CHICAGO – Four Ukrainian parishes in Illinois on August 23 celebrated the 29th anniversary of the restoration of Ukraine’s independence of Ukraine. Taking into consideration the regulations and recommendations of local, state and federal agencies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and to be in full compliance, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America – Illinois Division dispersed the Ukrainian Independence Day celebration to take place at four Ukrainian parishes: St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, seat of the St. Nicholas Eparchy in Chicago; St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Vicariate of the Autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Ukraine in the U.S.A. and Canada in Bloomingdale; St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Catholic Church in Chicago; and Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church in Palatine.
Ukrainian American Veterans Post 32 participated in the raising of the flag at each of the four parishes. Each location organized a brief program.
At St. Nicholas Cathedral, Bishop Venedykt Aleksiychuk blessed new American and Ukrainian flags donated to the parish by the Ukrainian American Veterans Post 32. The blessing was witnessed by Bishop Bohdan Danylo of St. Josephat Eparchy, Parma, Ohio; the newly appointed consul general of Ukraine in Chicago, Serhiy Koledov; Consul Ihor Bodnar; and the Rev. Serhiy Kovalchuk, administrator of St. Nicholas Cathedral and chancellor of the Eparchy of St. Nicholas. UCCA Illlinois was represented by Ihor Diaczun, president, and Pavlo Bandriwsky, vice-president.
Traditionally, UCCA Illinois has invited and hosted local politicians, representatives of other ethnic groups and Illinois senators and representatives to this annual celebration. Given the restrictions and regulations related to the coronavirus, UCCA Illinois opted to request video greetings from those that have been most active on behalf of issues related to Ukraine.
Greetings were received from Sen. Richard J. Durbin, co-chair of the Senate Ukraine Caucus; and Reps. Danny K. Davis, Michael Quigley, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Robin L. Kelly and Adam Kinsinger, members of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus. The initiative to request these video greetings was that of UCCA Illinois Media Committee Co-Chair Mila Luhova.
Their greetings are posted on the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America – Illinois Division Facebook page with a Ukrainian translation of the greetings.
Maria Korkatsch-Groszko, Ph.D., is vice-president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America – Illinois Division.