UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia Celebrates its 90th Anniversary
By Subdeacon Stephen Revucky
On October 16th, the faithful of St. Vladimir Cathedral gathered together to celebrate a special day in the history of the parish - the 90th anniversary of the existence of the parish, and the 50th anniversary of the current church temple on 5th Street in Philadelphia. This celebration coincided with the recent feast day of the Protection of the Theotokos, the second parish feast of the year.
The liturgy was celebrated by His Grace Bishop Daniel. Seminarians Subdeacon Volodymyr Yavorskii, Subdeacon Mykola Zomchak, Yurii Bobko, Ihor Protsak and Tadei Surak, as well as Deacon John Charest accompanied Bishop Daniel on the trip from South Bound Brook, NJ to Philadelphia, PA on this crisp, autumn Sunday morning. Visiting priests included Fr. Orest Pukhalsky of Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orhtodox parish in Geln Spey, NY and Fr. Emmanuel Pratsinakis of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Bishop Daniel delivered his sermon from the center aisle of the church, walking among where the people were sitting, sharing his life experiences. He reminded us how fortunate we are to have a rich parish history, since the events going on in Ukraine at the time of the parish’s founding (under Soviet rule) were anything but hospitable to a devoted Orthodox congregation.
After the liturgy, the parishioners and visitors gathered together at Philmont Country Club in suburban Philadelphia for a celebratory banquet. Bandura players opened the reception as people gathered. Parish Council President Edward Zetick, Vice President Ivan Prasko (former President of St. Mary’s Protectress/Pokrova Parish Council), as well as V. Rev. Taras Naumenko, pastor of St. Vladimir, addressed those gathered with messages not only celebrating the rich history of the parish, but looking forward to the future.
Those in attendance received a commemorative book with the history of the parish, and many photos of not only the construction of the current parish building, but also of events throughout the years.
Over 200 people gathered for the celebration, which included a full entertainment program. Singers and bandura players Yulia Stupen and Halyna Bodnar entertained the attendees with traditional Ukrainian folk songs, and the school for the local Ukrainian dance troupe “Voloshky”, with their up-and-coming dancers, also entertained the crowd. Finally, visiting seminarians from St. Sophia’s Seminary showed their singing talents in a number of spiritual hymns - a fitting moment to conclude the festivities and remembering the true meaning of this celebration - our shared love in Christ.
Many thank to those who helped put together a wonderful celebration: Chair of the Anniversary Committee and Vice-President of the Parish Board of Administration Andrew Passyn, Vera Shapowalenko, Christine Kurman, Theodore Kurman. Without your devotion, such a great event would not have been possible.