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

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"After the Boom" (Shenandoah, Pa., and St. Michael’s Church)

A woman walks past an abandoned school
in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.
After the Boom
Eastern Christians cling to their faith as time runs out on the former coal towns of Pennsylvania, reports Jacqueline Ruyak with photographs by Cody Christopulos
CNEWA World, March-April 2004

(Reprinted/excerpted with permission from the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. NOTE: This article described the social conditions prevailing in several Eastern Christian parishes, all founded by Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants, of northeastern Pennsylvania's anthracite coal region. With the recent campaign to save the structure that was the first Greek Catholic Church in the U.S., in Shenandoah, we felt it useful to present the portion dealing with Shenandoah.)

...Some 40 miles southwest of Kingston and Edwardsville lies the town of Shenandoah, which is situated along the Mammoth coal vein. Called the “most magnificent coal bed in the world,” this vein produced over two-thirds of the anthracite mined. Shenandoah was founded in 1866, four years after the first colliery opened, bringing in settlers, eating houses, saloons and more.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Fate of the Shenandoah Mother Church: Update

We posted a few days ago about the coming demolition of the building that was the original Greek Catholic church in the U.S., of the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County, Pa., which belongs to the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

After this news became public, some Ukrainian Americans started a petition drive to save the building and "convert the church into a Ukrainian museum."

As I wrote at the end of my blog post, the day before this petition was launched:
This is very sad. In a better world, the original church would have been restored and perhaps turned into a museum.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ukrainian church in Shenandoah faces demolition (news story)

Ukrainian church in Shenandoah faces demolition
By John E. Usalis
Republican Herald (Pottsville, PA), August 15, 2015

SHENANDOAH — The first church used by Ukrainian Byzantine Catholics in the United States will soon be no more, but its loss will help secure the future of its successor church in the borough.
The original St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church is in the process of being demolished Friday on West Centre Street, Shenandoah.