12 June 2010

Building, or rebuilding, our Carpatho-Rusyn Community

As we approach the first public event of the Lake Michigan Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society today, I wanted to talk a little bit about building -- our maybe rebuilding -- our Rusyn community.

Holy Trinity Cathedral
We didn't just appear over night. We've been here since the 19th Century, dispersed throughout the area in separate churches and settlements on the North and South sides of Chicago, in Northwest Indiana and Joliet, and stretching into small farming towns of northern Wisconsin.

We're responsible, at least partly, for landmarks in our area -- such as the Holy Trinity Cathedral, an architectural gem on the North Side, the home of an Orthodox parish that began with a sizable Lemko-Rusyn population.

Even the massive St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, just off Chicago Avenue, has Carpatho-Rusyn roots. The first pastor, Victor Kovaliczky, was Carpatho-Rusyn, not a Galican-Ukrainian. He had been the first pastor at St. Mary's, the Rusyn church in the Back of the Yards on the South Side. He moved to the new parish serving the community in what's now known as Chicago's Ukrainian Village to launch that parish in 1905.
St. Michael's, now in Niles, Ill.

Many of us are just getting to know each other through the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, which is designed to bridge the things that have separated us in the past.

We don't live in the old neighborhoods anymore, but the Internet has helped us create a cyber-neighborhood, and I wanted to make sure we all know of the ways available to interact in that version of the community:

  • If you're on Facebook, be sure to friend Lake Michigan Carpatho-Rusyns. And feel free to post your comments and whatever else you'd like to put up on the Wall.
  • There's this blog, lakemichiganrusyns.blogspot.com, available if you're not on Facebook.
  • If you're on Twitter, you can find us at @lakemichrusyns
I have tried to update the Facebook page and the blog regularly, with information that's of interest to Rusyns, specifically in our area.

If you have any items that you think should be posted to a wider audience -- including things like pirohy sales at your church, or a musical performance -- send them to me at lakemichiganrusyns@gmail.com. Or you can post things directly on the Facebook Page, or make comments on the blog.

I'm looking forward to John Righetti's talk today.

But I'm even more excited to see a large number of of us gathered together in one place as Rusyns.

--Tim Cuprisin

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