Monday, January 7, 2013

Ukrainian Christmas, and the St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church

EVG regular Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk reminded us that today is Ukrainian Christmas ... (and Orthodox Christmas Day).

[Via WallyG on Flickr]

And here's a little history of the St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church ... via the church's website...

The first record of a Ukrainian liturgy of the Byzantine tradition was celebrated in the church basement of St. Brigid located on Avenue B, on April 19, 1890 by Father Alexander Dzubaj. In 1892, the Greek Catholic congregation purchased St. Ilee in Brooklyn. Even in those days similar to today, land in New York City was very expensive and Ukrainian immigrants so poor, that it was not feasible for them to purchase a church or land in the city. Thus, it took Ukrainian Catholics another 13 years before they founded St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1905.

Late in 1905, the Ukrainian community of Manhattan purchased the Colgate Chapel from a Baptist congregation on East 20th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues. The chapel was converted into the Byzantine Ukrainian Catholic style and hence was born the first church of its kind on the island of Manhattan.

The new church was dedicated to Saint George and well maintained from its inception. In 1911, the need for a larger church was obvious and the congregation of St. George purchased a Methodist church on 7th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. The new location was immediately converted to the Greek Catholic style in order to serve a growing Ukrainian catholic community.

The current church building of St. George was built in 1978.

Here are two undated photos of the apartment building that stood on the southeast corner of East Seventh Street and Shevchenko Place before the current church was built... in the first shot, you can see the dome of the original St. George in the background ... (going east on Seventh Street...)

...this shot is from East Sixth Street looking north along Shevchenko Place to East Seventh Street ... you can see McSorley's straight ahead... the apartment building where the church is now is on the corner... and you can see a bit of the St. George Elementary School and St. George Academy in the near right corner...

[Via Facebook]


Anonymous said...

thanks, evgieve for a nice post.

and, dyakuyu, mykola! bazhayu veselykh sviat!


Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

Anonymous wrote:

dyakuyu, mykola! bazhayu veselykh sviat!

which means, Thank you Mykola, wish you happy holidays!

Simple ;)

Anonymous said...

My maternal grandparents were married at the original St. George's church. Interestingly enough, my paternal grandparents were married at St. Stanislaus Polish Catholic church, just east on 7th street a few blocks.

Bianca said...

Thanks for posting. I went to St. George Academy for high school. It was interesting to read that bit of history about the church. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thank you for this. I would love to know more about the history of the East European community in the EV. Slavs put even more of the "East" in "East Village"....? (and now the growing East Asian population does as well).

- East Village Slav

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. My paternal grandparents were married in the old church. I had never seen the old building before, so just being able to see a bit of the dome is neat. And Khristos Rozdaetsia! (a bit late.)