A few months ago I added the Facebook gadget in the right-rail of this blog so hopefully, dear readers, you have noticed that there is activity happening on my end, just not in the form of full-length blog posts.
My recent activities have included the following:
- I'm continuing to work on building my databases of fraternal benefit society (and similar organization) lodges, and perhaps most importantly, of the places in Pennsylvania Carpatho-Rusyn immigrants settled, by county and region.
- On April 20, Great & Holy Saturday for most Byzantine/Greek Catholics in America, I took a ride across a portion of the cradle of the Carpatho-Rusyn immigration in the U.S. — Schuylkill and Luzerne Counties. Some, not quite most, of the churches of Carpatho-Rusyn origin were open that day for services or for people to spend time in prayer at the “grave” where the burial shroud (плащаница - plaščanica) of Jesus is displayed until the Resurrection services in the evening/night or Sunday morning. I posted quite a few of the photos on the Carpatho-Rusyns of Pennsylvania Facebook page.
- In May I attended the 25th anniversary celebration of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, in Munhall. I am one of the eight founders of the organization, and I edited its New Rusyn Times publication from its start in 1994 until the beginning of 2016.
- While in Pittsburgh, I completed my photography of Rusyn immigrant tombstones at Calvary Cemetery in Hazlewood/Greenfield, and made a research contact with the pastor of one of the few remaining parishes I need to analyze the early metrical records of.
- I applied for the Grant-in-Aid Award of the Immigration History Research Center Archives at the University of Minnesota so I can soon, I hope, return to the IHRC Archives for one more visit to do research with early Carpatho-Rusyn (and Ukrainian / Slovak / Russian) periodicals. (The IHRC Archives has much of this sort of material not available anywhere else, and much of that was published in Pennsylvania; their collections are not only related to Minnesota!)
- I'm continuing to discover new and fascinating articles and go down rabbit holes on newspapers.com, and occasionally readers are sending me their discoveries too, for which I'm very grateful!
- Again this year I'll be on a panel at the Annual Convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, & Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), this time in San Francisco in November. The panel title is "Documenting Lives of Carpatho-Rusyns and Their Neighbors in Subcarpathian Rus’ and Beyond" and my paper will be "A Carpatho-Rusyn Village’s American Conversion to Orthodoxy: Statistical Analysis Reveals Life Narratives." This paper draws on my research and experience of giving the St. Alexis (Toth) Lecture in 2018 at St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral in Minneapolis.
- And last but not least, I'm actually writing text for the book. Finally. I'm preparing the introductory essays that will present an overview of Carpatho-Rusyn life in Pennsylvania, and a synopsis of Rusyn history in each of the state's regions that will form the sections of the book.
Original material is © by the author, Richard D. Custer; all rights reserved.