Parish History

A small group of Ukrainian Pioneers fulfilled their life’s hopes and dreams in building the first Ukrainian Catholic Church in Lackawanna, New York in September 12, 1926.

All this began during the later half of the year 1925. In the home of Mr. John Cswaycus Sr., a meeting was called to order at which it was agreed to begin building a Church for the Ukrainian Faithful of the Byzantine Rite then residing in Lackawanna and vicinity.
The first lay trustees at that meeting were elected as follows: Mr. Wasyl Hubczak and Mr. John Cswaykus Sr.. A broad committee was organized to help in soliciting funds for the building of the Church. Among these were: Michael Fenyk, Onufri Steckow, Wasyl Furgala, Michael Boyko, Nicholas Jablonsky, Stephen Mandiak, John Matwijiw, Peter Stadnyk, Michael Hanetz, Andrew Huristny, Hrynkow Flak Sr., Michael Winkowski, Steve Samardak Sr., Victor Samardak, and August Smerka.

The officer presiding at the said meeting was Rev. Father John Zuck, and his efforts were mainly responsible for the organization of the Church.

The committee with the cooperation of the ladies of the parish, started to collect funds for the building of the Church. The ladies led by Mrs. Anna Cswaykus, were: Mrs. Michael Hanetz Sr., Mrs. Katherine Hubczak, Mrs. Magdalene Huristny, Mrs. Anna Flak, Mrs. Maria Hrabowczak, Mrs Maria Krawczyszyn, Mrs. Sophia Stadnyk, Mrs. Anna Baranik, Mrs. Olha Samardak, Mrs. Ahaphia Samardak, Mrs. Tatianna Samardak, Mrs. Anastazia Bojko, Mrs. Anna Onukewycz, and Mrs. Michael Fenyk.

In the year of 1926, the Holy Ghost, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was built, and consecrated on September 12, 1926 by the Most Rev. Bishop Constantine Bohachevsky, Eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the United States.

On the 28th of October 1945, the parish celebrated the final payment of the parish debt and mortgage burning ceremony.

Because of the growth of the parish in the early 1960’s, Father Bohdan Ostapowycz and Trustees, Stefan Slabyk and Stephen Bodnar decided to purchase a parcel of land on the corner of Ridge Road and South Shore Boulevard, where the present Church is located. In the late 1960’s, the new pastor, the Reverend Father Ihor Pelensky spearheaded a plan to build a new church and rectory at the location in Lackawanna.

In a Church meeting on March 20, 1971, plans were approved for the building of a new church and a new title was unanimously selected as OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. Officially, the name of our Church was changed on June 22, 1971.

On the 8th of September, 1974 the present Church was consecrated by the Most Reverend Bishop Joseph M. Schmondiuk, Eparch of Stamford.

Past And Present Pastors

†Reverend John Zuck – 1925 – 1949
+Reverend Bohdan Ostapowycz – 1949 – 1967
†Reverend Ihor G. Pelensky – 1967 – 1982
†Reverend James Steele – 1982 – 1983
Reverend Walter Werbicki – 1983 – 1993
Reverend Peter Hronsky – 1993 – 1996
Reverend Wasyl Hrynkiw – 1996 – 2002
Reverend Andriy Kasiyan – 2002 – present