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Memorable Manitobans: John Sholdak (1928-2004)


Born at Portage la Prairie on 13 August 1928, son of Stefan Sholdak (1892-1964) and Barbara Woloshyn (1888-1948), he was interested since childhood in becoming a priest. After finishing high school in Portage, he attended St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto, where he completed philosophical and theological studies. In 1952, he was ordained a deacon, and then on 14 June 1953, became a priest in the Ukrainian Catholic Church. His pastoral assignments included St. John the Baptist (1953-1955, 1989-1994), Holy Eucharist (1956-1957), Sts. Peter and Paul (1957-1965), Mother of Perpetual Help (1965-1989), Immaculate Conception Cooks Creek (1978-1989), Holy Ghost Beausejour (1994-2001), and Holy Ghost Winnipeg (2001-2004).

He served as secretary to the Archbishop from 1965 to 1976, and was Chancellor of the Archeparchy from 1976 to 1985. Under his pastorship, the construction of the new church in Neepawa was undertaken in the mid-1950s, and then the interior renovation of Mother of Perpetual Help at Winnipeg in the early 1960s. He helped organize and support prayer groups, especially the Neepawa Padre Pio group. He was also one of the founding members of Rorketon Credit Union.

His special project was the installation of Our Lady of Perpetual Help icons in various places where he lived and served: in 1981 in the “Prairie Cathedral” at Cooks Creek; later, at the Mother of Perpetual Help, this time commissioning Canadian iconographer and church painter Theodore Baran; and finally at the Chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph (Ukr.), where he took up residence during his pastorship at the Holy Ghost parish.

He died at Winnipeg on 30 January 2004 and is buried in the Holy Family Cemetery.


Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 February 2004.

This page was prepared by Lois Braun.

Page revised: 13 February 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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