The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

Filter by Date

  • Ukraina -- October 12, 1918
    In Memoriam

    The angel of death that visits Chicago did not forget to pay a visit to a Ukrainian family.

    On October 4, at 7 A.M., this unmerciful angel of death came unexpectedly to the home of our beloved Father Osyp Kuzma and took his immaculate soul to eternity, leaving a remembrance after his frightful visit: to his dearest wife, to all his co-nationalists, friends and acquaintances, to members of the Ukrainian National Church of the Blessed Trinity on Erie near Robey Street, to friends by calling, the Ukrainian National priests and to all the Ukrainian National Churches of America, as well as to our dear Ukrainia of which the deceased was a true son and an honorable and a loyal worker.

    The late Father Osyp was born on the 16th of November, 1889, in Zolochiv, Ukrainian Galicia, under an old black peasant roof.


    The parents of the deceased were Daniel and Catherine, who though being poor, decided to give everything they had in order that their son Osyp might receive a higher education. So, on completing the fourth grade in the national school, his parents sent Osyp to a gymnasium school, where the deceased was an outstanding student almost every year. It was thus until he reached seventh grade. Being a student in the seventh grade, the late Father Osyp very well understood the maltreatment of the Ukrainian people by the Poles, which he witnessed with his own eyes and then he began to help them morally. On every occasion he went to the neighboring villages, to the libraries, where he gave lectures, encouraging the youth to work among themselves. At times the late Father Osyp traveled with Ukrainin lectures, mostly before elections, and agitated in favor of the Ukrainian candidates for the senate. To add to the misfortune, evil was threatening. Surprising news began to seep through the school officials against Father Osyp; accusing him of being a "haydamak," (robber). Following this news began the investigations 3of the Polish professors and even of our own; and hence a command to cease his activity. Having an inborn love for liberty and truth, the future Father Osyp, with his parents' consent, gave up his gymnasium studies, and bade farewell to his native home and his dearest countrymen, departing for the world beyond the wide sea, America, where he knew, was liberty, in which the deceased expected to find internal contentment.

    A poor man is always poor, says our watchword. This proverb particularly concerned the late Father Osyp. On coming to America, Father Osyp found himself abandoned, like a boat on the wild sea. No family nor friends nor acquaintances. In time he became acquainted with some of our intelligent people. Mostly the priests turned from the deceased without much faith, saying that he was an exile, loving none not even himself.

    So "keep away from him, people!"

    He was refused by his own.


    Yet other people who recognized the usefulness of Father Osyp interested themselves in him and tried to give him some work wherever possible.

    After learning the English language a little, the late Father Osyp enrolled in a business college at Wilkes Barre, Pa., striving one way or another to add to his knowledge, thus making his meager livelihood.

    In 1915 Father Osyp came to Milwaukee, Wis., where he got a job in a store. In the evenings he began to attend Marquette University.

    Through the good will of influential persons, the late Father Osyp began teaching in the Hanover Street public school and, besides this, he taught in the preparatory class for the citizens' papers. The deceased worked hard, without complaining against the bitter lot, being modest in self praise of his work.


    He only desired that his work should benefit others and only others, and that at the same time it should bring to him some livelihood. But he is a Ukrainian, he must work for the Ukrainian people, for the honest community.

    With fire in his soul he devoted himself to studying the occupations and positions of our people in America in every walk of life. Their Father Osyp studied the situation of the Ukrainians in America, and noticed a new trend, this being the movement for the national church.

    When he became a priest, Father Osyp (Joseph) was the happiest person in the world. "I could draw the whole world to my heart now, together with my friends and enemies," he said after he was ordained. "Granted health and strength, I believe that I will be able to do most everything for my dear Ukrainia and her children. I do not fear the enemies. They are not frightful to me, because I believe in the victory of light 6over darkness. I believe in triumph of the blessed truth over the cursed lie. I believe in the resurrection of the Ukrainian people from their dark tomb, into which the enemies gradually pushed our people, i. e., into spiritual darkness, ignorance and the national unconsciousness sown among them for centuries, which helped and even today helps to torture our dear Ukrainia."

    This is the thought the closed lips of Father Osyp utters today, while in his eyes one could see the fire burning for the love and willingness of his young life to become an offering on the altar of our dear Ukrainia and of all her oppressed Ukrainian people.

    As a priest, Father Osyp (Joseph) believed he could do a great deal of good for his people here in America. Within a few months Father Osyp made acquaintance with the most influential Americans, who honored and valued him even though he was young. Father Osyp was the first Ukrainian in Chicago who really knew how to interest Americans in the Ukrainians, before whom he oftentimes spoke in the English language. Father Osyp 7would announce the Ukrainian name wherever he could, and would represent our people as the nicest in the world. He worked the best he could and as a reward for his work in the national cause, he gathered sneers and reproaches from jealous enemies and blind fanatics, who today rejoice at the opportunity of his death, unappreciative to the late Father Osyp's true patriotism and work in the Ukrainian National Church field.

    Rejoice, Oh enemies! but know you that the dirt you throw at Father Osyp does not fall on him, but on yourselves. There will come the time when you will become conscious of yourselves and become ashamed of yourselves.

    And you, dear friend, brother and Father Osyp, may you rest in peace. May this free American soil that you loved so much as first after dear Ukrainia, be as light as a feather, and a remembrance unto you. May his memory among the Ukrainian people live from year to year evermore.

    The angel of death that visits Chicago did not forget to pay a visit to a Ukrainian family. On October 4, at 7 A.M., this unmerciful angel of death came ...

    IV, III C, I C
  • Sichovi Visty -- June 10, 1924
    Resolutions of the Fifth Siege Convention Held in Philadelphia (By a Chicago Ukrainian Dr. Joseph Nazaruk)


    Concerning Reinforcement of the Siege Organization

    The Convention thinks that it is necessary to make some fundamental changes in order to reinforce the organization. One of the changes will be that the Chief Executive must appoint all the officers, with the exception of those whom he thinks ought to be elected by their respective District or Branch. In case of the death or the resignation of the Chief Executive, his assistant will take full charge of the Office. And in case the latter can not continue in the Office, he has the right to appoint an Interim Chief Executive, until the next referendum. The manner in which the Chief Executive is to be elected will depend upon the latest amended by-laws. This amendment is done according to the leading thoughts of the speech on the by-laws, at every Siege 2Convention, and according to the five articles in the Siege Organ, under the title: "Let us Build a Strong Siege." The Chief Executive is to hold the Office for three years. All the other officers are his subordinates, and they are either directly appointed, or approved by him. After the three years are over, he must call a convention, at which the delegates will either re-elect the old, or elect a new Chief Executive. The Convention must appraise and approve, or otherwise, the work of the Officers in power for the past three years.

    The Chief Executive once elected for three years, can be deposed only by a referendum, that is, by a general voting of every Siege member, and when two-thirds of all the Branches and within each Branch, two-thirds of the votes are against the Chief Executive, he is deposed. Should the Chief Executive be reluctant to arrange for such a referendum, upon a demand of two-thirds of the Branches, the assistant to the Chief Executive has the right to arrange for the referendum.

    N. B. After a conference of the lecturer with the Chief Executive, the former made a motion only to elect financial secretaries. Mr. Stephen 3Muryn of Chicago was elected the General Financial Secretary. The election of the local secretaries was left to the Districts and Branches respectively. Other officers must be left entirely for the approval of the Chief Executive, after such names are presented or submitted by the respective Districts or Branches. Until further notice by the Chief Executive, the present officers hold their respective positions.


    Organizational Affairs

    The Siege Convention considers only those people as enlightened, who steadily belong to one or more of the Ukrainian organizations, and who steadily carry some burden for the sake of their Ukrainian Nation in their state. All others are merely ethnographical material, who are either Little Russians, or Little Poles, who through their inertness, in case of fight, cannot be depended upon; but on the contrary, through their indifference they help the occupiers to hold the Ukrainian country and nation in bondage.


    Therefore, the Convention calls upon all Ukrainians to join the Ukrainian National Organizations and thoroughly fulfill the duties of the organizations, and at the same time train their children to do so.

    The Convention considers the Siege as the only organization which can unite all the Ukrainians, regardless of creed or political party, on the whole earth: in Europe, the United States, Canada, Brazil, and other parts of America as well as in Asia, and elsewhere. Therefore, the Convention appeals to all Ukrainians, in whatever part of the world they may be, to form clubs, groups, within the Siege organization, in every locality wherever there are ten or more Ukrainians to be found, and to see to it that they get in direct contact with the Siege Headquarters in Chicago, if they are in America, or with other Headquarters, if they are in any other part of the world.


    State Affairs

    The Siege Convention is positively and firmly for the Independent


    Ukrainian State, since the whole Ukrainian Country is at present occupied by foreign governments. (A nation can be considered as unoccupied only when its land has definite boundaries, independent of any foreign country; when it has its own Supreme Government with its army, treasury, and its offices filled by its own people.) Therefore, because the Ukrainian nation is lacking all this on its own soil, it is in a state of war with all its occupiers. Although at the present moment the Ukrainian Nation is conquered, no lawful representative of the Ukrainian land and country has signed a peace treaty with its occupiers.

    The Convention finds it necessary to create a Ukrainian State Center, outside its own country, where it can be free to establish the necessary Ukrainian institutions, organizations, and newspapers. Such a center should not have a committee, but one person; because wherever a committee rules, it usually leads only to deterioration of the national ideals. Committees should be created only as advisory bodies, which can take care of certain branches of general business.


    Individual members of those Committees should be responsible to the Chief Executive, who should have the right to accept their resignations, and appoint or approve new members, upon the request of the Ukrainian organizations in that particular country.

    The entire Ukrainian Nation should finance this Center, especially the American immigrants, with a regular National State tax collected monthly by all Ukrainian organizations.



    The Siege Convention recognizes the necessity of a united National State front in America and also ways and means that lead to this unity. In regard to this unification, the Convention admits that the general endeavors to attain it are so excellent that the Convention can add nothing for its betterment, except congratulations.

    With reference to the National tax collected by the Siege Branches, the


    Convention gives a free hand to every Branch whether they have to send it through their respective Siege District Office, or whether each Branch must send it separately and directly to the Headquarters in Chicago. Each District has the right to direct and instruct its own Branches as to what they have to do and how they must do it in this particular case.



    The Siege Convention considers it the duty of every Siege member to pay the National State tax regularly as had been established, to help the Old Country which is weltering in blood and suffering, and which is in dire need of the help for widows and orphans, for disabled invalids, as well as for the Ukrainian vernacular schools so terribly persecuted by the occupiers.


    Religious and Church Affairs


    The Convention considers religious and church quarrels among the Ukrainians, as well as every kind of disturbance against the churches, as throwing a bone of discontentment, and thus distracting the attention of the people from the organized struggle for its State independence. Therefore, every kind of a quarrel against churches or between churches are to be considered nothing else but a ruinous activity, which will only benefit the enemies of the Ukrainian Nation. Every nation, whose lands are occupied by its enemies, must preserve harmony among its people, otherwise a fight is impossible, and all its dissensions among its people are instigated all the more by its enemies, who thus profit by the internal quarrels of the nation.



    The Convention considers the press the chief medium of promulgation, propaganda, and firm establishment of the ideals of the organization. Therefore, the Convention has decided that from now on every Siege 9member must be a subscriber of the Siege organ. The nearest referendum must abolish subscribing to the paper and limit the monthly dues so that they will take care of the upkeep of the Siege Organization as well as the publication of its organ. The Convention approved of the work of the present editor, and also approved of his continuing in this position.


    The next Siege Convention is to be held three years from now in Detroit, Michigan.


    The Convention annuls all decrees prior to the by-laws of this Convention that are not in accord with its final decisions.

    I Concerning Reinforcement of the Siege Organization The Convention thinks that it is necessary to make some fundamental changes in order to reinforce the organization. One of the changes will ...

    III B 4, II B 2 d 1, II D 10, I A 1 a, III B 2, III E, III H, III C
  • Sichovi Visty -- August 01, 1924
    Chicago News

    A Ukrainian druggist Mr. Michael Shvets, who has influence in the sport's world, decided to present wrestling matches every other week at the Oakley Boulevard and Rice Street Hall. The best local wrestlers will take part.

    The net proceeds of the first match, which will take place about March 7 or 8, next year, between Captain George Zapisetsky and Mr. Stanley Sbyshko, will go to both the St. Nicholas Church and the Siege Organization.

    Of all the following matches half of the proceeds, as assigned by Mr. Shvets, will be designated for the above purposes but with one reservation, namely, that both the parish and the Siege Organization have control over the ticket box and the necessary expenses, lest later there be any criticism and possibility of having more expenses than income.

    Therefore, it is Mr. Michael Shvets's wish and desire that the Chief Executive Dr. S. K. Hrynevetsky representing the Siege Organization, and another delegate representing the parish be present at every meeting before each wrestling match is to take place.

    A Ukrainian druggist Mr. Michael Shvets, who has influence in the sport's world, decided to present wrestling matches every other week at the Oakley Boulevard and Rice Street Hall. The ...

    III B 2, III C, III E
  • Sichovi Visty -- September 20, 1924
    [Ukrainian Carnival] (Advertisement)

    Attention, Ukrainians of Chicago and vicinity! First time in Chicago, a Ukrainian carnival, corner Oakley Boulevard and Rice Street, from September 18 to October 5!

    Countrymen, you have not as yet had such a wonderful opportunity for entertainment as the one now presented to you at this carnival. There are all sorts of games, raffles, social entertainments, witty monologues and, above all, there will be dancing in the open every evening to the music of a well-selected orchestra, all union men. There will also be a bar and a buffet--with all kinds of refreshing drinks and luncheonettes. In short, there will be everything worth while in the way of pleasure that you could ever find in any of the best carnivals.

    Should there be anyone who has never attended any such carnivals, he does not 2know how fully he can enjoy himself at them. Let him ask someone who has, or, better still, let him come directly to Oakley Boulevard and Rice Street this very evening. The carnival is open every evening from 6 to 12; also Saturdays and Sundays. The carnival has already begun. It will end October 5.

    [Translator's note. The organizer of this carnival (name not given in advertisement) was the St. Nicholas Church.]

    Attention, Ukrainians of Chicago and vicinity! First time in Chicago, a Ukrainian carnival, corner Oakley Boulevard and Rice Street, from September 18 to October 5! Countrymen, you have not as ...

    II B 1 c 3, III C
  • Sitch -- December 05, 1924
    Sitch Holiday (Summary)

    On November 24, 1924, through the efforts of the Second Division of the Sitch Organization, a celebration was held commemorating the sixth anniversary of the conquering of Lviw by the Ukrainian armies. Those who witnessed this celebration surely thought that the Ukrainian group of Chicago had never held such a great celebration, and even questioned whether it was ever possible to witness a similar celebration anywhere in the United States.

    Already a few weeks before this day, great enthusiasm in anticipation could be noticed everywhere among our people.

    On Sunday, at 5 P. M., the hall at Oakley and Rice Streets, decorated with national colors, was filled.


    On the front wall hung portraits of patrons (renowned patriots) of every company of the Second Division. The portraits were illuminated with many colored lights. Near them stood about one hundred armed Sitch men and women, under the command of Ataman D. Zabolotsky, waiting to march to church for the requiem services to be held for the dead heroes of the Ukrainian armies.

    At six o'clock the church was filled. In the center was a sham grave decorated with flowers and grass, which represented the graves of the Ukrainian soldiers. On both sides of the grave stood uniformed Sitch members--totaling over one hundred in two long lines.

    Father F. Tarnawsky, gray but young in spirits, conducted the vespers. After the vespers he came to the pulpit and, loudly but shortly, vividly explained our struggle for the freedom of the Ukraine. He compared the holiday of November First--holiday of the resurrection of the Western Ukraine--with the 3holiday of the resurrection of Christ. He concluded his sermon with the words of Shevchenko: "Wake up! Break the chains!"

    The requiem services then started. Standing were two priests, Father F. Tarnawsky and Father O. Prodan. The chorus was singing "Everlasting Memories." The Sitch members were standing at attention and saluting the heroes; chests were throbbing; hearts were pounding. From the green, decorated grave a faint voice seemed to be issuing: "Farewell brothers, we have honorably crossed the great road of love." The first part of the program was then over.

    [Translator's note: The second part of the celebration was going on in the hall. It was inaugurated by a vocal number by Mr. D. Zabolotsky. Then came a song by the women's choir directed by Mr. D. Atamanets. Other vocal selections as well as physical exercises, performed alternatively by boys and girls, followed. The leader was Mr. Stephen Musiychuk. There were also violin solos 4(by Miss A. Motluk), singing by Miss Stephanie Tymkevych and Mrs. Stephanie Tsymbalist, and recitations by Mr. S. Musiychuk. After the solo vocal selections by Mr. D. Atamanets and Miss Anna Winiarska, Dr. O. Nazaruk, editor of Sitch, gave a ten-minute speech on the united front of all Ukrainians as a prerequisite of a free Ukraine.]

    After a short pause, the eighty leaders of all the companies of the Second Division appeared on the scene, followed by the Chief Ataman, Dr. Stephen Hrynevetsky. Mr. Stephen Musiychuk, the Secretary-General, read the special documents and handed them to the Chief Ataman as well as to the district leaders. Then Mr. Musiychuk read the special communications of the district managements, and, while delivering a truncheon into the hands of the Chief Ataman, pronounced these words: "With this truncheon we place into your hands the fate of our organization. This truncheon is not made of gold and is not covered with gems, but we believe that some day our Ukraine shall be free, and then this truncheon shall shine too, as was prophesied by Shevchenko:


    'And then shall flare up the truncheon from the steppes of Ukraine.' "

    During the last few words, the truncheon rested in the hands of the Chief Ataman, Dr. Stephen Hrynevetsky--the chorus thundered the song "Glory, glory, Ataman!" With tears in his eyes, Dr. Hrynevetsky expressed his appreciation by assuring the audience that the truncheon belonged, not to him, but to a legitimate Hetman of Ukraine. Then he reaffirmed his word with a solemn oath and administered the oath to all the district leaders. He also nominated Rev. Father F. Tarnawsky as chaplain of the organization.

    The celebration was terminated with songs by a male chorus of seventy-five members, under the leadership of Mr. D. Atamanets.

    On November 24, 1924, through the efforts of the Second Division of the Sitch Organization, a celebration was held commemorating the sixth anniversary of the conquering of Lviw by the ...

    III B 3 a, II B 3, III H, III C
  • Sitch -- April 15, 1925
    Ukrainian Scout Band of Chicago

    During the early part of 1925, the Ukrainian group at Oakley and Rice Streets, organized a band composed of boys from ten to eighteen years of age. The name of the band is "The Ukrainian Scout Band of Chicago." The St. Nicholas Church Parish purchased the instruments, which cost nearly two thousand dollars. The idea of organizing a band came from Mr. Stephen Musiychuk and Mr. Simeon Kochy, both well-known as workers in the Ukrainian nationalist, as well as in the musical field. It was not easy to make this idea come to pass.

    With the arrival of Rev. Father F. Tarnawsky, everyone began to cooperate in this work. The band now has fifty members. Its director, John Barabash, director of music in the Harrison High School of Chicago, is known to everyone as the only Ukrainian to hold such a position in the field of music in America. The assistant director is Mr. Stephen Musiychuk; Mr. Simeon Kochy, 2a student of medicine who will shortly become one of our Ukrainian physicians, is business manager.

    The band made its first appearance on Apr. 5, 1925 while Bishop Bohachewsky was in Chicago. The large crowd greatly admired these young musicians, especially because they had studied only three months. The future of the Scout Band looks very promising. The Ukrainians of Chicago are proud to have people among them who know how to carry out enterprises like this. In the near future this band will be known not only in Chicago, but throughout the United States as well.

    During the early part of 1925, the Ukrainian group at Oakley and Rice Streets, organized a band composed of boys from ten to eighteen years of age. The name of ...

    II B 1 a, III E, III C, II A 1, I C, IV
  • Sitch -- March 15, 1926
    Dr. Vladimir Sieminovich New Chief Editor of the Sitch

    Dr. Vladimir Sieminovich was born on January 4, 1862 in Monastersky (county of Buczacz [in the Ukraine]), the son of a priest. His father's name was Leo, and the maiden name of his mother, Domicelia, was Turkevich. The mother of Dr. Sieminovich is still living; she is ninety-five years of age. Dr. Sieminovich received his early schooling in Buczacz, Berezan, Stanislawow and Lwow. University studies included at first law (two years) at Lwow, and later medicine at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; and after that, one year of medicine at Prague, a year at Vienna, a course at Cracow, one at Berlin, and one in Paris at the Sorbonne. These are the best universities of the world.

    Dr. Sieminovich has lived in America for the past thirty-nine years. At first, he lived in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, where he edited the 2first Ukrainian newspaper in America, the weekly America. He worked there one year and a half. Then he went to Europe as delegate to Cardinal S. Sembratovich in Lwow, to obtain Ukrainian priests for the Ukrainians of America. He brought back Father Andruchovich. Dr. Sieminovich organized, or helped to organize, many Ukrainian churches in the United States. The first parish in Chicago was organized in a hall above a saloon at Robey and Homer Streets, twenty years ago. Dr. Sieminovich has worked in Chicago for the last thirty-two years. When he first came, there were no Ukrainians here from Galicia, except for a few Lemkos and Carpathian Ukrainians. The first mass in Chicago was celebrated by the Rev. Father G. Tsmaylo Kulchytsky in the hall under the St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, at Noble and Blanche Streets. Dr. Sieminovich took active part in the organizing of the oldest Ukrainian society in Chicago, the Society of George Solomeychuk (later changed to Society of St. Nicholas). This is Branch 106 of the Ukrainian National Association.

    The first Ukrainian church in Chicago was situated at Bickerdike and 3Superior Streets, and was purchased from the Swedes for $5,750. Dr. Sieminovich, along with the late Attorney Yanovich, signed notes for this amount. The above-mentioned amount also included the purchase of a parish house. The same group sold all this property and bought a large tract at Oakley and Rice Streets for the sum of $16,000. This tract included sixteen lots at one thousand dollars per lot, and is the site where the large Ukrainian Church now stands. Before the parish took possession of the property, quarrels began because part of the people wanted the Orthodox Church. Dr. Sieminovich stood for the Catholic Church, whereupon, upon his recommendation, the bank loaned the money without the signature of Mr. Fetzura, who was unwilling to sign because he wanted the Orthodox Church. Dr. Sieminovich vouched for the loan with his own securities and the bank issued the money.

    The first newspaper in Chicago was Ukraina which lasted for a few years. It began during the war. In the first issue of Ukraina, Dr. Sieminovich published the following proclamation: Organize a Ukrainian legion here 4under the guidance of Roosevelt. The first to oppose this were the socialists from the "Federation", even though Dr. Sieminovich was their head. Mr. Semeshko, especially, voiced his opinion against the creation of the legion; he is now some commissar in Russia. He came here from Siberia.

    Besides the Ukraina, the Ranna Zorya (Morning Star) appeared for about a year. It was the organ of the Ukrainian Women's Alliance, which was organized on the same principles as the Ukrainian National Association. The administration was carried out wonderfully by a woman who came from Lwow, and who was the wife f a Croatian, Mr. Zubsich. This paper collapsed because of local misunderstandings. Dr. Sieminovich was also the editor of this paper. Dr. Sieminovich was co-editor for many Ukrainian newspapers in the old country, such as Dilo (Action) and Ukrainske Slove (The Ukrainian Voice). In America, he wrote for the Svoboda (Liberty), America, and the Narodna Vola (National Will). Twice he visited the Ukrainian colonies in Canada, where he organized 5the Ukrainian Red Cross.

    Dr. Sieminovich has a great knowledge of life. One of the basic features of his character is the value which he attributes to women. He says that women are as important to any cause as the soil is to the feeding of people. When we turn due attention on our women, we will find that the idea of our freedom was originated by them generations ago.

    Therefore, we turn our Sitch organ over to the guidance of the worker mentioned above. The Chief Ataman [Hetman] and the Sitch Central Committee could not have made a better selection; they sent to Dr. Sieminovich the deputation to which he pledged his best efforts. He will certainly exert all of his imposing energy and all his knowledge of life, for he has seen many things on this earth and has been through a great deal.

    Dr. Vladimir Sieminovich was born on January 4, 1862 in Monastersky (county of Buczacz [in the Ukraine]), the son of a priest. His father's name was Leo, and the maiden ...

    IV, II B 2 d 1, I B 3 b, III B 2, II D 1, III C, III H, V A 1, I C, I E, I K
  • Sitch -- January 01, 1928
    Aid for Those Who Suffered from the Flood

    The Ukrainian District Committee of Chicago and its suburbs collected five hundred and fifty dollars for those Ukrainians who suffered from the flood in Galicia. Complying with the wishes of the contributors, they sent this sum there through the office of Bishop Bohachewsky of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

    The above-mentioned sum was raised by means of concerts, dances, plays, and many individual contributions. We hereby extend our hearty thanks to all the contributors, and further urge that, with the approaching Christmas holidays, we do not forget our poor countrymen in the old country.

    The Ukrainian District Committee of Chicago and its suburbs collected five hundred and fifty dollars for those Ukrainians who suffered from the flood in Galicia. Complying with the wishes of ...

    II D 10, III C, III H
  • Ukraina -- October 17, 1930
    Our Chicago By Dr. Vladimir Siemenovich

    In September 1930 a hundred years have passed since on the site of today's Chicago, the first white people settled down. At this time I wish to say a few words on the history of Chicago, and especially on the beginning of our Ukrainian immigration into this city.

    Chicago is situated on the river known by the same name, which today divides the city into three parts. Once this vicinity was a muddy space, the main part being a thick forest, which only the Indians had lived on. Just a hundred years ago the white people began to settle here. They had to carry on a persistent war with the Indians, who would not let the white people into their habitat.

    The first white person who saw this territory, about ten or more years before the white people had settled here permanently, was a French 2Jesuit priest, Father Marquette, who tried to convert the Indians to the Christian faith. He died in this region. When more white people appeared on the site of this town, the federal government constructed a defensive fort on the island between the two branches of the Chicago River, and named it after its first commander, Fort Dearborn.

    In a short time the Indians attacked Fort Dearborn, and mowed down not only the small number of soldiers, but all the rest of the white inhabitants who sheltered themselves here from the Indians.

    From this time on there were more whites settled, and in 1833 the colony of Chicago received its city charter.

    And we Ukrainians too form a part of the colonization in this world renowned city.

    How many Ukrainians there are living in Chicago no one knows exactly, 3for there is no complete census available. The number is estimated from fifteen to thirty thousand; if we take the median we may surely number them to the amount of twenty thousand.

    I came to Chicago from Shamokin, Pa., where I practiced medicine in the year 1893. I came hither only because at that time the Chicago World's Fair was in progress and also to visit my friend, the late Stephen Yanovich, who conducted a law office in this metropolis.

    At that time there were so few Ukrainians in Chicago that one could count them on his fingers. They were mostly the Lemko-Ukrainians, who then called themselves "Slovaks" instead of Ukrainians or Carpathian-Ukrainians.

    Here was a Russian church located at Center Avenue, far back of the railroad tracks, beyond the 16th street. Thither I went to church, trying to find my own natives. It was useless, for there was only a few 4Hungarian-Ukrainians, calling themselves "Hungarian-Russians."

    This went on for about three years. In the end the Lemko-Ukrainians began to flock in. With them I tried to organize at least a small church, for this was the only way to organize our people into a group. At first we called priests from distant places, even if it were for only one Sunday service. The first priest who came to us was a Hungarian-Ukrainian, whose name I have forgotten. At that time there was not a large enough number of our people, even among the Carpathian-Ukrainians, so that we could organize a separate permanent parish. That is why we were quite satisfied with the services, the priest performed in the basement of St. Stanislaw Kostka's Church, Noble and Bradley streets. After some time we called the late Father Konstankewicz from Shamokin, Pa., and started to organize the parish all over again, at this time were likewise unsuccessful. Later on we called Father Izmaylo Kulchytsky. Now there were a few scores of our people already. Father Kulchytsky celebrated his first holy mass in a settlement house on Noble and Augusta 5Streets. Now it appeared to us that people did not want to rent out places for services from the Poles any more. That is why we obtained the permission to use the American settlement house for our services.

    This time we really started to organize a parish in Chicago. We held a few meetings at my home, because Father Kulchytsky lived with me. This was about ten years after my coming to Chicago. But it was found out that there was not enough of us to support a priest, not to speak about building or buying a church. So again we postponed organizing the church for some time. In the end Father Kowalitsky came on his own accord; he was a Carpathian Ukrainian priest. We called a few of the leading people together: the late Mr. Fetzura, Mr. Vitzarsky, and others, and decided to call a general meeting of our Ukrainian Greek-Catholics. The meeting was held above a saloon on Robey (now Damen Avenue) and Homer Street. Here we put together a few hundred dollars to buy a church. At that time a Swedish church together with a small 6home for a priest was for sale on Superior and Bickerdyke Streets.

    Mr. Yanovich and myself gave a few hundred dollars as a down payment, and for the rest we signed a note, which bought this church and home. Our first Ukrainian services were held here. But before this, there was a great deal of trouble, for some of our Lemko-Ukrainians (Mountaineers), especially the late Mr. Fetzura, and a few Ukrainians from lower Hungary, did not want Ukrainian Greek-Catholic church, but the Orthodox one. The majority however wanted the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, which remained so.

    Afterwards trouble started again, for the Carpathian Ukrainians wanted to have their own way about the services and the Lemkos wished their own. This was very unharmonious at times; for the Galician Ukrainians sang in their manner, and the Carpathian Ukrainians in their own fashion.

    In order to overcome this distress, I organized a church chorus, which 7checked the misunderstandings for a while. Afterwards, during the second year of Father Kowalitsky's pastorate again a disagreement arose, because our Galician element was growing stronger and started to demand the resignation of the Carpathian Ukrainian priest, asking for their own. Yet Father Kowalitsky would not resign.

    This disorder led to the expulsion of the priest with the aid of the police. This conflict was inspired by a Galician Ukrainian, Mr. Kowalsky.

    Thus our church was left without a priest. Easter was near and we could not get any priest. The people began to be confused.

    Then we, together with Mr. Kowalsky, turned to Pennsylvania for a priest. At that time we had not our own bishop, so we had to seek a priest ourselves. But no priest was too eager to starve in Chicago. In desperation, Mr. Kowalsky, who is now a fireman, found a Polish Orthodox priest, 8Father Pociecha, who knew a little of our liturgy. This orthodox priest celebrated the Ukrainian Easter services as best he knew. Anyway, the people were satisfied with such a priest.

    Shortly afterwards there came to Chicago from Canada, Father Nicholas Strutynsky, who took over the Chicago parish. In a short time, our group grew so large that the church on Superior and Bickerdyke Streets became too small. Father Strutynsky then bought sixteen lots, where the church of St. Nicholas is now located, i. e., on Oakley and Rice Streets.

    At that time this vicinity had very few buildings. Together with Father Strutynsky we went to a Polish priest who was then building a church opposite our old one, to find out the name of the architect. Father Strutynsky consequently made plans for the new Ukrainian 9church which exists now. At first we were going to make the interior with the Hutzul-Ukrainian embroidery designs, but it was found to be too expensive for our colony; so we put the Hutzulian embroidery design, only in the front of the church.

    The first civic society in Chicago was the one under the name of "Yurey Solomeychuk," whereof the members called it "Hutzul Solomeychuk," to honor the man who just then was arrested in Kolomeya by the Austrian- Polish officials for his patriotic revolutionary speeches. Upon completion of the church, the society moved with its library into the basement of the church, changing its name to "Brotherhood of St. Nicholas, Branch 106, of the Ukrainian National Association," and thus it was incorporated.

    The library, which cost nearly $250, was likewise located in the hall of St. Nicholas Church. People borrowed books, but left no trace of 10them, for once taken they were not returned.

    In the year of 1907 Dr. Stephen Hrynieviecky and his wife, Natalia, came to Chicago. The doctor and Madam Hrynieviecky began to take an active part in our community affairs; especially the late Madam Hrynieviecky, who undertook training a Ukrainian chorus.

    Through her expert instruction she gained fame among the Chicagoans. During one celebration at Grant Park, in the heart of the city, she led all the assembled choruses of Chicago that numbered more than a thousand singers. In this ensemble the chorus of Madam Hrynieviecky also took part, of course.

    Today Chicago has four Ukrainian Greek-Catholic churches and parishes, and a church for the Carpathian Ukrainians; one orthodox and one national independent church, besides. For the present these few reminiscences on the Ukrainians in Chicago will be sufficient. In the future I will write something on a larger scale.

    In September 1930 a hundred years have passed since on the site of today's Chicago, the first white people settled down. At this time I wish to say a few ...

    III C, I J, III G, V A 1, III B 2, II B 2 a, II B 1 a, IV
  • Sitch -- December 01, 1931
    Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Chicago

    On November 26, 1931, twenty-five years will have passed since the organization of the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of Chicago. The anniversary of this event is of great importance to the Ukrainian people of the United States from a nationalistic as well as a religious standpoint; for the history of the Ukrainian people has been preserved by their Church in the United States.

    About fifty years ago the Ukrainian people--a totally disorganized group--immigrated to the United States and to other countries of the New World. Very few of these immigrants intended to settle permanently in this strange land. They came for the purpose of making money--and after they had made enough money they intended to return to their native land. But they stayed 2on, and presently their desire to return home was forgotten in their joy at having found this land of plenty.

    To satisfy their religious needs they attended the Russian Orthodox and the Polish churches which had been established here for some time. These first Ukrainian immigrants became very attached to these churches. Through the agitation of the Russian Orthodox and Polish priests the Ukrainians began to call themselves Rusini (Russians)--and to assimilate the customs of this group. It was not until later, when the immigration of the Lithuanians from eastern Galicia had increased, that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic parishes began to organize and to build their own churches. Within these churches our people formed groups whose duty it was to preserve the particular customs and traditions of their native land. A historian who undertakes to write the history of our people in either the United States or in Canada should first consult the Ukrainian Churches, for only there will he find the necessary material for his work.


    The Organization of the Ukrainian Greek Churches in Chicago

    In 1905, the city of Chicago and the surrounding territory contained a few score of Ukrainian inhabitants--immigrants from eastern Galicia. Among them was the family of Jacob Olenec, to which a son, Michael Olenec, who now is operating a drugstore on Chicago Avenue, was born August 16, 1905. The baptism of their son presented a problem to the Olenec family. The father learned of a Greek Catholic Church on the South Side of Chicago at 4949 South Seeley Street, whose pastor, Father Victor Kowalitsky, and parishioners were natives of the Carpathian Ukraine. Mr. Jacob Olenec asked Father Kowalitsky to baptize his son and also invited the Father to attend the baptismal party. During the celebration at Mr. Olenec's home, Father Kowalitsky advised the guests to organize their own church. The assembled guests accepted Father Kowalitsky's advice and decided to call a meeting for this purpose in the near future.

    According to the parochial books the first meeting was held on December 31, 41905, at 939 North Robey Street (now Damen Avenue). This meeting was opened by Father Kowalitsky with the Lord's Prayer, and he spoke to the assemblage on the need for organizing their own church. He also told them that for eight thousand dollars they could buy a church on Bicker-dike Street from the Danish people. At this meeting it was resolved to purchase this church. Twelve church officers were elected at once.

    First Church Committee

    The first church committee was composed of the following persons: Father Victor Kowalitsky, president; John Tzihon, vice-president; Peter Winiarsky, treasurer; and Dr. Vladimir Sieminovich, secretary.

    The trustees were: Attorney Stephen Yanovich, Michael Zyma, John Shved, Carl Dziak, Nicholas Labant, Stephen Horansky, Jacob Olenec, Basil Biskup.

    The following men were elected as collectors: Anton Molochnyk, Andrew Kymak, 5Stephen Horansky, Andrew Cherepa, Nicholas Kozuba, Basil Biskup, John Kregel, and Jacob Olenec.

    At this meeting thirty-three persons volunteered contributions totaling five hundred dollars for the organizing fund. Six people offered to lend money for the purchase of the church; toward this fund Mr. Jacob Olenec gave five hundred dollars. The Union Bank lent them five thousand dollars which was secured by a first mortgage. The remaining two thousand, secured by a second mortgage, was borrowed from John Shved and Peter Winiarsky (each of whom lent a thousand dollars).

    There were fifty-one people present at the first mass, each of whom contributed one dollar.

    At the meeting mentioned above it was also resolved that the committee hold a meeting at 7 P.M., January 2, 1906, at the office of Fritz Frantzena, 6292 Milwaukee Avenue. At this time they planned to sign the contract for the purchase of the church and to make a five-hundred-dollar down payment with the promise to pay the remaining sum after a period of twenty days.

    The minutes of the first meeting were signed by the following: Father Victor Kowalitsky, Michael Zyma, John Tzihon, and Dr. Vladimir Sieminovich.

    At the first meeting (December 31, 1905) it was decided to name the church St. Nicholas, and to sign it over to our bishop who was to come to America.

    On January 28, 1906, the newly organized Ukrainian Church on Bickerdike Street held its first mass, which was celebrated by Father Kowalitsky. The altar on which the first mass was celebrated was donated by the Magyar Roman Catholic Church of Burnside.

    After the first services, news of the newly organized Ukrainian Church of 7the Greek rite spread rapidly among our fellow Ukrainians and the parish began to increase.

    Pastors of the Church

    The first priest to serve as pastor of the St. Nicholas Church was Father Victor Kowalitsky, as we have mentioned. It was not an easy task for the first pastor to lead the newly organized parish; it was necessary to devote much work and energy to providing the church with the necessary equipment, for the income was very small. The parochial books of that time show that the income for the first six months of 1907 was $1,469.08.

    Father Kowalitsky was pastor of the St. Nicholas Church for approximately a year and a half. He left the parish on the Saturday before Palm Sunday in 1907. After him came Father L. Besaha who was pastor of the parish only a few months; the parochial books record the name of Father Besaha at the 8yearly meeting of July 7, 1907, and by the following meeting, which was held on October 13, 1907, he had gone. (This meeting was opened by Basil Kowalsky, who was appointed as a delegate to New York to greet Bishop Ortynsky.)

    After the departure of Father Besaha, Father Nicholas Strutynsky became pastor (he is now priest of a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Detroit, Michigan). Father Strutynsky presided over the parochial meeting held November 17, 1907. At this meeting it was resolved to pay the cathedraticum to the Ukranian Bishop Ortynsky, the bishop who had just arrived from Eastern Galicia. This order was issued by Pope Pius himself.

    Father Strutynsky was pastor of the St. Nicholas Church for nearly fourteen years, and during his pastorate the parish grew visibly. At this time many Ukrainian people began coming to the United States from the old country; the Ukrainian group in this country was steadily growing larger.


    Then Father Strutynsky suggested the plan of building a new church in a different locality, and this was carried out.

    In 1921 Father Strutynsky went to another parish; in his place came Father Constantine Kyrylo, who remained here one year. After him (in 1922) came Father Basil Stetsiuk who began working energetically to advance the work of his predecessors, but this did not last long for Father Stetsiuk's work was terminated by his tragic death.

    In 1923 Father Philemon Tarnawsky was appointed pastor of this church where he remains to this very day and where, with God's grace, he leads this parish.

    Since the organization of the St. Nicholas Church the following priests have served as assistant pastors: Father Michael Kuzmak (now pastor of the St. Mary's Ukrainian Church on the South Side of Chicago), Father Merenkiw, Father Leo Van, and Father Michael Kindey.

    After the death of Father Stetsiuk and until the coming of Father Tarnawsky, 10Father Denis Giretsky served as visiting pastor.

    The Building of A New Church

    In order that the plan to build a new church might be carried out, it was first necessary to purchase the land. In 1912 Mr. Basil Kowalsky found the lots--a large tract of land at Oakley Boulevard and Rice Streets--which the parish bought, and where they began building the new church.

    The building plans were drawn up by I. G. Stienbach, and the construction work was carried out by M. Ryan (both residents of this city).

    On November 27, 1913, the cornerstone was blessed by Bishop Ortynsky. At this ceremony the church made a clear profit of $507.86. The church was erected in 1914.

    The first mass in the newly built church was held Christmas Day, January 7, 111915.

    The newly built St. Nicholas Church is an enormous temple; no Ukrainian church in the United States or Canada can compare with it.

    The church, a wooden structure, is designed in the Galician-Ukrainian style. It is painted in the Byzantine style with the Slavic stylistic motives of Kiev and Novogorod.

    The edifice contains nine pictures. There is a painting in the upper apse (the presbytery), and in the apsidal recess there is a reproduction of the celebrated "Immovable Wall" of the St. Sophia of Kiev and the monumental Holy Virgin, "Oranta" (the Praying Virgin). In the lower compartment there is the magnificent representation of the "Eucharist," an ancient motif borrowed from the same St. Sophia of Kiev. The painting represents our Lord administering Holy Communion to the Apostles.

    Above the apse, in the "triumphal arc," there is a large painting depicting 12"Deisus" (the Supplicant). In the middle is the figure of our Lord with the open Gospel in his left hand. To the right of His image rests the Holy Virgin, and to the left is St. John the Baptist, both with heads lowered in prayer. Behind the Holy Virgin stands St. Nicholas, the Patron of the Church; and behind the figure of John is the Martyred St. Josephat. Both Saints maintain an attitude of prayer for their faithful people.

    Within the northern arc is a large painting of the Pentecost, a reproduction of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles.

    On the southern arc is a large painting representing the Assumption of the Holy Virgin in the Novogorod style of the fourteenth century. In the four corners under the apsidal are four Evangelists and their symbols resting on thrones.

    The stained-glass windows are decorated with beautiful mosaics. In the large window over the choir loft is the traditional picture of Judgment 13Day. The window in the north wall contains a picture of the Birth of Christ. In the south window is a large picture of the Transfiguration of our Lord. In the eight small double windows are beautiful pictures of saints facing the altar.

    This is the first time stained glass has been used as a medium for Byzantine art.

    The main altar, the tabernacle altar, and the two side altars, are made of white Italian marble with Byzantine mosaics.

    All of the sketches for the ornamentation of the windows and altars were planned and drawn by Father Gleb Werchowsky. The painting and most of the decorating was executed by our Chicago Ukranian artist, Mr. Theodore Katamay.

    The stained-glass windows were constructed by a Chicago firm, the "Munich Studios".


    The St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church embraces nearly eight hundred Ukrainian families who support it materially and physically. There are approximately five hundred families who are faithful parishioners and about three hundred of these are grouped near the church, thereby confining their spiritual and national needs.

    The church also provides an evening school where several hundred Ukrainian children who attend a public school during the day are being taught to read and write the Ukrainian Language. The school is conducted by the Sisters of the Basilian Order and Mr. Dmytro Atamanets.

    There are many societies within the church. One of the most zealous church societies is the adult Apostolic Prayer Society (which was confirmed by the diocese director, the late Father Zahar Orun, on May 3, 1916); there are four juvenile branches of the Apostolic Prayer Society (two of girls, and 15two of boys, all of which were organized in 1924). There are also: Mary's Company (organized in 1927), the Sisterhood of the Immaculate Conception (the latest to be organized), St. Stephen Society (organized in 1908), and the St. Nicholas Society (organized in 1906), branches of the Ukrainian National Association; the St. George Society, the Markiyan Shashkevich Society, a branch of the Providence Association (a benevolent organization); and the St. Vladimir Society, a branch of the Ukrainian Workingmen's Association.

    Many of the parishioners belong to the United Hetman Organization and the Sitch Red Cross. The church has its own singing society, the Lysenko Chorus, which is directed by Dmytro Atamanets.

    Ever since the establishment of the St. Nicholas Church the parishioners have taken an active part in Ukrainian National affairs, and have contributed considerably to the relief of their native country.

    The Ukrainian committee collected eight thousand dollars during the time of 16the Ukrainian liberation conflict to be donated as a "National Loan". Not long ago there was a collection of one thousand dollars for the so-called "Needy Fund," which provides aid for our native country. There have been many contributions to the "native school" of the old country; not long ago, at the time of the visit of the "native school" delegate, Mr. Yasinchuk, a donation of thirteen hundred dollars was collected. There have also been many collections for Ukrainian invalids in Europe.

    Every year the parish, either separately or in conjunction with other societies, observes traditional national Ukrainian holidays, and holds exhibitions and important religious and patriotic festivities which reveal the national spirit.

    The organization of church societies at the St. Nicholas Church added much to the strengthening and uplifting of the religious spirit among our parishioners, and at the same time created moral discipline among them. They also made the group more conscious of their national obligation, always 17to aid the native cause.

    Our societies have exercised a definite influence on the young Lithuanians who are natives of this country: youth that attends its own church, hears its own mass, speaks its own language, and sings in its own choir.

    Ukrainian Night School

    The night school at the St. Nicholas Parish is very important to the children who attend public day schools where they do not acquire any religious training. They are given this training in the parochial night school. Besides this they learn to speak and to write their own language, and to understand the history and geography of their native land. In this way we are filling the hearts and souls of our young with the desire to love their own. During the last nine years approximately three hundred students have received diplomas from the Ukrainian Parochial School. In 1925 the order of Basilian Sisters came to teach the students. The parish also 18maintains two separate schools where about eighty children attend classes.

    The Lysenko Chorus of St. Nicholas Church

    The Lysenko chorus is a singing and dramatic society, which, in addition to performing the functions of the church, gives plays, concerts, and other cultural entertainments. All this takes place in the hall of the St. Nicholas Church. The Lysenko was organized in 1907. Its founders were Father Nicholas Strutynsky and Michael Kostiuk, who became the first leader of the chorus. At that time many Ukrainian people, especially the young Ukrainian businessmen, assisted in the organization and development of this society.

    During the leadership of Michael Kostiuk the chorus took part in a contest of choruses at Riverview Park; the chorus sang two songs: "Vulitzia" (Street) and "Hulyali" (Danced).

    In 1917 Basil Kotziubinsky was engaged as leader of the chorus. He led 19the group for three years and presented many plays and concerts for the Ukrainian colony in Chicago.

    In 1920--1922, Theodore Hoptiak and the late Natalia Hruniewetska led the chorus.

    Father Basil Stetsiuk, who personally was a great lover of music and who sang very well himself, was appointed pastor of the church in 1922. From the very beginning of his pastorate he attempted to broaden the scope of the chorus and to direct its singing activities into the field of higher art. Through him the chorus was divided into two parts--male and mixed. The male chorus was led by Father Stetsiuk himself, and the mixed by Mr. Hoptiak. In this year both choruses appeared at the World's Exhibition at the Municipal Pier in Chicago. This concert was heard by about ten thousand people and was written up in all the American newspapers of Chicago.

    In 1922 the church officers asked Mr. Dmytro Atamanets to lead their 20chorus. He accepted and is still successfully leading this chorus.

    In Europe Mr. Dmytro Atamanets took an active part as an actor-singer in Stadnyks-Lviw Ukrainian Theatre; later, after his arrival in this country he worked as director of a chorus in Detroit, Michigan. After accepting the leadership of the Lysenko chorus Mr. Atamanets displayed his organizing ability in his endeavor to raise the status of the chorus. The progress of the Lysenko chorus received great commendation in the city of Chicago as well as in other cities.

    The Lysenko Singing Society gives annual concerts to celebrate Schevchenko, November holiday, and other national holidays. They have presented a series of concerts on the radio. The chorus appears to be the cultural fire of the Ukrainian parish, where the Ukrainian group can always find cultural activity to warm its aesthetic sensibilities--for they love their own native art. The patriotic work of the Lysenko Singing Society and its leader, Mr. Dmytro Atamanets, is highly appreciated by the parish. We are 21glad to have among us such an active nationalistic organization.

    On November 26, 1931, twenty-five years will have passed since the organization of the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of Chicago. The anniversary of this event is of great ...

    III C, II A 3 a, II A 3 c, II B 2 f, II B 1 a, II D 10, III B 2, II A 2, II D 1, III G, III E, I C, IV

    Card Images

    Card Image #1 Card Image #2 Card Image #3 Card Image #4 Card Image #5 Card Image #6 Card Image #7 Card Image #8 Card Image #9 Card Image #10 Card Image #11 Card Image #12 Card Image #13 Card Image #14 Card Image #15 Card Image #16 Card Image #17 Card Image #18 Card Image #19 Card Image #20 Card Image #21