A Ukrainian Christmas Celebration

“The suffering that took place nine months ago is still taking place now. And even more so. You know, if you think about if you walk outside on a cold night like tonight with the snow falling, and you’re walking home and you’re going home to a house that has no windows, a little wood, fire going, no food, no light,” said John Markowittz, of La Salette Shrine. “We need to keep those people in mind, keep them in our hearts and keep Americans aware that we have to support those people.”

Ukraian CelerbrationThe La Salette Community was pleased to sponsor another special event to support the people of Ukraine who continue to suffer.

A Ukrainian Christmas Celebration featuring traditional food and music was held at the shrine on December 11, 2022. The guests included Upper Valley residents and some recent Ukrainian refugees. One family fled their home in Kyiv just three months ago. A mother shared, “It was truly a hard time for us because we were fleeing from bombing. We crossed the border on foot. I took two of my boys, they are my children, and they are only 13 and when we crossed the border, they were 12.”

Prior to the dinner, a concert was held in the chapel, featuring professional banduristkas and bandurist Teryn, Alina and Stephan. Their beautiful folk music generated a very emotional response from those in attendance!

During the dinner recent refugee; Myroslav and Lubomyr entertained the guests with their accordion music. A group of women sang Christmas carols in their native language.

The dinner was created by Ukrainian cooks, several of whom traveled from Chicago. These dear folks spent days, weeks even, preparing a labor-intensive meal. Guests enjoyed a bite of bread with honey, a taste of kutia, borscht, varenyky (half moon shaped dumplings) with assorted fillings, holubtsi (stuffed cabbage rolls) deruny (potato pancakes), kielbasa with sauerkraut, an exotic Christmas juice called uzvar and a variety of delicious Ukrainian desserts.

While we certainly intended to raise funds for humanitarian aid it was also our goal to celebrate and share the traditions of a suffering country. We are ever grateful for the generosity of our community.

Olga Sobko, whose parents emigrated from Ukraine, summed it up: It was a beautiful afternoon and evening filled with amazing music, amazing food, amazing stamina, amazing people and amazing grace!

Khrystos Razhdaietsia-Christ is Born!

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