Voices from Russia

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Ukrainian Church in Woonsocket RI Will Honour Firemen Who Battled November Fire

00 Benefit Concert. St Michael UOC. Woonsocket RI. 18.05.13

There was a typo in the last line… “St Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church” was mistakenly inserted. I corrected it. The people doing the poster were rushed… shit happens. It’s put to rights, now…


St Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket RI is still recovering from the November fire that heavily-damaged its ornate 70-year-old granite and wood church building at 74 Harris Avenue. Nevertheless, coping with the near loss of their church won’t keep St Michael’s parishioners from offering a special tribute to the firefighters who kept total disaster at bay back on 21 November 2012. Fr Anthony Perkins, pastor at St Michael, said, “At the end of the Liturgy on Sunday, we’ve invited them to come. We’re going to present them with an icon of St Michael, who’s not only our patron saint, but he’s also the patron saint of firefighters”. The parish had the icon specially-made; it’s giving it to the firefighters in the hope that they’ll remain safe in their dangerous work to help others. Fr Anthony said, “We pray for them at every service”.

The parish hasn’t been able to hold services in their Ukrainian-style church (highlighted by two stone towers topped by gold-leaf ornamental domes) since the accidental fire broke out inside the structure. Instead, parishioners gather for liturgy in their church hall across the parking lot. For now, they’ve installed an iconostas… a separating wall between the altar and the congregation… borrowed from another church. Speaking of the temporary modification, Fr Anthony said, “Now, it’s recognisable as a worship space”.

The parish is still working out the details of the repair of the damaged church with its insurance company and Fr Anthony said that he expects repair work would start in the near future. He added that the fire damage could’ve been much worse if city firefighters weren’t as successful at saving the significant city landmark as they were, saying, “It was pretty close to being destroyed, really close, because the fire had gotten up into the rafters. Once that happens, it usually becomes a total loss”. However, the firefighters and their scene commanders kept in constant contact with parishioners as they battled the blaze, and they were able to work out a strategy that saved the church. Fr Anthony noted, “We told them where they could poke a hole into the rafters through the choir loft and they were able to go through that to put it out”.

The firefighters also went into the sanctuary of the church to rescue important parish religious artefacts that would’ve been otherwise lost to the fire. Fr Anthony stated, “After they put the fire out, they were like a moving company and got everything out of there. We weren’t able to salvage everything, but the important things were. We had religious relics in the church and they were able to get them out. They were tremendous. They kept talking to us and telling us what was going on. They were able to stop it. It’s going to need a new roof, but we didn’t have to tear down the walls”.

In the aftermath of the fire, the parishioners held services outside the church right away, but didn’t get a full understanding of the damage occurring in the fire until recently. After visiting the church to see the damage himself, Metropolitan Antony Scharba, the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, told Fr Anthony that he should take his congregation inside the fire damaged church. Fr Anthony told us, “He said, ‘You have to bring the people to see this’. So, the parish held a prayer service inside their church about a month ago, and it was a powerful experience for the congregation”. The parishioners of St Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church continue to work toward the day they’ll once again hold services inside their church and Fr Anthony said that the ceremony honouring city firefighters would be another step along that road.

In an effort to help repair the church, a benefit concert will occur on Sunday, 19 May, at the Blackstone River Theatre (click here for directions) on 549 Broad Street in Cumberland RI at 19.00 EDT. The concert will feature Ukrainian musician Julian Kytasty (click here for a vid). Admission is 20 USD (630 Roubles. 15.60 Euros. 13.20 UK Pounds) for adults, 15 USD (423 Roubles. 11.70 Euros. 9.90 UK Pounds) for seniors and 10 USD (315 Roubles. 7.80 Euros. 6.60 UK Pounds) for children under 12. For more information, call (401) 725-9272.

18 May 2013

Joseph Nadeau

The Call (Woonsocket RI) 


Editor’s Note:

These guys ain’t fly-by-night Johnnie-come-Lately newbies… they’re the real deal; hey, send ‘em a fin or two, if you can. They’re on the up-and-square. This is a typical Orthodox parish founded by hard-working immigrants, sustained by their faithful kids. It’s what Orthodoxy in the American diaspora is all about… give ‘em a hand… they need it.



18 May 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. The 17th Century Church Schism: How Did It Divide Believers?

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. The 17th Century Church Schism. How Did It Divide Believers. 2013


During the reign of Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich, Patriarch Nikon Minin launched new studies of Russian sacred texts, comparing them with Greek models to identify discrepancies. The reform started with the convening of a Sobor in Moscow in 1654, which decided to bring the liturgical books in line with Greek manuscripts. The Great Moscow Sobor of 1666-67 approved new rites of worship and ranks. The authorities began a crackdown against the opponents of reform, which lasted for about two centuries. The Old Ritualists split at various times, the monarchy varied in its approach to them. At times, the government was lenient; at others, it was severe. Sometimes, the Belokrinitsky Old Ritualist hierarchy could serve legally at the Rogozhskoe Cemetery in Moscow, but at other periods, during the so-called “sealing of the altars”, the state forbade the Old Ritualists to serve the liturgy.

In 1800, some of the “priested” Old Ritualists sought rapprochement with the Holy Governing Synod, which established a special structure for the so-called Yedinoverie (“One-Faithers”, “Unionists”)… maintaining the pre-reform ritual, they submitted to the jurisdiction of the canonical Church, recognising that ritual differences don’t affect general dogmatic teaching. For example, in comparing the sign of the cross, although they used different constructions, both usages symbolise the unity of the three persons of the Holy Trinity and of Christ‘s dual divine-human nature. In 1905, Tsar St Nikolai Aleksandrovich issued a decree on religious tolerance, removing all civil restrictions on the rights of the Old Ritualists, and, in 1971, an MP Sobor adopted a resolution to lift the oaths and anathemas from the old rites.

12 February 2013



Click here to read more on the Raskol

18 May 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Origin of Geomagnetic Storms

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Origin of Geomagnetic Storms. 2013


NASA reported that a powerful X-class flare, the third in the past two days, occurred on the Sun on 14 May. These were the most powerful burst of solar activity since 23 October 2012. None of these flares pointed towards the Earth; otherwise, they could’ve triggered massive geomagnetic storms. Geomagnetic storms are also called geomagnetic disturbances; they last from several hours to several days, and are caused by the arrival in the neighbourhood of the Earth of perturbed solar wind flows and their interaction with the Earth’s magnetosphere. Geomagnetic storms are one of the most important elements of space weather and affect many areas of human activity, including degradation of communications, navigation systems, and space vehicles, the induction of eddy currents in transformers and lines, and even the destruction of power systems.

15 May 2013




See also:




18 May 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Events of the Week in Cartoons: 13 to 17 May 2013

00 Sergei Yolkin. The Events of the Week in Cartoons... 13 to 17 May 2013. 2013

Events of the Week in Cartoons: 13 to 17 May 2013

Sergei Yolkin



The original in Russian had the CIA guy saying “No-o-o-o” in English, with the other two saying “Het” (Nyet) in Russian… just thought that you’d like to know that…


Sergei Yolkin summed up events that have been cooking for some time… the USA eliminated the Russian ice hockey team in the quarter-finals of World Cup, the FSB nicked a CIA agent in Moscow for espionage, and the maintenance man will turn off the hot water.

17 May 2013

Sergei Yolkin



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