Cel­e­brat­ing her­itage

84th an­nual Ukrainian Sem­i­nary Day set for Sun­day

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK COPY ED­I­TOR

Py­rohy, polka and pysanky are just three of the many cul­tural tra­di­tions to be fea­tured at an event cel­e­brat­ing the her­itage and faith of an Eastern Euro­pean coun­try this week­end.

The 84th an­nual Ukrainian Sem­i­nary Day will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sun­day at St. Ni­cholas Pic­nic Grove and Hall, Route 901, Prim­rose. Ad­mis­sion and park­ing are free and will be held rain or shine. Ad­just­ments will be made in the case of rain, ac­cord­ing to the Very Rev. Arch­priest Michael Hut­sko, dean of the South An­thracite Dean­ery, and pas­tor of Ss. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church, Mount Carmel.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence the cul­ture and tra­di­tions as well as the faith of the Ukrainian peo­ple, many of whom em­i­grated to this North­east Penn­syl­va­nia area in the late 1800s and es­tab­lished churches and com­mu­ni­ties and who have re­mained very close to their parishes who now spon­sor this event to sup­port the ed­u­ca­tion of sem­i­nar­i­ans,” Hut­sko said. “It’s more than just a pic­nic; it’s a real fes­ti­val and cel­e­bra­tion of cul­ture and tra­di­tion of the Ukrainian peo­ple.”

This year’s event, which is spon­sored by the 12 parishes of the dean­ery, will fea­ture some new demon­stra­tions such as cross-stitch, pysanky — the Ukrainian dec­o­rat­ing of Easter eggs — and the writ­ing of icons, Hut­sko said.

“We have a woman com­ing who is go­ing to demon­strate and speak about iconog­ra­phy, from the pre­par­ing of the wood or the can­vas right through the whole process of paint­ing an icon,” he added.

Also new this year will be the per­for­mance of a group of 12 to 15 vo­cal­ists from around Wash­ing­ton, D.C., who sing tra­di­tional Ukrainian mu­sic all over the coun­try. The group, called Spiv Zhyttya, or Liv­ing in Song, will be per­form­ing about 1 p.m. and will be split­ting their stage time with Kazka Ukrainian Folk Ensem­ble, a group of lo­cal tal­ent who sing, per­form and dance.

Mike Buryk will be re­turn­ing for a sec­ond year for an ex­hi­bi­tion on the art of Ni­cholas Bervin­chak, as well as a pre­sen­ta­tion on the ge­neal­ogy of Ukrainian an­ces­tors in the re­gion, Hut­sko said.

Even with all the mu­sic, cre­ative in­struc­tion and art, no one would blame you for go­ing solely for the Ukrainian cui­sine. The fes­ti­val will have for sale py­rohy, hol­ubtsi, halushki, home­made soups, cakes and pas­tries, as well as typ­i­cal Amer­i­can fare, Hut­sko said.

“All the food is pre­pared by the parishes of the dean­ery. It’s all home­made and each parish has a spe­cialty and that’s what they pre­pare,” he said. ”For in­stance, my parish here in Mount Carmel is known for its piero­gies, so we pre­pare over 450 dozen piero­gies and the parish then do­nates it for sale at Ukrainian Day to help raise the funds. Other parishes’ spe­cial­ties are halup­kies, oth­ers make halushki, so it’s spread out across the 12 parishes.”

There will also be more than 50 theme bas­ket raf­fles,

all made by parishes of the dean­ery, as well as a “siz­able” num­ber of ven­dors com­ing from the tri-state area with tra­di­tional Eastern Euro­pean and Ukrainian items, such as crossstitched shirts, wood­work­ings, pysanky items, books and more, Hut­sko said.

All prof­its from the cel­e­bra­tion will ben­e­fit St. Jos­aphat Ukrainian Catholic Sem­i­nary in D.C.

“Since 1985, this dean­ery has raised just short of $900,000 through Ukrainian Day to sup­port the sem­i­nary,” Hut­sko said. Nev­er­the­less, he men­tioned, none of the do­na­tions could be made if it weren’t for Ukrainian Day, which takes a colos­sal amount of time and la­bor to hold.

“The ded­i­ca­tion of these lay peo­ple is very in­spir­ing.

Their de­vo­tion to the church and to this cause through all of the years — 84 years is a long time to do this — is some­thing that we’re all very proud of and we un­der­stand how much work it takes. It’s a tremen­dous amount of work and sacrifice, but every­one is fully in­volved and fully com­mit­ted to the suc­cess of this event be­cause they be­lieve in sup­port­ing the sem­i­nary and the ed­u­ca­tion of young men for the priest­hood.”

Next up for the South An­thracite Dean­ery is the Call to Prayer Pil­grim­age that will be held at noon Aug. 26 at As­sump­tion BVM Church in Cen­tralia. The event was borne out from a visit in 2015, when the head of the Ukrainian church came to the United States. He was so moved with the church in Cen­tralia and the parish­ioners’ com­mit­ment to the church in the oth­er­wise des­o­late com­mu­nity that he de­cided to make a pil­grim­age of it.

“We bring the en­tire town back to life for one day,” Hut­sko said.

“It’s more than just a pic­nic; it’s a real fes­ti­val and cel­e­bra­tion of cul­ture and tra­di­tion of the Ukrainian peo­ple.” Very Rev. Arch­priest Michael Hut­sko, dean of South An­thracite Dean­ery and pas­tor of Ss. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church, Mounta Carmel

JAC­QUE­LINE DORMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The Kazka Ukrainian Folk Ensem­ble will per­form at 1 p.m. Sun­day dur­ing the 84th an­nual Ukrainian Sem­i­nary Day to be held at St. Ni­cholas Pic­nic Grove, Prim­rose.

JAC­QUE­LINE DORMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Anne Marie Wachter, Pottsville, front, and Aaron and Erin Wachter, El­iz­a­beth­town, check out an ex­hibit of works by Ni­cholas Bervin­chak dur­ing last year’s fes­ti­val.

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