OUR HISTORY

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OUR HISTORY

“The greatness of any parish is the result of intensive cooperation between the members of the clergy and the laity.  It takes the dynamic leadership of inspired priests and the hard work of responsible parishioners to bring a parish into existence and to cause it to grow and develop into a sound religious community.”  (Excerpt from the 10th Anniversary Book of St. Anne, 1973)

St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church is located on 16.11 acres of a beautifully, well-kept hillside overlooking historic Doylestown and some of the last rolling farmlands of Bucks County in Pennsylvania.

The historic roots of St. Anne’s Church and Parish may be said to have been planted with the arrival of the early Ukrainian immigrants into the US in the era before the turn of the century.  Some came from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and settled in the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains while others came from lands under the domination of the Poles, Russians, and Romanians.  Many of these immigrants settled in the Philadelphia area where they were employed in the factories by the docks.  Others settled on farms in Bucks and Montgomery Counties in and around Warrington, PA.

In 1962, Metropolitan Andrew Senyshyn began negotiating with the Kramberger Family for the purchase of a tract of farmland which was formerly known as the “Popular Grove Farm.”  On April 5, 1963, negotiations were completed.  Shortly thereafter, on June 3, 1963, Reverend Robert Moskal, a newly ordained, energetic young priest was sent to occupy the old farmhouse by the Archeparchy of Philadelphia.  Five young seminarians soon followed and joined in a workforce to clear up the farmhouse and farm which had come into disrepair.  The farmhouse soon became the rectory and Divine Liturgies were held in the living room on a fold-out table.  Public Liturgies soon followed and parishioners began attending the services.  Ads were put into local papers and the local Roman Catholic clergy were notified of the intentions of the Archeparchy.  The numbers of attendees to the liturgies began to grow. 

The Church was named in honor of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Grandmother of Jesus shortly before July 25, 1963, the Feast Day that commemorated the Dormition (death) of St. Anne.  When 25 parishioner families were registered, groundbreaking for the building of the Church took place on November 17, 1963.  The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the new Church on Holy Saturday, March 28, 1964.  In 1977, an Activities Hall was added to the property to accommodate the growing Church Family.  A fire destroyed the original hall but was replaced immediately as it was needed for the various Committees, Religious Education Program and the many fundraisers held to support the Church.  Due to the growth of the Church Community, a new Church was built and dedicated in 1993.  It is styled in the Hutsul (mountain area) architecture that is used abundantly in Ukraine.

After the war began in Ukraine on 2/24/22, parishioners organized 2 dates in March 2022 to collect items needed for those fleeing Ukraine.  It was an overwhelming success and the Bucks and Montgomery county communities were unbelievable with their donations.  Over 1000 canes, walkers, etc were collected and 3 large trailers will filled with items (over 5000 lbs).  Medical supplies were shipped by plane and everything else was brought to the docks in Newark and sent via ship.  In June 2022 we were asked to host a Crisis Pack for the organization "Feed My Starving Children".  Volunteers from every walk of life signed up to pack Rice, vitamens, soy, and vegetables into Mana Packs that were sent via cooperating organizations directly into Ukraine.  Monetary donations continue to be given towards Humanitarian Aide.

Upon the transfer of Fr Mykola Ivanov to our Parish in August 2023, the St Anne Ukrainian Heritage School was opened.  Classes are held on Saturdays.  All ages are invited to the 10am classes where Ukrainian language is taught, along with traditions and history.  All ages are invited to the 12:15pm classes where English is taught to those who speak Ukrainian.

Today, there are 150 families who are registered parishioners.  There is an active Religious Education Program for children from K to Grade 6 held every Sunday after the 9am Divine Liturgy from September through May.  We also have Adult Religious Education Program held 2nd Sunday of each month from September until May taught by Professor Joseph Colombo.  Many fundraisers are held yearly and our most popular of those are our weekly Bingo games held every Tuesday and the sale of our delicious, homemade pyrohy (potato stuffed dough) and specials held monthly on Wednesday.

We welcome everyone to come and visit our beautiful and unique CATHOLIC church.  Pick up a brochure with more information about our Divine Liturgies, Committee Work, Fundraisers in the back of our church.

St. Anne’s Ukrainian Catholic Church – Historical Time Line 

October 1962            Metropolitan Ambrose Senyshyn began negotiating to purchase 16.11 acre tract of farmland formerly known as “Popular Grove Farm”.  Initially the purchase was intended for a private high school for boys.

April 5, 1963              Negotiations for the property were completed.  The property included a Civil War farmhouse, a stone barn with a wooden wing, a corn crib, a shed, chicken coops, and an orchard.

June 3, 1963              Reverend Robert Moskal, a newly ordained young priest arrived to occupy the farm and start clearing the land for a church.  Five seminarians soon arrived to help him with the many repairs needed.  Though the labor was tiring, they never wavered and continued their daily renovations and clean up both inside and outside of the farmhouse.

 July 28, 1963             First pilgrimage to St. Anne’s Mission.  Between 150 and 200 pilgrims attended the services.  A Divine Liturgy was held in the morning, followed by a Moleban at 3 pm with devotions to St. Anne.  Metropolitan Ambrose Senyshyn presided over the service with Monsignor Russel Danylchuk delivering the sermon.  A miraculous icon of St. Anne, as well as her relics, were exposed for veneration in the afternoon.  A picnic was held later in the afternoon serving roast beef and drinks cooked over a coal stove in the rectory. This was the first social held at St. Anne’s.

                                   An Activities Hall was built to accommodate the growing parish for classes, socials, food sales, etc.

January 4, 1976         Activities Center burns to the ground.  The fire was reported by Father Richard Seminack who was just returning with the  youth group  from a ski trip.  It was determined that a bag of trash which had been left out in front of the hall doors outside, caused the fire. 

1977                           Activities Center is rebuilt thanks to the hard work of the parishioners and Youth Group.

November 1992        Original Church and Rectory are demolished to make room for the new Church and Rectory to accommodate the growing parish.

October 1993             New Church and Rectory are dedicated.

September 2004        New Iconastasis (donated by St Nicholas Church in Frackville, PA) is installed by the dedicated men of the Parish

July 2005                  Archbishop Soroka dedicates the new Iconostasis followed by a dinner for all parishioners marking this eventful day.

October 2013            50th Anniversary Divine Liturgy celebrated by Archbishop Soroka along with former Priests that served our Parish followed by an Anniversary Gala at the Warrington County Club        

March 2022                AID FOR UKRAINE fundraiser for the victims of 2/24/22 war was held.  Over 5000 lbs of items was shipped to Ukraine

June 2022                 Paid off Mortgage and Crisis Pack for Ukraine was held with the organization Feed My Starving Children sending ALL food packed directly into Ukraine

October 2022             St Anne's Ukrainian Heritage School established.  Classes are held at 10am every Saturday for children and adults to learn the Ukrainian Language, Traditions, and History.

March 2023               English as a Second Language (ESL) classes were added to our Ukrainian Heritage School Program.  Ukrainian children and adults interested in learning English are welcomed every Saturday at 12:15pm

May 2023                        Mother's Day was made extra special by the visit from Archbishop Metropolitan Borys Gudziak and ordination of Seminarian Bohdan Vasiliev to SubDeacon with a wonderful brunch afterwards.  The children's group "Children of Ukraine" sang, recited poetry, and even did some dancing to commemorate the day.  We were blessed by the visit of 4 Ukrainian heroes who are in the US getting their prosthetics due to injures from the war.

TODAY                       We currently have 170 families registered in our Parish.  We have an active Religious Education Program for K-Grade 6 which is held weekly from September through May.  We also have an active Adult Religious Education Program held the 2nd Sunday from September thru May.  We continue to run our fundraisers to support our needs.  Our future looks bright and we welcome you to join us in our prayers to our Lord, Jesus Christ. 

  

 

THE PRIESTS WHO HAVE SERVED OUR PARISH 

Father  Robert Moskal                          
     June 1963 to July 31, 1972
 
Father Richard Seminack                      
    July 31, 1972 to September 19, 1977
 
Father John Stevensky                           
     September 19, 1977 to July 5, 1978
 
Father Robert Hnatyshyn                      
     July 5, 1978 – August 25, 1978
 
Father George Markewycz                   
     August 25, 1978 to June 20, 1980
 
Father Adam Polischak                         
     June 20, 1980 to January 9, 1981
 
Father Constantine Bedar                     
     January 9, 1981 to August 9, 1982
 
Father D. George Worschak                 
  August 9, 1982 to November 25, 1984
 
Father Paul Luniw                                 
     November 25, 1984 to 1987
 
Father Davidowich                                
     1987 – February 15, 1988
 
Father Michael Hutsko                         
  February 15, 1988 to September 1988
 
Father John Fields                                 
   September 1988 to September 2004
 
Father Vasil Bunik                                             
   September 2004 to July 31, 2022
 
Father Mykola Ivanov
   August 1, 2022 to present