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Metropolitan Yurij (Kalistchuk) of Winnipeg and Canada, born George Kalistchuk in Lachine, Quebec, on May 26, 1951, is the current primate of the autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.



Although resident in Lachine, Quebec (just outside Montreal), when the future metropolitan was born, in 1963 the Ukrainian-Canadian Kalistchuk family moved to Hamilton, Ontario, where the family became members of St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. The young George attended Ukrainian School, was involved in Ukrainian dance, the cathedral choir (where he became choir conductor in 1981-1982), and the Ukrainian Youth Organization (CYMK).


Kalistchuk had two brothers, Albin (who died at a young age) and William. William Kalistchuk currently lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with his wife Janice and children David, Michael, Peter, and Emilie Kalistchuk. George Kalistchuk's father, Peter Kalistchuk, died in 2001, and his mother, Anastasia Kalistchuk, continues to reside in Hamilton, Ontario.


In 1970 he entered St. Andrew's College (the UOCC's Seminary), and during his three-year stay at the college he obtained many awards for his academic, musical and athletic activities at the University of Manitoba. From 1971-1973 he was assistant conductor under Archbishop Boris (Yakovkevych) and later Pavlo Macenko for the Theology Student Choir. In 1973 George received his Licentiate in Theology (L.Th.), which was replaced by a Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) in 1985. Beginning in 1975 George studied music at McMaster University, graduating in 1980 with a Bachelor of Music in History and Theory.

In 1984 he completed a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Toronto and received an Ontario's Teacher's Certificate. During 1983-1984 he was Dean of Men at St. Vladimir's Institute in Toronto.

Priesthood and episcopacyEdit

In Hamilton, Ontario, on July 17, 1988 he was ordained a priest, and was assigned as rector of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral in Winnipeg. At a special sobor (council) in 1989, George was elected bishop, and later consecrated to the episcopacy on October 22, 1989 in Winnipeg by Metropolitan Wasyly and Bishop John (Stinka). In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on December 17, 1989 he was installed as Bishop of Saskatoon and auxiliary of the Central Eparchy of the UOCC. In 1995 he was elected Bishop of Toronto and the Eastern Eparchy, and in 2001 he was elevated to the rank of archbishop.

On July 18, 2010, at the 20th Sobor of the UOCC, Archbishop Yurij was nominated to succeed John (Stinka) as the sixth Metropolitan of Winnipeg and Canada and primate of the church. Archbishop Yurij was formally elected Metropolitan of Winnipeg on August 30, 2010 by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, to which the UOCC belongs, and enthroned at Holy Trinity Metropolitan Cathedral on November 21, 2010.

The arrival in Canada of Patriarch FilaretEdit

On April 19, 2012 Metropolitan Yurij (Kalistchuk) wrote a letter to the clergy and parish councils banning the uncanonical, defrocked, and excommunicated Filaret (Denysenko) from visiting any church or property owned by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church during his trip to Canada.[1] The ban included prohibiting any clergyman or member of the Consistory Board to be in the vicinity of Filaret during his visit.

Yurij's letter upset some members of St Volodymyr's Cathedral in Toronto. The ban was publicly criticized and ignored as a banquet honouring Patriarch Filaret was held at St. Volydymyr Cultural Centre in Oakville on April 21, 2012 where Filaret toured the cemetery, chapel, and met with leaders of the Ukrainian Canadian community including Paul Grod, President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

In a show of support by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of Canada, Filaret was invited to attend the Divine Liturgy at St. Demetrius Ukrainian Catholic Church the following day in Toronto. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Filaret awarded Rev. John Tataryn the Order of St. Volodymyr, 3rd Degree.

The letter sparked coverage in the Ukrainian Canadian media (Svitohliad, Kontakt, Ukrainian News Edmonton, UkeTube, and social media), and lead to the creation of the Brotherhood for the Revitalization of the Ukrainian Orthodoxy in Canada (BRUOC), Facebook groups, and many YouTube videos forcing Metropolitan Yurij to respond.[1] This Brotherhood is not recognized by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.[2]

In an information seminar a few members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada expressed concern that the church was being sold out to the Russian Orthodox Church and that legal action must be taken. Video on YouTube

In response to an online petition organized by BRUOC "Recognition of Kyivan Patrarchate in Ukraine is long overdue!", UOCC Priest Cornell Zubritsky issued a press release stating "The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada wishes to make clear this petition is not, by any measure, an initiative of our Church, nor can we, therefore, endorse the sentiment driving this online petition, sponsored solely by BRUOC."[3]


  • Consecration and Installation Book of Bishop Yurij (Kalistchuk)
  • @ UOCC.CA
Preceded by
John (Stinka)
Bishop of Saskatoon (UOCC)
Succeeded by
Andrew (Peshko)
Preceded by
Basil (Fedak)
Bishop of Toronto (UOCC)
Succeeded by
Andrew (Peshko)
Preceded by
Metropolitan John (Stinka)
Archbishop of Winnipeg and the Central Diocese, Metropolitan and Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC)
Succeeded by
  1. ^ "Letter from the Metropolitan" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  2. ^ ""DISCLAIMER NOTICE" From the Office of the Consistory of the UOCC:" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-09-17. Retrieved 2019-05-13.
  3. ^ "Brotherhood for the Revitalization of Ukrainian Orthodoxy in Canada". Facebook. 17 January 2013. Retrieved 2019-05-13. PRESS RELEASE “Response to the Online Petition Initiated by the ‘Brotherhood for the Revitalization of Ukrainian Orthodoxy in Canada’” (Winnipeg, MB, 18 December 2012) On 03 November 2012, the “Brotherhood for the Revitalization of Ukrainian Orthodoxy in Canada (BRUOC)” sponsored an online petition – “Remove the Moscow Patriarchate from Ukraine” – directed to His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew. To-date, 235 signatures have been collected (the goal listed on the web site is 5000). In regard to the concerns mentioned in the BRUOC petition, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada continues to be guided by its official policy regarding unity of Ukrainian Orthodoxy (visit, which is based on our historical position of non-interference in the internal decision-making processes of the various church institutions and the Orthodox faithful of Ukraine. Nevertheless, we have never been swayed from our non-indifference toward achievement of a canonically recognized local, autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Our entrance into the world-wide Orthodox communion – over twenty-two years ago – has allowed us the opportunity to be a constant voice at the Great Throne of the Mother Church of Constantinople for said recognition of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. We take every opportunity available to express our unwavering desire for the Orthodox Church of our ancestral homeland to take her rightful place among her sister local churches. Furthermore, a major component to the realization of this goal is the consolidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful as opposed to the removal of any one part of them. Until such unity manifests itself, we cannot presume solutions from the diaspora for which the faithful people of Ukraine themselves do not express explicit, unified support. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada wishes to make clear this petition is not, by any measure, an initiative of our Church, nor can we, therefore, endorse the sentiment driving this online petition, sponsored solely by BRUOC. Questions, comments or concerns regarding this press release may be directed to the UOCC Briefing & Information Team: Priest Cornell Zubritsky, Chair UOCC Briefing and Information Team Telephone: 780-428-8612 E-Mail: - END - line feed character in |quote= at position 14 (help)