We are a Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic parish in St. Josaphat Eparchy, which is a part of the Catholic Church. Our roots are from Ukraine in the Eastern Europe.
Historically, Ukraine — at that time Kievan Rus — received Christianity from the ancient city of Constantinople. The official date of the reception of the Christian Faith is 988AD. The story goes that the ruler of Kievan Rus wanted to unite his country under one religion, and he was looking at different religions in the world. He sent emissaries to the major religions of that time, to the Muslim countries, Jewish communities, as well as the Roman Catholic Church and Byzantine Church in the East.
he emissaries said this about their experience attending the Byzantine Divine Liturgy in Hagia Sophia:
And we went into the Greek lands, and we were led into a place where they serve their God, and we did not know where we were, on heaven or on earth; and do not know how to tell about this. All we know is that God lives there with people and their service is better than in any other country. We cannot forget that beauty since each person, if he eats something sweet, will not take something bitter afterwards; so we cannot remain any more in paganism.
From that time the Church flourished in the Ukrainian Lands. In 1054 A.D. the Western and Eastern Churches split. However, following the words of Christ to “remain as one,” the Ukrainian Church reunited with Rome in 1596.
In the beginning of the 20th century people from Ukraine started migrating to different parts of the world, and they brought their faith with them. Many of these immigrants came to the United States of America, who welcomed the Ukrainian people and offered them freedoms that were suppressed in Ukraine under the rule of communism: freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion.
We come from a persecuted Church. We know how loss feels, we know how hatred feels, and we know suffering. That is why we join together in our parish like a family, to give others a sense belonging and a place to meet the One, who can touch one’s heart and mend it.