UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Parish Feast Day Celebration of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, IL
By Olena Lymar
During the week, preceding July 23-24, the parish of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral had worked very hard in preparing for their second annual Ukrainian Festival in Chicago's Ukrainian Village. Preparations for the festival included making varenyky (perogies), holubtsi (stuffed cabbage), pelmeni (meat dumplings), shashlyk (Shish-kebob), desserts, and many more Ukrainian dishes. Days before the festival volunteers from the Cathedral had come to set up and decorate tents, tables, chairs, and the stage.
As the festival approached, final touches were set in place. On Saturday at 5:00 in the afternoon, the gates were open and the festival had became available for the public to enjoy. As guests entered, they were greeted by many of the Cathedral's parishioners working hard at the grills, kitchen, and bar. Those attending the festival were also treated with various acts of ballroom and Ukrainian national dancing and even a live Ukrainian band. As the concert had just began, the unpredictable weather from Chicago had caused an interruption in the festivities. Although there was a torrential downpour and numerous lightning storms, the energy and spirit of the festival did not go down. With the quick thinking of those organizing the festival, they were able to move the live band and food up to the church's hall so the festivities would continue.
On the bright and sunny morning of July 24, the festivities had continued with a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Grace Bishop Daniel. As His Grace walked into the Cathedral, he was greeted by children welcoming him with flowers and was presented a beautiful loaf of korovaj (bread) by the Sisterhood and Parish Board President. Next, the pastor of St.Volodymyr Ukrainian orthodox Cathedral, Fr.Ivan Lymar, had greeted Bishop Daniel, asking him to pray for our Parish and our Motherland Ukraine. Celebrating the liturgy with Bishop Daniel and Fr.Ivan were Deacon John Charest, seminarians Mykhaylo Bokalo, Mykola Zomchak, and many of the Cathedral's altar servers.
During the liturgy, Bishop Daniel had offered a heartwarming sermon to the congregation focusing on loving each other and working together as a family, all wonderful reminders that as a parish that works together, we can overcome a lot of our challenges.
After the Liturgy, the entire congregation and many more from the Ukrainian village community had attended the festival, where they were led in prayer by Bishop Daniel in the official opening of the festival.
Guests of the event were again able to buy fresh and tasty Ukrainian foods, chilled Ukrainian beer, and deliciously grilled shish kebobs. In addition everyone at the festival had the opportunity to see many different types of performances, including Ukrainian National and ballroom dance, gymnasts’ performances, and even hear and see the Myron Jazz band, consisting of 17 members! Those attending could also enjoy the company of Bishop Daniel, many other priests from the Ukrainian Chicago community, and even speak with members of the Ukrainian Consulate in Chicago. At the end of the day, there was a lottery drawing consisting of many prizes including two 40' inch TVs donated for the festival by the Self-reliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union, and a fun dance party provided by the Ukrainian live band.
Even though the festival was interrupted by the storms, it was still a huge success! The parish had organized a fun and entertaining event, but most importantly the festival had provided many opportunities for the Ukrainian Village community and St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral parish to bond and create closer ties through food, culture, and celebration.
St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral would like to thank all those that have volunteered and supported in making the second annual Ukrainian Festival a success. The Festival committee would also like to thank the sponsors, Self-reliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union, Kasia’s Deli, Ann’s Bakery, and the Ukrainian Heritage Foundation for contributing to our festival and parish.