Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 20, 2006
The bishop who loves trains
By WCR Staff
The bishop who loves trains could not be going to a better place.
"I am certainly aware of Winnipeg as a hub of rail activity for the Prairies," says Archbishop Lawrence Huculak, metropolitan and train-lover extraordinaire.
His new cathedral, Sts. Vladimir and Olga, is located mere blocks away from the not-so-picturesque Winnipeg railyard, the largest railyard in Western Canada.
Huculak has a lifetime devotion to trains. As a child, he would sit outside the back door of his home in Vernon, B.C., watching the trains. "Every time a train came by, he was there watching," his mother Katherine recalled in a 1997 interview.
While she and her husband Andrew always thought young Larry would grow up to be a priest, there were times they wondered if he might become a train engineer.
The interest stuck. His first trip to Winnipeg in 1968 to attend the minor seminary in Roblin, Man., was on the train.
Even as a bishop, he has found time to indulge his hobby.
"When I drive through the countryside and I come across a railway track, I'm bound to find out where it comes from and where it's going," he says.
After nine years of touring Alberta on his episcopal rounds, he pretty well has the province's rail lines down pat. So, perhaps it's only fitting that now is the time for a change of scenery.
"I'll be looking forward to knowing those rail lines in Manitoba," he says.
On his bookshelf, he has a series of books on the railways of Western Canada. One whole volume is dedicated to Winnipeg.
"I'll have to pull it out again and put it on top of the pile for easy reference."