of Manitoba: A Building Inventory by Historic Resources, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Recreation. Winnipeg (1987).

Schematism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church a Survey of the Church in Diaspora by Dmytro Blazejowskyj. Rome (1988).

Monuments to Faith by Basil Rotoff, Roman Yereniuk and Stella Hryniuk. Winnipeg (1990).

Ukrainian Catholic Churches of Winnipeg Archeparchy by Anna Maria Kowcz-Baran. Winnipeg (1991).

Carved in Stone by the Manitoba Genealogical Society. Winnipeg (1997).

Philip Ruh fonds, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg Archives.

Gloria Romaniuk fonds, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg Archives.

Sources:

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 26 October 1962, page 28.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

We thank Reid Dickie for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Gloria Romaniuk.

Page revised: 7 August 2017

Memorable Manitobans

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