NEW YORK – Ukraine’s Holodomor, the 1932-1933 genocide by famine of 7-10 million Ukrainians committed by Joseph Stalin, ranks among the worst cases of man’s inhumanity towards man. In memory of the innocent victims of this Soviet genocide, 3 million of whom were children, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA), annually co-organizes an ecumenical commemoration at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City on the third Saturday of November, which regularly attracts thousands of attendees from across the tri-state metropolitan area.
This year, the organizers of the annual event advise our community not to travel to St. Patrick’s Cathedral on November 21. Case reporting of COVID-19 continues to spread in New York City, with increases in recent hospitalizations concerning local authorities enough to begin limiting non-essential gatherings in certain neighborhoods. On November 15, the UCCA encouraged the public to instead watch the livestream from St. Patrick’s Cathedral to mark the 87th anniversary of the Holodomor.
In lieu of a large gathering with remarks by elected officials, Metropolitan Antony, primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A., and Bishop Paul Chomnycky of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford, Conn., will lead a panakhyda at the cathedral without the usual masses of priests from the surrounding parishes concelebrating or the sound of the Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York singing the responses.
This service will be livestreamed at https://saintpatrickscathedral.org/live.
While this is an iconic event for our community, the UCCA puts the health and safety of community members, especially those few remaining survivors of the Holodomor Genocide who attend this commemoration every year, first. After careful consultation with Church hierarchs, and reflecting the global concern about the coronavirus outbreak, the UCCA has informed invited speakers that this year’s program will be abbreviated.
EDITOR’S NOTE: At press time, it was not known where the service from St. Patrick’s would be available for later viewing, but organizers are expected to make that possible. Please watch for announcements online.