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Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church
Українська Католицька Церква Богоявлення Господнього
Our History

Xристос Воскресе! Воистину Воскрес!
Christ Is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen!

About Us > Our History

A very brief history of our parish

Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church, St. Petersburg, Fl.


Many Ukrainian families came to St. Petersburg in the early sixties amazed by the beauty of the area, but missing a key ingredient to their happiness - a Ukrainian Church which would bring the community and Ukrainian organizations together. Realizing the importance of having a Ukrainian Church in St. Petersburg many individuals began working toward this goal.

These new settlers first attended a Byzantine Catholic Mission which was comprised of Ruthenians and Ukrainians. Eventually plans for their own Ukrainian church were formulated. Under the guidance and direction of their spiritual leader, Father Yaroslav Dybka, enough money was raised to purchase property at 434 90 Ave. N. for $7,000.00 on December 5, 1963. In 1964, the Most Reverend Archbishop Ambrose Senyshyn assigned Father Yaroslaw Skrotsky as administrator of the new Epiphany of Our Lord mission Parish.

The original property included a small frame house. Father Skrotsky renovated the living - room and bedroom into a small chapel, where church services were held. Here is where the church life of the Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church began.

The mission Parish consisted of about twenty families. After the Divine Liturgy on Sunday afternoon picnics were held in order to raise funds for a new church. These early picnics were held in the yard behind the mission house next to the tall pine trees that grace the parcel of land today. The afternoon picnics were enjoyable and very profitable.

In 1966 a new church, rectory and social hall were built. Through the years Ukrainian life flourished at the Epiphany of Our Lord Parish and the community began to develop around the church. To meet this growth, parishioners decided that it would be advantageous to purchase the lots on the north side of 90th Ave. for additional parking.

The growth of the Ukrainian church community elevated its status from a mission to a full parish. On November 27, 1976, Bishop Basil Losten of Philadelphia consecrated the Epiphany of Our Lord Church and named Father Steven Adamiak its first pastor.

As the Epiphany parish grew, it became the focal point for all Ukrainian religious and social life. Both Catholics and Orthodox belonged to our church. Wonderful dinners, picnics, and dances were enjoyed by its members. In addition, a Ukrainian National Choir and Dance Group were organized under the auspices of the Ukrainian American Association. These groups participated in the annual St. Petersburg International Folk Fair and in various local and state activities displaying our Ukrainian art and traditions.

The early 80's again brought a new generation of Ukrainians to the Tampa Bay Area. Many young Ukrainian professionals began to call Tampa Bay their home. The need for a new church became more evident as we celebrated the 25th Jubilee of our parish in 1991. In the early 1990's, plans for a new church building were formulated. The property north of 90th Ave. N. would soon be the site of the new church. Ground breaking was held on Nov. 7, 1993.

Planning, hard work, dedication and some changes brought about a new era in the history of our church. Rev. Msgr. Jaroslaw Fedyk retired and Rev. Archpriest Matthew Berko became our pastor on January 1, 1997.

On the weekend of March 22-23, 1997, our parish celebrated two momentous occasions. Saturday, March 22, our parish celebrated the consecration of our new church by Most Reverend Bishop Robert Moskal. On Sunday, March 23, Andrew Krasulski was the first person to be ordained a Deacon in our parish.

Msgr. John P. Stevensky was appointed Pastor of Epiphany by Bishop Robert M. Moskal on April 4, 2002, and he arrived at the parish on the 15th of April.

As proud parishioners of Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church
We recognize...
    the accomplishments of our pioneers over the past years.
We realize...
     the dedication of the parishioners who made dreams a reality.
We regroup...
     our thoughts for the future.
May all our future plans and work be for the greater glory of God.



 
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