“The memorial church is a very modest cross on the graves of the millions of victims of the Great Famine – the graves that were plowed under by the enemy.” These were the words of Archbishop Mstyslav of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on October 10, 1965, the day of the dedication of St. Andrew’s Memorial Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Located in South Bound Brook, N.J., at the Ukrainian Orthodox Center of St. Andrew, the First-Called Apostle, the church was erected as a monument to those Ukrainians who died in the quest for liberty and national independence for their homeland – and especially to the 7 million victims of Stalin’s planned annihilation of the Ukrainian nation, the Great Famine of 1932-33. It is the only monument dedicated to these victims.
The idea of a memorial church – and of the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Center – was conceived by Archbishop Mstyslav, who today, as metropolitan, heads the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. St. Andrew’s Church, designed by George Kodak to showcase traditional Ukrainian Church architecture, is the centerpiece of the 100-acre Ukrainian Orthodox Center that houses a seminary, print shop, cemetery, administrative offices, library and the newly built Home of Ukrainian Culture.
Each year on St. Thomas Sunday, or “Providna Nedilia,” thousands gather at the center to honor the dead. This year’s observances on May 15 are dedicated to solemn observances of the 50th anniversary of the Great Famine. The day’s program will include divine liturgy, memorial services, commemorative speeches and a memorial concert program.
IN NEXT WEEK’S WEEKLY: a special feature on St. Andrew’s Memorial Church.