organizations in the PA coal region find ways to show support for Ukraine | Poconos and Coal Region
PALMERTON, Pa. — Thousands of people of Ukrainian descent live in Pennsylvania’s coal country, and organizations are working to show support for their homeland.
As you enter Palmerton’s Ukrainian Farm, history adorns the walls.
“In northeastern Pennsylvania, immigration began to arrive, even before the late 1800s,” Homestead Secretary Ulana Prociuk said.
Prociuk said immigration led to more than a century of cultivation in Schuylkill and Carbon counties. It is a traditional flame that Father Mark Fesniak continues to burn at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Minersville.
“Most of the people who came here, they wanted to have the religion that they had in Ukraine, so they came and they brought their traditions with them. They came and they wanted to have their priests here,” said the father Fesniak.
St. Nicholas hosts an annual picnic and “Ukrainian Day” at St. Nicholas Hall in Cass Township, which the U.S. Census Bureau says has the highest percentage of Ukrainian Americans in all of the United States. . The Church has maintained this tradition for more than 80 years.
But with tradition comes close ties to their Ukrainian homeland, a country now under attack. Prociuk showed us where part of his family still lives.
“They said you know six bombs went off, and they were scared, you know. They don’t know what’s going on day to day, you know, everyone is scared,” Prociuk said.
Prociuk is planning a protest Thursday at Jim Thorpe in support of Ukraine.
Fr Fesniak said he also works with his community, trying to look beyond the darkness to find hope through prayer.
“We had additional services for Ukraine, and as I said, before all of our scheduled services, we also have a prayer time for Ukraine, so we will pray for Ukraine every day,” he said. said Father Fesniak.