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Robert George Katsunoff

Robert George Katsunoff
Short Name: Robert George Katsunoff
Full Name: Katsunoff, Robert George, 1887-1963
Birth Year: 1887
Death Year: 1963

Born: 1887, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Katsunoff graduated from the Sofia gymnasium, studied in Berlin, and graduated from Robert College in Constantinople. He moved to Toronto, Canada, in 1913, and graduated from the seminary and conservatory there. He pastored at churches in Toronto, Brantford, and Kitchener, Manitoba, and in 1929, became overseer of the missions to the European immigrants in Montreal. He also conducted a Ukrainian choir and the Montreal Pastor Choir.


Katsunoff, Robert George. (Sofia, Bulgaria, November 23, 1887--February 27, 1963, Montreal, Quebec). Evangelical/United Church. Graduate of Robert College, Istanbul, and Knox College, Toronto. When, after 1900, immigrants from eastern Europe began pouring into Canada, especially the prairies, linguistic and cultural barriers hampered the Protestant churches from reaching and helping them. Katsunoff, who arrived in 1913, seemed like an answer to a prayer: he spoke several Slavic languages fluently, and his fine voice had gained him entry to many Orthodox choirs, yet his family's Evangelical background had not only led to his attending an American-supported missionary college, but taught him how it felt to be on the fringe of a society. To just such people in Canada he directed his ministry: Bulgarians in Brantford, Ontario, 1916-1920; Ukrainians in Winnipeg, 1922-1929; the Church of All Nations in Montreal, 1929-1958. While Orthodox folk, and Ukrainian Catholics, usually organized churches of their own, members of smaller denominations, who could not find or form such congregations, appreciated Katsunoff's efforts, and his translation of English hymns into their languages. He also translated these groups' hymns into English, and while they were included in The Hymnary (1930), they gained little acceptance from Canadians.

[McKellar notes that he does not write about Katsunoff's degrees because the documents in Katsunoff's file in the United Church Archives agree only about his honorary D.D.]

--Hugh D. McKellar, DNAH Archives

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