Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Saint John's Day (Ivan Kupala Day or Sobitka)

ST. JOHN'S DAY (Ivan Kupala Day or Sobitka)

Although the practice didn't survive among immigrants in the U.S. (especially in urban areas like the Chicago region), June 24 is St. John's Day, a time for summer celebration, and a brief break in one of the busiest times of the calendars for a people tied to the soil.

One part of the celebration, St. John's Eve bonfires, aren't uniquely Rusyn -- but they were a regular part of our calendar.

An article from the Carpatho-Rusyn American from 1984 explains some of the folk traditions.

Have a Happy Ivan Kupala Day!

Video of the Funeral for Metropolitan Basil Schott

The following is a video of the Funeral for Metropolitan Basil M. Schott of the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, PA. The Funeral was held at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Munhall, PA on June 18th, 2010.

Memory Eternal!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Memory Eternal! Vicnaja Pam'yatʹ!

It is with a heavy heart that I pass along the news of the falling asleep in the Lord of Metropolitan Basil Schott, Archbishop of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh (July 9, 2002 – June 10, 2010). Metropolitan Basil died 3:45 a.m. on Thursday, June 10th, 2010 at UPMC Passavant Hospital in Pittsburgh from cancer that he had been diagnosed with last year.

Metropolitan Basil was born in Freeland, Luzerne County, Pennsylvainia and ordained to the priesthood in 1965. Metropolitan Basil was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Pittsburgh on May 3, 2002 by Pope John Paul II and was enthroned as Metropolitan Archbishop of the 'Byzantine Catholic Church in America' on July 9th, 2002.

The Byzantine Catholic Church is the American sister church of the one formed in 1649 in the Carpathians, as a result of the merging of the existing Orthodox Church with Roman Catholic Church of the then ruling Austro-Hungarian empire. Carpatho-Rusyn members are still the majority of this church, but this is decreasing as the church expands in the USA.

The arrangements are as follows:
Wednesday, June 16:
  • 1:00 p.m. reception of the Archbishop’s body at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Munhall, PA

  • 7:00 p.m. Funeral Service for a Priest - Part I

Thursday, June 17:

  • 1:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Archbishop to lie in state.

  • 7:00 p.m. Funeral Service for a Priest - Part II

Friday, June 18:

  • 10:00 a.m. Funeral Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, Munhall, PA

  • Internment: Mount Saint Macrina, Uniontown, PA

In blessed repose, grant, O Lord, eternal rest to your departed servant, the high priest Metropolitan Basil, and remember him forever.

Memory Eternal! Vicnaja Pam'yatʹ!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Walls in a Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox Church in Mukačevo streams myrrh

The walls of a church dedicated to the Icon of the Mother of God “The Joy of All Who Sorrow” in Mukačevo in Carpatho-Rusyn streamed myrrh. This happened right before a fire broke out in a neighbouring church under construction. According to the rector of the parish, Fr Nikolai, parishioners first noticed drops of myrrh on a wall with frescoes of the Mother of God, the Saviour, and St John the Baptist in the summer of 2008. A visiting Archbishop also confirmed that this phenomenon was myrrh, the website reported on Friday. “Subsequently, myrrh exuded from a neighbouring wall, but it was weaker. We could not understand what this might mean. A month later, our new church burnt down. The appearance of the myrrh was a warning, for the new building caught on fire on 28 September 2008”, Fr Nikolai related. He told us that, because of the fire, the unfinished church in honour of All Saints was heavily damaged from the inside. The community suffered a loss of more than 1.8 million roubles (60,826 USD 42,298 Euros 37,386 UK Pounds). However, drops of myrrh began to emerge on the walls afterwards, especially before major holidays. The clergy do not collect the myrrh, and, Fr Nikolai told us, then, the moisture is absorbed into the wall. “Many people come here. They believe in the miraculous power of the monastery. Miracles have occurred here. In May 2009, near the icon of the Mother of God, dried lilies began to bloom. They bloomed for two weeks”, he said.

Carpatho-Rusyn Day

The Carpatho-Rusyn Consortium of North America, a coalition of six cultural organizations representing the Rusyn people, has designated October 26 as Carpatho-Rusyn Day in the United States and Canada. The Consortium is asking its constituent organizations, and civic bodies in those countries, to commemorate and celebrate, at their discretion and in an appropriate manner, the history and culture of Carpatho-Rusyns on or near this date. The designation comes after a decision by the World Council of Rusyns, in which the Consortium participates, for Rusyn organizations in each country in which they live to choose an appropriate date on which Rusyns will be recognized at a national level. October 26 was chosen for the United States and Canada to commemorate a gathering at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1918 at which Carpatho-Rusyns were recognized for the first time as a distinct nationality by the member nationalities of the Mid-European Union as well as by the United States government.

To learn more about this event or additional information you can view the Carpatho-Rusyn Consortium of North America's website at: