28 February 2011

Slovak law change could help the Carpatho-Rusyn language

The Slovak Spectator reports that an amendment to Slovakia's minority language law could increase the number of communities in the country  where the Rusyn language is officially used. 
According to the article, the current 68 Rusyn-speaking municipalities would increase to 113 under the proposed amendment. 
Slovakia's officially recognized minority languages are Hungarian, Czech, Romani, Rusyn, Ukrainian, German, Polish, Croatian, Yiddish and Bulgarian.

25 February 2011

Artwork from Carpatho-Rusyn children in Slovakia

The Carpatho-Rusyn Society has received a selection of artwork from children between the ages of 8 and 16 in the Rusyn language school in Radvan nad Laborcem, Slovakia. Teacher Marek Gaj asked them to put down on paper what it means to be Rusyn.

Here's an example, and you can find the complete collection at the Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural Center's Facebook page.

By Petro Druga, 15, of Čabiny. The wooden church in Ladomirova.

22 February 2011

Metropolitan Nicholas: A unifying figure among Carpatho-Rusyns

Metropolitan Nicholas

Metropolitan Nicholas of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. formally celebrates his 75th birthday today at Christ the Savior Cathedral in Johnstown, Pennsylvania with a Moleben of Thanksgiving.

The diocese is streaming video of the service, starting at 3:45 p.m.  Central time.

You can also send birthday wishes to the Metropolitan at metropolitan.nicholas@acrod.org

His birthday received notice in Monday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where religion writer, who noted that in our Carpatho-Rusyn "religious culture plagued by in-fighting and schism, Metropolitan Nicholas ... has worked to heal rifts between Orthodox and Catholic Christians."

Metropolitan Nicholas has also been an enthusiastic supporter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society.

21 February 2011

A Dual Centennial for NW Indiana's Carpatho-Rusyns: Part Two

Original church
(from St. Michael's 50th anniversary history)
The second of two parishes founded by Rusyns in 1911 was St. Michael's Byzantine Catholic (formerly Greek Catholic) Church, originally located in Gary. It's been located in Merrillville, Ind., for nearly 30 years.

Land had been bought in 1909 between Madison and Monroe by a group of that formed the core of the initial parish: Michael Prascsak, John Maszkaly, John Prascsak, Andrew Volcsko, Mike Piatak, Vaszil Majhrowich, Peter Majhrowich, Geo. Kotfer, John Horkavy, John Brugos, Simon Tihansky and John A. Dander.

The parish's history, compiled for its 50th anniversary and graciously supplied by John Schweich, reports that the parish was formally organized in 1911, with Father Basil Berecz becoming the first permanent pastor in April of that year.

He built the first wooden church, which became the parish hall in 1920, when a second church was built.

For the record, St. Michael's wasn't the first Greek Catholic Church begun by Rusyns in Northwest Indiana. That would be St. Mary's in Whiting, which was founded Oct. 1, 1899.

The third church connected to the 1911 settlement of Rusyn communities in Gary is St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, now in Hobart.

It was formed by members of St. Michael's amid the celibacy controversy that hit the Rusyn Greek Catholic Church in the 1930s and led to the creation of what is now the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, based in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

The first meeting of the St. Nicholas congregation was Jan. 13, 1935.

18 February 2011

The flyer for our March 26th Pysanky Workshop in Palos Park, Ill.

One correction: If you call to RSVP, leave a message for Ken, not Ron.

15 February 2011

A Dual Centennial for Northwest Indiana's Carpatho-Rusyns

Two churches begun by Rusyn immigrants who originally settled in Gary, Ind., are marking their centennials this year.

Both churches -- Protection of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church and St. Michael's Byzantine Catholic Church --- have long ago moved from their original urban locations to the suburban community of Merrillville.

Gary was an attractive destination for Rusyns in the early 20th Century
A third Rusyn church, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, also originated in Gary in 1935 and has since followed the migration of our people and is located in Hobart.

Let's start what will be a continuing look at the Dual Centennial with some history of the church popularly known as St. Mary's.

"Orthodox America 1794-1976" offers this:

"The steel industry had moved into the area just east of Chicago on the southern shore of Lake Michigan. Slavs of various origins settled there around 1907 and in 1911, a group of them gathered at the home of Kondrat and Anna Krenitsky to organize and petition Archbishop Platon for a parish. Present at the meeting were Father Vladimir Alexandrov and Father John Gratson of Chicago. Father Jacob Korchinsky was assigned as the temporary pastor of the new church."

While there may have been Slavs of "various origins," the core of the congregation was made up of  Lemko Rusyns from modern-day Poland.

"On Nov. 12, 1911, Father Benjamin Kedrovsky arrived in Gary to assume duties as the permanent pastor of the new church. Father Kedrovsky remained there until his death in November 1968, having led the parish for 57 years. During his tenure, three church buildings were erected to serve the growing needs of the congregation."

A history of the parish written for St. Mary's 50th anniversary (and graciously shared with us by John Schweich) notes that "among the first... Slavs who set foot in the area were Mr. Michael Frentzko and Mr. Efrem Shevcik. They arrived on March 18, 1907. These two young men were also attracted by this 'Magic City' which in a span of two years boasted 10,000  inhabitants, and where the world's greatest steel mills began gradually silhouetting the skyline."

They brought their families from Chicago and made Gary their home.

As said earlier, the parish was organized in 1911. The first formal meeting -- Sept. 28, 1911 -- featured members of the clergy and eight representatives of the new congregation: Peter Romanyak, Michael Frentzko, Vasil Misko, Efrem Shevcik, Vasil Krochta, Kondrat Krenitsky, John Shevtchuk, and Timofey Lescisin.

Church records quoted in the anniversary history show the first marriages recorded Nov. 12, 1911 were Radion Petrovich and Ludmilla Panjovich, and Simeon Pysh and Paraskeva Zrolka. On Nov. 26, Lubov Belkoff was baptized. On the same day, memorial services were held for infant Vladimir Shevcik.

09 February 2011

An overview of the Carpatho-Rusyn national debate

A website called Europa312 has posted an article that offers a look at the identity debate among Carpatho-Rusyns in the Carpathian homeland that dates back to the 19th Century.

It doesn't break new ground, but offers a look at the arguments that continue today, noting a parallel between the past and present:

"There is curious parallel between the current Ukrainian attitude towards the Carpatho-Rusyns and that of the Russian Empire towards Ukrainians in nineteenth century. The Russian Empire also denied the existence, or even the possibility of there being a Ukrainian nation, and made legal obstructions to the development of a separate Ukrainian identity."

05 February 2011

Are your Carpatho-Rusyn roots in the village of Jakubany?

Jakubany, Slovakia

If your people hail from Jakubany, a Rusyn village in northeast Slovakia, here's some early notice of a Jakubany Reunion planned for Sept. 17 and 18 at Camp Nazareth, 339 Pew Rd., Mercer, PA.  

The camp is located in a peaceful wooded area near Sharon, Pennsylvania and Youngstown, Ohio.

Additional information about the festivities and reservations at the camp and local motels will be available in about a month. If you have Jakubany roots and would like to receive further information, send an email to Charlotte Pribish Conjelko.

04 February 2011

Celebrating Mardi Gras, Carpatho-Rusyn style

Rusyn Outpost: North America, a group of young Rusyns from the U.S. and Canada, is sponsoring a party marking Fašengy, the pre-Lenten celebration akin to the Western Mardi Gras in suburban Pittsburgh.

If you happen to be in the area at the end of the month, here are the details:

03 February 2011

Czechs learning about Andy Warhol's Carpatho-Rusyn heritage

Andy's mother, Julia
A new exhibition in Prague is teaching Czechs that Andy Warhol heritage isn't Slovak, but a Carpatho-Rusyn.

Both of Warhol's parents were born in the Rusyn village of Miková in modern-day northeastern Slovakia.

02 February 2011

A touching Carpatho-Rusyn love story

Michael and Leona Hrehovcik
NorthJersey.com offers the touching tale of Leona and Michael Hrehovcik, a love story that ended last month with the death of Michael, just nine months after the passing of his wife.

Their daughter says the cause of her father's death was a broken heart.

The Hrehovciks may be known to many American Rusyns for their business, Leemar Enterprises, which offers a wide range of ethnic products, including specifically Rusyn items.

01 February 2011

A record month for Lake Michigan Rusyns

January 2011 proved to be the biggest month for the Lake Michigan Rusyns, with 901 unique visitors clicking in.

That easily  beat the previous high: December's 578 unique visitors. In January, we had 1,463 page views. The previous high was last June's 876.

Today, alone, with had visitors from Slovakia, Poland and, believe it or not, Thailand.

Overall, more than 80% of our visitor come from the U.S. The current stats show that 3.4% come from Hungary, 2.8% from Canada, 2.2% from Poland, 1.4% from the Czech Republic, 1.2% from Germany, 1.0% from Slovakia and 1.0% from, inexplicably, Malaysia.

One in five of our readers come from Illinois, as you'd expect, 5.6% from Indiana, 3.4% from Wisconsin and 3.0% from Michigan.