History of the Cathedral in Felshtin

The settlement of Felshtin is closely connected with a Herbut family of Czech origin that moved to Podolia from the Polish town of Slask in the second half of the 16th century. Mikola Herbut, the founder of the town, was a chamberlain from Galicia. He built Felshtin’s first cathedral of St. Wojciech in 1594. In 1615, Tatar invaders destroyed the town including the cathedral.

Mrs. Marianna Grabianczyna from the Kalinowskich family started construction of the present cathedral in 1753. The cathedral was blessed by Bishop Adam Krasinsky from Kamenetz on June 26th 1791 and was granted Status of the Holy Spirit.

In 1753, Mrs. Marianna Grabianczyna founded and sponsored from her own funds a local parish school and hospital. The school was closed by the Czar in 1864.

Roughly 30 villages with 8500 parishioners belonged to the Cathedral, most of them of Polish origin. Priest Antony Gruszczynski finished reconstruction of the Cathedral in 1905 to accommodate the growing parish.

A period of cruel repression against the priests and the parish started in 1917 following the October communist revolution. In 1933 the Cathedral was closed and converted into a mechanic’s maintenance shop. Three years later it was converted again, this time into a movie theatre and community entertainment center.

The Cathedral was opened to the parish during the Nazi occupation in 1941. The main hall was used for grain storage, while the parish used only the vestry for services.

In 1950 the Cathedral was closed and converted once again into a community entertainment center.

In 1978 the parish started its religious activities in a private house without official registration. It applied numerous times to both Kiev and Moscow authorities for the Cathedral’s restitution to the parish.

In 1990 the Cathedral was granted to the parish. The restoration of the Cathedral inside and outside was started under the guidance of priest Wiktor Tkacz. Bishop Jan Olshansky from Kamenetz-Podolsk diocese blessed the Cathedral on June 25th 1994. The same year the 400th anniversary of the Felshtin parish was celebrated.

The Cathedral provides its parish with various religious services. Twenty-three villages currently belong to the Parish which consists of 2000 parishioners.