23 July 2006


Easter was always such a fun time for me when we were younger. It was a time to be with Grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins. A lot of happy memories. Preparation of the Easter basket was a lot of fun. Here's 2 links about the Easter Basket Tradition - 1 is what is in the Easter Basket and 1 is a link to delicious recipes.

What's in the Easter basket?


Pictures from the GCU Newspaper

The headline on the page of pictures from the GCU Newspaper was "Our Ancestors." The pictures are from the Zakarpat Obl and Maramures County.

Another historic map

This map shows when the region was under the rule of then Czech in 1928 - Bohemia and Moravia are now modern day Czech Republic with Slovakia as well Slovakia and the Sub-Carpath section is now the Zakarapt Obl in Ukraine.

09 July 2006

Some more history from the byz site

To read another article about the economic and historical life of our culture Click Here

Rusyns more on wikipedia....

Rusyns - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Total population - 55,000 approx. self-declared (up to 1.2 million claimed)[1]

Regions with significant populations -
Slovakia :24,201 (2001 census) [2]
Serbia: 15,626 (2002 census) [3]
Ukraine: 10,100 self-declared (2001 census) [4](up to 977,000 claimed)[5]
Croatia: 2,337 (2001 census)

Language - Rusyn, Pannonian Rusyn, Ukrainian, Slovak, Russian

Religion - Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Catholic

Related ethnic groups other East Slavic peoples
Rusyns (also referred to as Ruthenians, Ruthenes, Rusins, Carpatho-Rusyns, and Rusniaks or Rusnaks) are a modern ethnic group that speaks the Rusyn language and are descended from the minority of Ruthenians who did not adopt a Ukrainian national identity in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Because an overwhelming majority of Ruthenians within Ukraine itself have adopted a Ukrainian identity [6], most modern Rusyns live outside Ukraine. The ethnic identity of Rusyns is therefore highly controversial, with some researchers claiming a separate East Slavic ethnicity distinct from Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, while others considering Rusyns to be a subgroup of the Ukrainian nation. Some parallels can be drawn with the relationship of Moldovans to Romanians.

to read more click here

Territories of the Carpathian Rus

Carpathian Rus/Karpats’ka Rus’
Carpathian Rus/Karpats’ka Rus’ — territory historically inhabited by Carpatho-Rusyns. It covers approximately 18,000 square kilometers located along the southern and, in part, northern slopes of the Eastern Carpathian mountain ranges, stretching about 375 kilometers from the Poprad River in the west to the upper Tisza/Tysa and Ruscova/Rus’kova rivers in the east. According to present-day boundaries this territory is divided among Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, and a small part of Romania. Carpathian Rus’ may be subdivided into four regions, whose boundaries are determined by the states in which each is located: the *Lemko Region (in Poland), the *Prešov Region (in Slovakia), *Subcarpathian Rus’ (in Ukraine), and the *Maramureş Region (in Romania).

Both the concept of Carpathian Rus’ and its territorial extent have varied. During the second half of the nineteenth century scholars in the Russian Empire (Iakiv *Holovats’kyi, 1875; Ivan *Filevich, 1895; Fedor *Aristov, 1916) understood Carpathian Rus’ to include “Russian-inhabited” lands within the Habsburg Empire, that is, all of eastern Galicia and northern Bukovina as well as Ugorskaia Rus’ (i.e., Subcarpathian Rus’ and the Prešov Region in Hungary). As early as 1850 the Rusyn historian Andrei Deshko understood the term Carpathian Rus’ to include only Rusyn-inhabited lands in the Hungarian Kingdom (Subcarpathian Rus’ and the Prešov Region). At the close of World War I, however, Carpatho-Rusyn political leaders, in petitions submitted along with maps to the Paris Peace Conference (1919), defined Carpathian Rus’ to mean Subcarpathian Rus’, the Prešov Region, and, on the northern slopes of the mountains, the Lemko Region (as far east as the San River).

Paul Robert Magocsi

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.

Eastern Catholics and Western Catholics

For a detailed entry about the division of the church and the meaning of joining with the 'See of Rome' visit this article on wikipedia Click Here

A church view on the history of the Carpatho-Rusin people

This article was taken from the byzcath website and it describes the church's view of the history of the Carpatho-Rusin people. I note here that this is the church view because it is important to realize that historically the faith was not under Rome. In fact the form of faith was orthodox and later when joined with the 'See of Rome' it maintained the eastern traditions of orthodoxy but there are other distinct differences that distinguish catholicism and orthodoxy.

beginning of article -

The most striking feature of the Carpatho-Rusin homeland is its mountainous terrain. Located just south of the crests of the Carpathian Mountains, the land, which averages 2,000 feet in elevation, is covered with forests and lined with narrow, arable valleys. The rugged landscape obviously restricted the choices of livelihoods of the people dwelling in the region. Given the rugged topography, industrialization never took place. Instead, the people of this region, who for the most part lived in small, scattered villages numbering no more than a few hundred residents, scratched out a minimal, subsistence-level existence as shepherds, loggers or small-scale farmers.

Living in the center of Europe had profound consequences on the development of the Carpatho-Rusin people. By straddling the border between the East and the West, the Carpatho-Rusin people were strongly influenced by a complex set of cultural, political and religious forces from both areas.

The area of Central Europe was initially settled by tribal peoples from territories immediately to the north and east beyond the Carpathian Mountains in what is the present day Ukraine. Thus, the very name of the Carpatho-Rusin people is of Eastern origin. It is derived from the word "Rus," which is the name given to the early Slavic peoples who migrated to and eventually inhabited this area of the European continent.

The language of the Carpatho-Rusin people also reflected its Eastern orientation. The language is an East-Slavic dialect and is written in the Cyrillic alphabet which was developed by St. Cyril, the missionary monk, who with his brother, Methodius, brought Christianity to the Slavs in the ninth century. Thus, the Carpatho-Rusin language is grammatically and etymologically related to other East-Slavic languages--Russian, Byelorussian and, in particular, Ukrainian.

The eastern ethnic, linguistic and religious origins and orientation of the Carpatho-Rusin people, however, were opposed by strong influences from the West. By the end of the first millennium, the Rusins of the Carpathians had been joined to the political, religious and cultural world of Kievan Rus', which included the area of the future "Kingdom of Galicia." Gradually, with the decline of these states, first the Carpatho-Rusin lowlands and then the highlands were annexed to the neighboring Kingdom of Hungary, a domination that would last, ultimately, until 1918.

Living as part of a country which was officially Roman Catholic had a lasting socioeconomic and cultural impact on the Carpatho-Rusins. By the late 16th and 17th centuries, the steady increase of feudal duties owed to the Hungarian lords reduced the Carpatho-Rusin people to the status of mere serfs, individuals legally bound to the land and subject to the whims of the landlord for goods and services. In addition, the conquest, first of the center of Byzantine Orthodoxy --the City of Constantinople, and later, large portions of the territory of the Hungarian kingdom, by the Islamic Ottoman Turks lead to an increasing political and religious isolation of the Carpatho-Rusin people and their only effective leadership, the clergy.

During the period of the Counter-Reformation, the Jesuit order established academies in Central Europe. These schools and the Catholic baroque culture they disseminated, as well as varied political, social and economic pressures, influenced part of the Carpatho-Rusin clergy in the Kingdom of Hungary to unite with the See of Rome. These were the same conditions that had been accepted in 1595/1596 at the Union of Brest in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Union of Užhorod was celebrated in 1646 when sixty-three Carpatho-Rusin priests assembled in the garrison chapel of Užhorod Castle and swore allegiance to the successor of Peter.

At first, the official acts of union were not universally accepted by the Carpatho-Rusin populace. But gradually over time, the Union of Užhorod took hold; so much so that by the mid-eighteenth century, Greek Catholicism had become the traditional religion of most Carpatho-Rusins.

The Greek Catholic faith not only provided a spiritual dimension for the lives of the Carpatho-Rusin people, but a social focus as well. The whole cycle of life in the small Carpatho-Rusin villages was governed first and foremost by the demands of the Church. The traditional life style of the Carpatho-Rusin peasant, determined by the rhythms of the agricultural seasons, was intertwined with numerous religious observances and obligations, including a mandatory day of rest on Sunday, the fasts and feasts of the Church calendar, baptisms, weddings and funerals, all in accordance with traditional Church dictates. Thus, for the Carpatho-Rusin people, participation in the activities surrounding the Church was as natural as the daily pursuit of the necessities of life itself.

In addition, adherence to their Greek Catholic faith provided the Carpatho-Rusin people with a cultural identity. The Carpatho-Rusins' close relationship with their Church became a kind of cultural attribute which was used to distinguish them from other nationalities within the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Byzantine Church in Tarentum - History

On the birth date of Saints Peter and Paul Church, July 3, 1918, about 75 families of Rusin and Hungarian origin met in the Borough of Brackenridge. The parish was legally incorporated on July 19, 1918. Shortly afterwards the parish purchased a church and house on Mile Lock Lane in Brackenridge.

The first resident pastor, Rev. Gabriel Chopey, was appointed in 1921. The parish flourished. Various parish groups were organized, including the altar and rosary societies, choral society and men’s club. As the congregation grew, they decided to transfer the site of the church from Brackenridge to West Tarentum. In 1929 the parish purchased St. Peter’s Hall and its adjoining property on West Eighth Avenue in Tarentum. They converted this building into the parish church which served the parish for the next twenty-five years.

In 1952 Bishop Daniel Ivancho appointed Father Michael G. Pipik as pastor with instructions to build a new church in an appropriate area. After a lengthy search, the parish was fortunate to obtain the Smith Estate at 339 East Tenth Avenue and adjacent property. The first project was to remodel the home, which became the parish rectory. It was blessed on November 15, 1953.

Ground was broken for the new church on April 4, 1954. The church was solemnly dedicated by Bishop Nicholas Elko on May 6, 1956. Bishop Elko returned to the church on June 8, 1958, to bless the stained glass windows, wall murals and marble shrines. On May 4, 1969 the parish celebrated its fiftieth Anniversary when Bishop Stephen J. Kocisko (at that time Archbishop-designate of the newly-created archeparchy) blessed the new marble altar of the church.

Members of the parish reside throughout the four-county Allegheny Valley—Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler and Westmoreland counties. The parish complex is located along East Tenth Avenue, which is the primary thoroughfare connecting Natrona Heights, Brackenridge and Tarentum. It is less than a block from Tarentum Bridge Road, which crosses the Allegheny River to New Kensington, Lower Burrell and Arnold. The Tarentum Bridge Road is Exit 14 of the Route 28 Allegheny Valley expressway. The church is visible both from the exit ramps of Route 28 and from the Tarentum Bridge while crossing from New Kensington.

In recent years, substantial effort has been undertaken to maintain and update parish properties. New heating and air conditioning systems have been installed in the church and rectory. In 1998 new carpeting was installed in the church and protective glass was placed on all the stained glass windows. The rectory has a new roof, bathrooms and flooring.

SS. Peter and Paul Church, with its sides of colored sandstone and its red slate roof, remains a neighborhood and community gem.

excerpt from http://www.archeparchy.org/page/directories/parishes/tarentum.htm

08 July 2006

A better view - Maps of Zakarpat and Surrounding Areas

Here the red area of this map shows Zakarpat Obl. The map below shows the surrounding countries and the Carpathian Mountains. This region borders Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

Zakarpat Obl

Transcarpathian Oblast
Transcarpathian Oblast/Zakarpats’ka oblast’ — administrative entity in Ukraine. The oblast was created by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on January 22, 1946, to replace *Transcarpathian Ukraine, a territorial entity dismantled at the same time. The Transcarpathian oblast covers 12,800 square kilometers, with a population of 1,252,000 (1989) that averages 85 persons per square kilometer. The oblast is divided into 13 districts (raiony) in which there are 603 townships; 9 of these, including the administrative center, Uzhhorod, are classified as cities.
Bibliography: V.I. Bielousov, ed., Istoriia mist i sil Ukraïns’koï RSR: Zakarpats’ka oblast (Kiev, 1969).
Ivan Pop

Entry courtesy of Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture.

Rose Marie Fedorchak Boris

Rose is the youngest daughter of Sophie and Ladislaus (Charles Sr.) She was born in Pennsylvania on March 4th 19??. She married Frank Boris at ____ Church on _______. She is the mother of Gregory Boris, Cindy Mangini and MaryBeth Young, grandmother to MaryAnn and Mark Mangini. She graduated from ___ HS in ____. Throughout her life she has worked in retail at _____, in Doctor ______ office and cared for the children of _______. She is like a grandmother to these children.

Charles Fedorchak Jr. b

Charles Fedorchak Jr was born on January 30th 1936. He was the second to youngest child of Sophie and Charles Sr. (Ladislaus.) Brother to John, Anna and Rose. He graduated from HS in _____ and had a long career at ___________ where he retired from in ______. He married Dolores _____ in _____. After her death in 1980, he married Penney _______ in 19___ from ______, Wisconsin. Instead of kids he has had dogs (the most memorable - Brownie.)

Anna Fedorchak Adams b Oct 3 1933. d Jun 10 2006

Anna daughter of Sophie and Ladislaus (Charles Sr.) She married Edward Thomas Adams on _____ __ 195? and Mother of Susan Ann, Edward II and Amy Marie. Grandmother of Danielle and Michael. She was born in Allegheny County in Pennsylvania on October 3rd 1933. After graduating HS in 1951, she attended nursing school in PA at Citizens General Hospital and later received her BA from Jersey City State College and her MS (or MA?) from Montclair State University, both in NJ.

John Fedorchak b Sep 4 1923, d Jan 18 1986

John Fedorchak was the eldest son of Sophie and Charles Fedorchak. He was married to Betty __________ and had one son, John Jr. He served in WWII and was a POW.

The children of Sophie Fedorchak and Charles Fedorchak Sr.

Birth order - eldest to youngest

John Fedorchak (married Betty) - children John Fedorchak

Anna Fedorchak Adams (married Edward Thomas) - children Susan Ann, Edward (II), Amy Marie

Charles Fedorchak (married Dolores - widowed then later married Penney)

Rose Marie Fedorchak Boris (married Frank) - children Gregory, Cindy, MaryBeth


Ladislaus Fedorchak (Charles Sr.) b Mar 3 1892, d Aug 14 1961

Ladislaus (variation of this name is also Vasile) Fedorchak was born in Czechoslovakia on March 3rd 1892. His mother was Mary Fedorchak (maiden name Evanyo) and he received his Certificate of Naturalization in the United States on March 16th 1943. Married to Sophie at the age of 30.

Parents and siblings of Ladislaus Fedorchak (Charles Sr.)

Need information -

Mother - Mary Evanyo Fedorchak

Father -

Ladislaus Charles Fedorchak ( Sr.)

other siblings ???????

Sophie Fedorchak (Csehily) b Jan 6, 1904, d Jan 23 1983

Sophie Fedorchak immigrated to the United States on August 15th 1921. Her entry was into New York. She then traveled to Pennsylvania where she lived the remainder of her life. She was sponsored by her aunt and uncle Bertha and Andrew Cihil. Fate played a role in her coming, since originally, her sister Julia was to come. Julia died in childbirth and Sophie took her place. Sophie and Julia had a brother Andry Vaszilu. He remained in the Erszavsky region in Zakarpat Obl, USSR/Europe (how it appears on the documents.) Sophie married Ladislaus Fedorchak (Charles) on September 16th 1922.