Excerpts from the History of the Sisterhood of St. Josaphat's Church
From the moment that Fathers Theodosius and Joseph Atamaniuk began celebrating Mass at the various local catholic churches, people began to attend, and participate in these services and to congregate and socialize with each other. Our pastors, Fathers Atamaniuk encouraged people to organize for the benefit of Church and community and to provide activities to enhance the spiritual and community life of the congregants. At the same time, there arose a need to begin to organize the women of our church community. In response, the founding members of the Women's Community were: O. Gojevych, A. Bojcun, M. Savula, A. Markevych, M. Kopanycia, E. Onyshchuk, V. Mykytyn, S. Wasilkiw, A. Poniatyshyn, L. Gojaniuk, M. Mrochko, J. Labka and E. Hluszok.
Their activities centered around creating a cohesiveness of church and family activities i.e., preparing the holiday dinners (Prosfora and Sviachene), Feast Day celebrations of our Patron Saint – Josaphat, church picnics, bingo, and assisting our pastors.
As the parish continued to grow and become more organized, the Women's Committee transformed itself into the Sisterhood of St. Josaphat's in 1952 under the leadership of R. Mycyk, I. Skrypczuk, secretary, and S. Wasilkiw, treasurer. The Sisterhood worked with great fervor in obtaining funds for purchasing religious objects for the Chapel and for new vestments for our pastors. These funds were obtained through the sponsorship of various cultural activities and from the weekly sales of pyrohy.
Our Sisterhood continued to flourish under the leadership of: K. Miziuk (1957,1960-62); W. Mykytyn (1958); A. Petruniak (1962-63); R. Mycyk (1963-70); A. Sydor (1970-74); A. Pylypiak (1974), with obtaining funds for the Church Building Fund, renovations to the Rectory and the Parish Hall. M. Kardasz (1974-80), continued the previous objectives of the Sisterhood by encouraging fellowship through the cultural activities, pyrohy and bake sales, the proceeds of which benefitted renovations to the Parish Hall and kitchens. J. Nadraga (1980s) in additions to carrying on the goals of her predecessors initiated the rental of facilities for various functions, catering weddings, participating in Trenton's Heritage Day Festival, etc. Funds gathered through these activities were utilized for the purchase of a stained glass window for the Church and updating the halls and the appliances.
1993 saw a resurgence of activity under the leadership of D. Laszyn, N. Litwin, M. Zawada and J. Kardasz. In addition to the traditional parish activities, a Christmas Bazaar and an Easter Bazaar were initiated. Additionally, the Sisterhood began annual retreats to the Sisters of the Dormition in Sloatsburg, NY. In 1996, new vestments for the priests were purchased, as well as vestments for the altar boys. Improvements and new appliances for both the Rectory and the Parish Halls were bought by the Sisterhood. With each new pastor, the Sisterhood assists in purchasing necessities.
From 1999 to 2001, the Sisterhood, under the leadership of M. Zawada (President), H. Obaranec (Vice-President), D. Laszyn (Secretary) and J. Kardasz (Treasurer – 1999) and A. Horodysky (Treasurer – 2000) initiated the now traditional "Easter Egg Hunt" which takes place after the "Blessing of the Baskets" on Easter Saturday. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of our parish, our Sisterhood contributed $5,000 for the needs of the Church.
The period of 2001 to 2003, the Sisterhood under the leadership of H. Obaranec and K. Kosovych continued its vital activities for the parish, including activities for the children.
From 2003 to 2009, headed by D. Laszyn and A. Horodysky, our Sisterhood carried on its traditional objectives of cohesiveness of family and church by organizing dances, childrens activities, bazaars and coordinating the Feast of St. Nicholas with the parish school and later the School of Ukrainian Studies at the Ukrainian National Home. During this period, the Sisterhood also contributed funds for the rehabilitation of the kitchen and lower hall, the purchase of the Baptismal Fount, painting of the Church and church icons. Through the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee, the Sisterhood collects and sends clothing and other needed items to the less fortunate in Ukraine.
In March, 2009, under the guidance of L. Kindiy (President), J. Tereschuk (Treasurer) and N. Rydzanych (Secretary), our Sisterhood renewed and instituted the monthly sale of pyrohy, which is of great benefit to not only the needs of the parish, but also to the community as a whole. This has also fostered a greater respect and understanding among the membership of the Sisterhood.
The leadership of our Sisterhood was assumed by D. Laszyn in March, 2010. Her continued dedication to the goals and traditions of this organization, as exemplified by the previous groups of highly motivated women, ensures the prolonged success and mutual cooperation and understanding of our Sisterhood.
To the new leadership and to all of the members of our Sisterhood, we wish you all the best, much success and perseverance in working for the good of our parish, our Ukrainian Church, our community and in praise of Our Lord.
St. Josaphat's Sisterhood:
- Maria Mycyk - Chairperson/Голова Сестрицтва
- Natalia Kozak - Secretary/Секретар
- Anna Lupak - Treasurer/Cкарбник
- Daria Lashyn
- Anna Fedash
- Anna Ivanyschuk
- Natalia Rydzanych
- Zoia Vojchuk
- Jaroslava Tereschuk
- Svitlana Chuchuk
- Lesya Kindratyshyn
- Zirka Gojaniuk
- Maria Halajdida
- Oksana Konyk
- Maria Hlushok
- Myrosia Hlushok
- Lesya Horodysky
- Olha Kloc
- Halyna Hamkiv
- Chrystyna Van Sise
- Lesia Kindij
- Slawa Kardash
- Oksana Mykytyn
- Marta Lysko