By Rob Wheary firstname.lastname@example.org
Published: August 29, 2011
Posted With Permission
CENTRALIA - Nestled on a hill overlooking the once-thriving town of Centralia, a small church was packed Sunday afternoon to commemorate its 100th year.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church held Mass Sunday to celebrate its founding on its feast day, when The Bible says the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, was taken to heaven after her death, body and soul.
The church, which consists of around 100 to 150 parishioners, was packed Swith a number of former pastors and the Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka from Philadelphia concelebrating the mass.
It was Soroka who gave the sermon, first joking if everyone could hear him in the back with no sound system in the church.
"The main thing is that I want you to hear beyond the words," the archbishop said. "This church is standing after 100 years, despite the mine fire and the town leaving, to deliver a message to the world: We are to be like your namesake, the Mother of God, to be servants to others."
The archbishop praised the members for sticking with the church, some traveling several miles from other communities to attend mass on Sundays.
"After 100 years, you are all doing the work the founders of the church wanted to do as well, you are giving service to others, coming together in hard times and good."
He then blessed the church and offered his best wishes for the next 100 years.
"May this anniversary celebration serve as a revitalization of this church once again, bringing all of the generations together," Soroka said.
Even the inclement weather could not put a damper on the spirits of those in attendance, but it did cause a change in plans, according to the church's pastor, the Very Rev. Archpriest Michael Hutsko.
"Today we have many guests from across the country and one uninvited one - that would be Irene," Hutsko said.
The storm caused part of a tent set up on the church grounds to fall. That was where the refreshments were to be served after the mass before a banquet later in the afternoon.
The congregation was then invited to SS Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Mount Carmel, where Hutsko also serves as pastor, for the cocktail hour.
After churches were established in Shamokin, Minersville, Mount Carmel and Marion Heights, the Greek Catholics in Centralia decided that they would have their own church. On Aug. 15, 1911, a committee decided to form their own parish and build their own church.
After parishioners contributed money, the committee found a lot of land north of Centralia, and the foundation was dug by the parishioners. Construction was completed in 1912 and the charter was obtained on Jan. 12, 1912, and blessed by the Diocese in 1916.
Former pastors of the church include their first resident pastor, Rev. Kyrylo Perizok, Rev. Jeremiah Onuferko from 1954 to 1956 and the Rev. John Chervinsky from 1959-1982.
After the Rev. Edward Levandusky served the parish from 1982 to 1987, it returned to the tradition of the pastor serving both Assumption and SS Peter and Paul Church in Mount Carmel. The Rev. David Chabin was the first to do so, followed by Rev. Daniel Troyan in 1988.
Other pastors to serve Assumption were Revs. Bohdan Kudleychuk, Vitaliy Demaynets, Mark Fesniak and Stepan Bilyk, before the current pastor, the Very Rev. Archpriest Michael Hutsko.
In 2010, the church and the rectory suffered a number of break-ins, including the theft of a newly donated gold-plated gospel book. That book was replaced in the past year by donation from Anna and John Lynn, along with new chalices and diskos from anonymous donors.
Read more: http://newsitem.com/news/centralia-church-commemorates-100th-anniversary-1.1194918#ixzz1Z4EKDUY6
UPDATE: The celebration of the 1ooth Anniversary of the founding of Assumption BVM in Centralia is Sunday, August 28, 2011. The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 2:00 PM with the main celebrant Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka.
Immediately following the Divine Liturgy a social will be held on the Church grounds for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
Then whoever is going to Masser's Banquet Hall in Paxinos for the banquet will leave anytime after that.
The banquet doors will open at 4:45 PM, and we will have assigned seating. Cost of the banquet is $25.00. Reservations are now being accepted if you would like to attend.
Please fill out the reservation request form below and return it to the rectory office during regular office hours or drop it in the collection basket with your check for $25.00 made payable to the Assumption B.V.M. Church by Friday, August 5, 2011. Thank You!
Number of persons to attend the Divine Liturgy: _____
Number of persons to attend the Banquet: _____
Enclosed is a check in the sum of: _____
List the full name of each person attending the Banquet.
Please reply before August 5, 2011.
UPDATE: The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 2:00 PM with the main celebrant Metropolitan Archbishop Stefan Soroka. Immediately following the Divine Liturgy a social will be held on the Church grounds for approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Then whoever is going to Masser's Banquet Hall in Paxinos for the banquet will leave anytime after that. The banquet doors will open at 4:45 PM, and we will have assigned seating. Cost of the banquet is $25.00 and invitations will be mailed at the end of the month or by Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Any questions should be directed to the rectory office during regular office hours.
UPDATE: The celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the founding of Assumption BVM in Centralia is scheduled for Sunday, August 28, 2011.
The Liturgy will be celebrated by Archbishop Stefan Soroka, clergy of our Deanery and guest priests who are able to attend.
The Banquet will be held at Masser's Banquet Hall in Paxinos.
The times for those events have not yet been determined, but please mark that day on your calendar.
A special Centennial Commemorative Book will be published to provide a history of the parish.
At this time, we ask anyone who has previous Anniversary Books, photos, historical records, etc. to please bring them to church as soon as possible. Please be sure your name is attached to those items, as they will be returned once we are finished.
Mary Ann Mekosh has graciously volunteered to compile the parish history and any information you can provide for her will be greatly appreciated.
The information letter and the ad forms have been mailed. Ad forms and information letters are available in the vestibules of the churches as well.
If you have any questions, please contact Joe Liptock at the rectory office at 570-339-0650 during normal office hours.