26 December 2013


Христос раждається! 
Christos Raždajetsja! 
Christ is Born!

The Board of the
Carpatho-Rusyn Society
Lake Michigan Chapter
wishes all its members and friends
a Blessed Christmas
a Happy Healthy New Year.

06 December 2013

02 December 2013


 Choir Director John Sutko leads the choir of St. Peter and St. Paul Orthodox Church during the celebration of his 60 years as choir director at the church.

On July 7, 2013, John Sutko was honored for his 60 years of directing the choir of St. Peter and St. Paul Orthodox Church in Burr Ridge, Illinois.  More than 250 people turned out to celebrate the milestone and to thank John for his many years of dedication to the church and preserving the music of the Carpatho-Rusyns.  The celebration was held at the Aviana Banquet Hall in Palos Hills, Illinois.

The honoree is the son of the late John and Mary Miskovsky Sutko of Chicago and the grandson of Michael and Anna Derba Sutko and John and Helen Miskovsky of Nankovo, Ukraine (former Hungarian county of Marammaros and now part of Chust).

In 1949 at age 14, John Sutko began singing in the choir when there were two Liturgies at St. Peter and St. Paul Orthodox Church, then at 5300 South Western Avenue in Chicago.  He was an altar boy for the first Liturgy then sang in the choir for the second.  He also sang in the Lindblom High School A Capella Choir and his senior year was chosen as its student conductor.  He was the soloist for his class’ graduation in1953.

At 17, John went to Wilson Junior College, majoring in business and minoring in music.  Two people encouraged him to focus his studies on music.  His pastor Fr. Nicholas Semkoff asked him to direct the second Liturgy which was in Church Slavonic on Sundays and encouraged him to concentrate on church music in addition to his other studies.  Professor Lela Hamner, who taught at the Conservatory of Music and Wilson Junior College, encouraged John to change his major to music and voice.

When he enrolled in the conservatory, he also took education courses at Chicago Teachers College.  In addition to his music courses, John was involved in oratorio, opera workshops, voice recitals as well being a soloist for churches and other occasions.  As a 20-year-old, he took over directing both Liturgies at the church.

John and Alice Gabrysiak Sutko
 In 1957, John was awarded a bachelor of music education degree and on August 1, he married Alice Theresa Gabrysiak.  That year he also began teaching music at McClure Junior High School in Western Springs, Illinois, a position he held for 35 years.  Son David Alexander Sutko arrived on the scene in 1958 followed by his sister Cynthia Ann Sutko in 1961.  In 1968, the music teacher became assistant principal at the school and began working on his second master’s degree in school administration.  John was nominated twice for the Illinois Golden Apple Award in teaching.  He retired from teaching in 1992.

 During the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Liturgical Commission of the Orthodox Church in America created official English texts for feast day vespers and liturgies.  For 10 years, John worked on adapting all the major and minor feast day vesper stikhera, Litija and apostikha verses for four parts and in their proper tones.  During this time period, many high schools and colleges initiated Russian language courses.  Several language arts teachers asked him to present sacred and secular music at high schools and for special events.

Into the 1980s and 1990s, requests kept coming for John share his musical knowledge and talents with others at a wide variety of events both here and abroad.  They include the consecration of His Grace Bishop Boris, the commemoration of the Millennium of Orthodoxy in Russia in 1988 and the wedding of Prince Arnold and Princess Renate of Germany.  During the 1990s, he made three patriarchal visits to His Holiness Patriarch Demetrious of Greece, His Holiness Patriarch Aleksy II of Russia and His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia.  In addition, John conducted benefit concerts at several churches as well as one hosted by the Templar Knights which raised $20,000 for the new Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow.  The original one had been dynamited by the Communists.  

Between 1996 and 2012, John helped plan and directed building fund concerts and projects the raised over $100,000 for the construction of a new St. Peter and St. Paul Church in Burr Ridge.  The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated there on February 14, 1998.

The Bach Society of St. Louis, Missouri invited John to be the lead soloist and chanter for its presentation of Rachmaninoff’s Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.  Both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University invited him to take the basso profundo parts during their presentation of the vigils of Rachmaninoff, Gretchaninov and Kalinnikov.

Though John teaches the church choir many different arrangements of hymns, he also stresses the importance of maintaining the traditional hymns as an important part of Carpatho-Rusyn heritage which need to be kept and sung so that they are not forgotten.  To help preserve the music of his ancestors, in 1999 he began putting all his music into a computerized format.  

Through the years he has published books of Eastern European Christmas carols (koljadij), Panikhida (memorial service), children’s choir music and Prostopinije (plain chant) of the Carpatho-Rusyn people.
On March 13, 2010, John along with Rev. Fr. William and Charlotte Pribish Conjelko, Tim and Ken Cuprisin, Arlene Gardiner, Jim Kaminski, Rev. Fr. John Lucas, Ron Pyke, Mary Sedor, Tom Sedor, Ivan Skala, Lisa Terlecki, Andrea Valasek and Richard Garbera-Trojanowski came together at the Polish Museum of American in Chicago to found the Lake Michigan Chapter of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society.  John currently serves on the board and delights attendees at the chapter gatherings by leading them in singing Rusyn songs. 

In 2002, he and Alice celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The following year John celebrated 50 years as St. Peter and St. Paul’s choir director.  Now in 2013, he has been honored for his 60 years of service to his home parish as well as his dedication to Orthodoxy throughout the world. 

27 November 2013

Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum 2014

Prešov University in Prešov, Slovakia, announces its fifth annual three-week Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum International Summer School for Rusyn Language and Culture to be held from June 15 - July 5, 2014 (applicants from North America may begin arriving from Saturday, June 14, 2014).  The program is hosted by the university‘s Institute of Rusyn Language and Culture. Prešov University is the only university in the Slovak Republic offering a full-time academic program in Rusyn language and literature accredited for both the B.A and M.A. in Rusyn Language and Literature.

The Studium summer school is intended for those interested in studying the Rusyn language and the history of the Carpatho-Rusyns, including high school (18 and over) and college students, as well as Slavists and any who wish to broaden their knowledge of East Slavic language, history, and culture. Participants can expect to acquire a familiarity with or strengthen
their competency in the Rusyn language, as well as gain an understanding of Carpatho-Rusyn history, culture, literature, and ethnography.

The Studium Carpato-Ruthenorum is held on the campus of Prešov University at 17th of November Street, #15 (ulica 17. Novembra, č. 15), with the dormitory, cafeteria, and classroom building all located in close proximity. Instruction is provided by university professors, distinguished Slavists, and specialists in Carpatho-Rusyn studies from Slovakia, Ukraine,
the United States, and Canada. The language of instruction, in parallel courses, is either Rusyn or English.
The program offers 20 hours of history lectures and 20 hours of language instruction. A ten-hour minicourse in Carpatho-Rusyn ethnography will also be offered in both English and Rusyn as part of the curriculum. Extra practice sessions outside of the classroom will help participants strengthen their conversational skills. Participants who complete the program receive official certificates from the Studium, and transcripts will be available for students who wish to earn credits for the program through their home universities.

Carpatho-Rusyn History:
The history lecture series focuses on Carpathian Rus’ and the Carpatho-Rusyns worldwide from the earliest times to the present. Lecturers include Professor Paul Robert Magocsi, University of Toronto, and Dr. Valerii Padiak, Researcher and Publisher, Center for Carpatho-Rusyn Studies, Uzhhorod, Ukraine.

Carpatho-Rusyn Ethnography:

The mini-course in Carpatho-Rusyn ethnography is taught in English by Associate Professor Patricia Krafcik, The Evergreen State College (Olympia, Washington) and in Rusyn by Professor Mykola Mušynka, External Faculty in the Institute for Rusyn Language and Culture, Prešov University, and covers selected topics in folklore.

Rusyn Language:
The Rusyn language is offered for beginners, for students who have some knowledge of Russian, Ukrainian, or another Slavic language, and for native speakers of Rusyn. These classes are intended to help participants acquire an understanding of the theoretical linguistic aspects of the Rusyn language, as well as to develop proficiency in the spoken and written
language. Instructors include from Prešov University: Associate Professor Anna Plišková and Dr. Kvetoslava Koporová.

Extracurricular Activities:
The following activities take place outside of class and include:

– presentations on Rusyn traditions, folklore, and the socio-cultural life of Carpatho-Rusyns in Slovakia, including a visit to the Svidník Folklore Festival and Rusyn cultural institutions in Prešov;

– presentations on Rusyn folk architecture and culture, including visits to museums, skanzens, and wooden churches, and excursions in the Prešov Region of northeastern Slovakia where Rusyns reside;
– a Rusyn literary evening;

– visits to the Alexander Dukhnovych Theater and film viewings;
– pysankŷ (wax resist egg decorating) and folksong workshops.

Housing and Meals:
Participants are housed in a Prešov University dormitory in standard 2-bed/2-room suites with Internet access for laptop computers and dine in the university cafeteria. The dormitory provides a communal kitchen with refrigerator, washing machines, and dryers. Wireless internet is accessible in the cafeteria building. Available in the university neighborhood are grocery stores, a pharmacy, restaurants, Internet cafes, bookstores, and easy access to city transportation.

Applications and a complete program schedule for the Studium may be found at
http://www.unipo.sk/pracoviska/urjk/1/LS5 and http://www.c-rs.org.

Applications will be accepted online until March 1, 2014, and should be sent to the following email address:
urjk@unipo.sk. The online application process is much preferred, but hard copies may be sent to the following postal address:

Prešovská univerzita
Ústav rusínskeho jazyka a kultúry
Ul. 17. novembra 15
080 01 Prešov, SLOVAK REPUBLIC

The cost for the three-week session, including tuition, housing, three meals daily, all excursions, and all museum admissions, is 1200 Euros or $1670.  A non-refundable administrative deposit of 100 Euros or $140.00 is due by March 1, 2014. This fee will be applied to the total cost, with the remainder of 1100 Euros or $1530.00 due by May 15, 2014. Participants are responsible for their own travel costs to and from Prešov.

Some financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students registered in a college or university may be available on a needs basis. Please address any requests for financial aid to Assoc. Prof. Anna Plišková at:

Prešovská univerzita
Ústav rusínskeho jazyka a kultúry
Ul. 17. novembra 15
080 01 Prešov, SLOVAK REPUBLIC.

Payment by bank check is preferred and is to be sent to the following address:

Prešovská univerzita
Ms. Katarína Sabolová
Ul. 17. novembra 15
080 01 Prešov

Bank transfers are also possible to:

Current Account: Prešovská univerzita Prešov
Account Number: 7000066503/8180
IBAN: SK15 8180 0000 0070 0006 6503
Bank Name: Štátna pokladnica
Bank Address: Radlinského 32,
810 05 Bratislava 15,
Slovak Republic
Variable symbol: 1780

Within Slovakia and Europe, contact Dr. Timea Verešová, (English-speaking) for information at
urjk@unipo.sk, tel.: +421 (51) 7720 392, +421 915 412 917.

Within North America, contact Associate Professor Patricia Krafcik, at

07 October 2013


19 September 2013


15 September 2013


The vatra (bonfire) at 4 p.m.


 Saturday, September 21st from Noon until ???
Shrine of Mariapoch
17486 Mumford Rd., Burton, OH

C-RS.org (click on the event on the main page) for updated information

We have great Rusyn food, spectacular entertainment, children’s activities and genealogy information, free admission  


12:00    Kitchen opens, great Rusyn food-- pirohy, halupky, kolbasy, halusky--all day long.    
Kolbasy/sauerkraut and hotdog sandwiches by the fire, soup served all day.   

1:00-6:00             Children’s activities, piñata at 3:30
1:30                      Lucina Folk Ensemble, (Slovak)

2:00                      Csardas Hungarian Dance Company

2:30-3:30             Slavjane Folk Ensemble for McKees Rocks, PA (Rusyn)

3:00-6:30             Slanina (bacon fry around the fire)

4:00                      Slavonic/English Liturgy and Panachida for our deceased ancestors

6:00                      Living Traditions Folk Ensemble, Brecksville, OH (Rusyn)

7:00 - ??     Vatra Entertainment for those who cannot make it during the daytime, we have exciting   entertainment around the vatra (bonfire) with live musicians and dance. Lots of fun!

Dress for the weather, rain or shine, and bring a chair for the outdoor shrine.

If you would like to help for a 1-2 hour shift, please respond to this e-mail.

Bakery donations kindly accepted the day of the vatra.

The vatra at 7 p.m. just before the jumping begins.