UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Cleveland Ukrainian American Community Commemorates Chornobyl Tragedy
On Sunday April 24, 2016, the greater Cleveland Ukrainian American Community commemorated a tragedy that befell Ukraine and the whole world when 30 years ago an explosion and release of radiation occurred at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. The remembrance organized by the United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and St. Vladimir Cathedral Parish, began with a Prayer Service for the living and deceased. The prayers were led by His Grace Bishop Daniel (UOC USA), His Grace Bishop Robert (retired bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church) and 10 local Ukrainian Orthodox and Catholic clergy. Reposes were sung by the Cathedral Choir of St. Vladimir directed by Markian Komichak.
Introductory remarks about the accident in Chornobyl and the supportive response of the local community was given by the president of the community organizations, Marta Liscynesky Kelleher. A musical interlude of religious hymns, unique to the Ukrainian Eastern Church tradition was performed by the Ukrainian Female Vocal Ensemble “ZORYA” under the artistic direction of Natalia Basladynsky Mahlay. The theme of the commemoration - "We Remember and Support" was emphasized by the presentation on the missionary work of the UOC of the USA to the handicapped children of Ukraine by His Grace Bishop Daniel. The program was concluded by brief comments of gratitude by the coordinator of this event, Protodeacon Dr. Ihor Mahlay Director of the Office of Christian Charity, acknowledging all the community charitable efforts during these last 30 years.
Present during this commemoration was an icon from Ukraine called the Chornobyl Savior, specially commissioned in remembrance of this tragedy and the many innocent victims. Though this event was free of charge, donations were accepted for the local Fund to Aid Ukraine which will be forwarded to the Church’s Orphanage Fund benefiting the handicapped children.