Wednesday, August 8, 2012

C-RS's Multilingual Wizard

John Timo, C-RS multilingual wizard has kindly translated the following Slovak-language article in the 1912 Kalendar Jednota:

"The Greek Catholic Parish in Freeland PA"

Someday, someone may want to write a comprehensive historical account of our Rusyn Greek Catholic parish and its various societies.  He will have to use golden letters when writing the names of the founders, parishioners and fraternalists.  The golden hearts and willing arms deserve this a thousand times over.

For the limited amount of space in the current Kalendar, I offer some highlights:
The parish was organized by: George Malenky, Michael, Jan and Alex Potočny, George Goč, Michael Dutko, Peter Lechman, Michael Medved,Michael Kvarta, Stephan Hrin, Paul Dančo, Jan Gaja, John Staurovsky and many others in 1886. 

At that time the only only other Greek Catholic Church in America was in Shenandoah PA.  Father Jan Volansky of Shenandoah, therefore, served our parish also. 

In he beginning, their services were held in a hall owned by Mr. Michael Zemany, later in a hall owned by a certain Englishman.

The people were intent on having their own church.  They entreated Mr. Eckley B. Cox for lots for a parish home, church and cemetery and he graciously granted them their requests.

The parishioners immediately began the building of the sacred church, even though there was no money, only $1138.49.  Construction began on June 5, 1887.  Thee work progressed nicely and that same year, on August 27, blessing of the corner stone took place.

Bur the parishioners had no pastor.  A request was sent to his eminence, the bishop of Prešov, who sent them Fr . Cyrill Gulovich.

The first church was a wooden building with one tower.  There was joy and celebration August 28, 1888 at the consecration.  Within a few years, the church became completely inadequate.  It was enlarged at had two towers.

With Father Gulovich;s departure, the parish was taken over by Fr. G. Martyak who was very concerned about the needs and requirements of building of an imposing church, as the parishioners desired and one that was large enough for all to enter.

with the departure of Fr. Martjak for the old country, Fr. Iren Janocsky was elected unanimously by the people and he increase the church's assets.  After a short stay, he was transferred to Passaic. 

Following him was Father N. Molchany under whose energetic enthusiasm the construction was completed on the current impressive church.

The church was build according to the plans of architect McGlen from Wilkes_barre.  The construction by W. Baillargeon.

The blessing of the cornerstone was held on May 30, 1907, witnessed by many societies and large crows. Because Fr. Molchany had acquired the parish in Kingston, the blessing of the church was conducted by our present pastor, Father B. Tutkovich on May 30 1908.

I cannot forget the sacrifices of our people, who like the early Christians of good heart, placed their generous offerings on the altar of the heavenly father.  For example, at the blessing of the cornerstone, the collection was over $1,300.00; at the dedication of the church, over 1600,00 and the blessing of the cemetery cross, over $600.00.

We had no schedule for making payments or finishing the building of the church because the parishioners voluntarily made regular payments from $25.00 to $100.00 .  The poorest ones gave at least $5.00.

That year the church interior was painted for $3,000.00.  It is obvious that with pride we can claim that there is none like it in America.  The iconographer was a Slovak, Mr. George Seifert.

The parish owns also a parish house, two cemeteries , a school and a home for rent for two families.

We can boast that our parish is prudently managed by our tireless and energetic curators and collectors, who daily perform their Noble duties with our beloved pastor.

I cannot identify here all of the names , but there is no doubt that are recorded in the Book of Life with the heavenly  Father.  God bless them all!

In our parish are many societies.  The oldest is St. Michael the Archangel, founded by the same men who founded the church. Its founding was September 23, 1888.  The first officers were:

Karol Dushek,President
Alex Potocny Vice President
George Hudak, Accountant
Michael Potocny, Treasurer
Originally the lode was independent.  On September 4, 1892, it joined the national Slovak Society and n 1894 it united with Jednota Lode 15, with 217 members , assets over $2,000.

Other societies include :

St Mary #273, IKSJ
St. George #222 Sojedinenije
Holy Spirit #146- Sojedinenije- (ladies)

Holy Cross Church Lodge Independent.

In Eckley:
St. Nicholas #22- Sojedinenije
A Knights Society
Our own band; well trained.

Theses lodge support the sick, crippled, orphans, and widows and the church.  For example, they purchased
 six windows at $160.00 each.

It was pleasure to write this article, for the world to be aware of our progress and development.  Lord,continue to help in the future.

Jozef Stulakovich

Submitted by:  John Schweich, C-RS trustee.  Email:


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