Carpatho-Rusyns are one of the major ethnic groups of Pennsylvania. From the time they settled the state’s small towns and cities in the late 1870s until the present time, Carpatho-Rusyns have left an indelible mark on the state, and their story should be told. This blog is about a project that will do just that. Read more

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Rusyn Spotlight on: Centralia, Columbia County

Assumption of the B.V.M. Greek Catholic Church, Centralia
The prayers, thoughts, and eyes of many will be focused on Centralia, Columbia County, Pa., this weekend. The historic Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is hosting a pilgrimage for the Catholic Church's Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy.

The church in Centralia was selected to have one of the special Doors of Mercy in the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy inaugurated by Pope Francis.
CONYNGHAM TOWNSHIP, Columbia County — Centralia is the spookiest and saddest place in Pennsylvania. An unquenchable 54-year-old underground coal fire compelled the relocation of virtually the entire population of the borough through federal government buyouts in the 1980s.

From a population of more than 1,000 in 1980, only a half-dozen holdouts remain in the Columbia County community — residents who struck an agreement with the government allowing them to stay until they die.

Improbably, however, there is life beyond their scattered homes. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church — perched on a hilltop just outside the borough line — is still active, drawing congregants from afar on Sundays and holy days.

This Sunday, the church will host a daylong event welcoming the faithful for liturgy and prayer. It's the first such event since Assumption was declared a holy pilgrimage site. (Morning Call, Aug. 26, 2016)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tribute to American Rusyn Olympians from PA and with PA Roots

With today's closing of the Summer Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro, we want to remember a pair of American Olympians of Carpatho-Rusyn heritage. One of them is a Rusyn Pennsylvanian, and the other is a Rusyn American of probable Pennsylvania roots.

First, our Pennsylvania native:

Christa Harmotto Dietzen (born Christa Deanne Harmotto), of Hopewell Twp., Pa., is a 29-year-old indoor volleyball player who plays the middle blocker position. She competed on the U.S. Olympic Team this year in Rio, as captain of the U.S. Women's Volleyball Team. The team lost to Serbia in the semifinals, taking home a bronze medal. Congratulations!