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School of Religion and Ukrainian Studies

Our school has been our fountainhead for gaining understanding of the Ukrainian language, its faith, people, history, culture and traditions. It has provided the foundation for bringing them up and has filled their souls with their faith and in the Ukrainian spirit. The realization of the value a school could bring to our children inspired the creation of the Lesia Ukrainka School for Religious and Ukrainian Studies at the Cathedral of St. Mary the Protectress in Southfield, Michigan. 

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The founders of the school were the rector of the parish Rev. Fahter Theodore P. Bilecky and teacher Olga Gachowsky. In 1955 the school opened its doors to 18 children and by the end of the year there were 38 pupils. In 1959, a kindergarten was organized by its first teacher Olena Liskiwsky. In the first years, the curriculum was modeled after the program established by the UCCA (Ukrainian Congress Committee of America) and divided into 7 grades. In the 1958-59 academic year, His Eminence Archbishop Volodymyr took the school under his guidance and registered it into the Educational Program of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. At the height of its enrollment, the school numbered 130 pupils with children ranging in age from kindergarten to the 10th grade. Fifty five years have flown by filled with classes, concerts, celebrations, dances and school holidays. 

This school remains an important institution in our parish and stimulates a rich cultural life and a renewal of spiritual understanding. There are many examples within our parish of former pupils continuing their devotion to the Ukrainian ideal and the Orthodox faith. Indeed they have continued their interests by working in the Ukrainian Orthodox League, ODUM youth programs, the cathedral choir, the parish council, Kobzarska Sich bandura summer camps, dance groups, etc. Many have actively volunteered their time or were employed in Ukraine following the renewal of independence in 1991. To name a few – Natalia Melnyczuk worked at the U.S. Embassy and at NATO in Kyiv, Vera Petrusha, Olga Liskiwsky, Marianna Liskiwsky, Dr. Luba Petrusha volunteered for camps and programs organized by UCARE, Inc. and Maria Nazarenko taught English in Poltava. 

Our school Principals were: Omelian Karanets, Paul Herman- Malinowski, Michael Smyk, John Chalawa, prof. Andriy Shashlo, Dr. Jurij Rozhin, Dr. Ivan Smereka, Dr. Ilia Wolynetz, Marianna Liskiwsky, Olga Liskiwsky, Nadia Romanchuk, Vera Petrusha, Maria Nazarenko. Teachers: Olga Gachowsky, Dora Jasinsky, Catherine Zhupinas, Omelian Karanets, Epiphania Hrynkiw, Maria Harasewych, Paul Herman- Malinowski, Olga Karpenko, Halina Kolosyuk, Olena Liskiwskyi, Marianna and Olga Liskiwskyi, Tatiana and Maria Nazarenko, Olga Kulakiwsky Michael and Apollinaria Smyk, John and Paraska Chalawa, Paul Malyar, Natalie Marushchak, Nadia Romanczuk, prof. Andriy Shashlo, Halyna Shashlo, Dr. Jurij Rozhin, Dr. Ivan and Zoya Smereka, Dr. Ilia Wolynetz, Prof. Roman Bzhesky, Danylo Mirshun, Lydia Kytasty, Lubow Jura, Halyna Milchynska- Symonenko, Alla Kot, Vera Petrusha, Svitlana Petrusha, Vera Mykolenko, Klava Kowalenko, Nadia Strychar, Ulana Parhomenko, Svitlana Rohowyk. 

Music and singing teachers: Ivan T. Kytasty, Peter Kytasty, Hryhory Nazarenko, Evhen Ciura, Lubow Samarska, Irina Shamray, Irene Smyk, Michael Serdiuk, Anatoly Murha. Dance teachers: Motria Makar, Halyna Prytula, Lisa Hryzodub, Svetlana (Kot) Leheta and Tatiana Illyashevych.

In 2003, the school was revived and strengthened with the help of its graduates and the guidance of the parish’s Cultural and Educational chair and the help of the newly elected head of the Parents Committee – Andriy Smyk. A library was created and organized by M. Nevenhlowsky – there are over 2,500 books and magazines found there. Marianna Liskiwsky acted as the administrator of the school and was followed in this role by Olga Liskiwsky, Vera Petrusha and Maria Nazarenko. Along with the work of the teachers, the Parents Committee has always played an integral part in the development of the school – fundraising, organizing, cleaning to make sure the school continues to survive and grow. 

In recent years, our teaching staff has been augmented by teachers who have recently settled in this country from Ukraine. Over the last few years, the staff included: Bohdan Romanchyshyn, Halina Semets, Yuliana Sirman Felling, Julia Kuch-Ksenos, Andrij Zaritsky, Alexander Oleksienko, Nadia Pacholiuk Pinto, Victoria Volyaniuk, Elizabeth Symonenko, Lubow Lazurko, Halina Yalowenko, Vita Lukaschuk, Maria Nevenhlovska (librarian), Tatiana Illyashevych, Larissa Blysniuk, Marta Birko, Sofia Korostetska and Ludmila Adler. 

Currently, the Director of school is Viktoriya Volyanuk and there are 30 pupils registered, many of whom are children of our graduates or those of the new immigrants. The chairman of the Parents’ Committee is Andrij Zahajko who will be guiding the committee in organizing various programs throughout the school year – performances at the Pokrova Feast Day, St. Nicholas Program, Malanka Dance, Poetry Readings, Shevchenko Program and Mothers’ Day. 

The mission of our school was, is and always will be to provide an organized educational program for our youngsters to grow in the Ukrainian national spirit! They benefit greatly from the rich and varied programs presented to them – they continue to build their self confidence as evidenced in their performances on stage. 

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the parents, for their care and hard work in supporting the school. We as teachers and administrators are inspired by our pupils and continue to work in teaching the Ukrainian language, its culture, history, traditions and the Orthodox faith. While we mark the 60th anniversary of our parish community, we hope that the cheerful clamor of children’s voices continue to be heard in our school. 

 

Viktoriya Volyanuk Former Director of School 

(based on an article written by P. Chalava)

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Apr. 5 Sunday 10 AM
St. Mary of Egypt 

Apr. 7 Tuesday 10 AM
Annunciation 

Apr.11 Saturday 10 AM 
St. Lazarus Saturday 

Apr. 12 Sunday 10 AM 
Palm Sunday 

Due to coronavirus
no Public Services!


Livestream Services:

Apr. 5 Sunday 10 AM
St. Mary of Egypt 

Apr. 7 Tuesday 10 AM
Annunciation 

Apr.11 Saturday 10 AM 
St. Lazarus Saturday 

Apr. 12 Sunday 10 AM 
Palm Sunday 

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  Church Calendar

  • Saints of the Day
  • Readings
Friday , April 10, 2020
(Julian calendar:
Friday , March 28, 2020)

St. Hilarion the New
St. Hilarion the New, abbot of Pelecete (754).
St. Stephen the Wonderworker, abbot of Tryglia (815).
Martyrs Jonah and Barachisius and those with them in Persia: Zanithas, Lazarus, Maruthas (Marotas), Narses, Elias, Marinus (Mares), Abibus, Sembeeth (Sivsithina), and Sabbas (330).
Martyr Eustratius of the Kyiv Caves (1097).

6th hour: Is. 66:10-24
Vespers: Gen. 49:33–50:26; Prov. 31:8-32

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

Friday , April 10, 2020
(Julian calendar:
Friday , March 28, 2020)

Gen. 49:33–50:26; Prov. 31:8-32
33 And when Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.

Chapter: 50

1 And Joseph fell upon his father's face, and wept upon him, and kissed him.
2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel.
3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of embalming: and the Egyptians wept for him three-score and ten days.
4 And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spake unto the house of Pharaoh, saying, If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,
5 My father made me swear, saying, Lo, I die: in my grave which I have digged for me in the land of Canaan, there shalt thou bury me. Now therefore let me go up, I pray thee, and bury my father, and I will come again.
6 And Pharaoh said, Go up, and bury thy father, according as he made thee swear.
7 And Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
8 and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father's house: only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen.
9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.
10 And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a very great and sore lamentation: and he made a mourning for his father seven days.
11 And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: wherefore the name of it was called Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.
12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them:
13 for his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burying-place, of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.
14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
15 And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
16 And they sent a message unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin, for that they did unto thee evil. And now, we pray thee, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we are thy servants.
19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived a hundred and ten years.
23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were born upon Joseph's knees.
24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die; but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.
26 So Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

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