Msgr. Stephen Hrynuck
In June 1951, the then reverent Stephen Hrynuck became pastor of St. Cyril’s and remained as such for 57 years. On arrival in the parish he was faced immediately with the formidable tasks of re-establishing harmony in the parish following the legal resolution of the internal jurisdictional dispute, the liquidation of debts resulting from the dispute, and the renovation and improvement of the physical properties of the parish which had been in the meantime deteriorated to a certain extent.
Thanks to the unflagging generosity of parishioners the financial straits of the parish were taking care of and, in 1952, the parish embarked on a program to renovate and redecorate the church interior. The blessing of the renovated interior church took place on Thanksgiving Day in 1953 with a Pontifical Divine Liturgy (Bohachevsky, Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese presiding) in the morning and a festive banquet in the school hall in the evening.
A vigorous program of improvements, renovation and construction continued through the remainder of the decade of the 1950s as St. Cyril’s approach the 70th year of its founding and the 50th year of the current church building to be observed in 1958. By 1958 the second part of the program was accomplished with the reinforcement of the exterior walls of the church and the rebuilding of the upper part of the church and the covering of domes and roof with copper.
The education of Christ’s little ones also received considerable attention as the daily parochial school, which began in 1948, was singled out for improvements. A kindergarten classroom was added and equipped in 1952 and a station wagon to transport the students, who lived outside of walking distance, was purchased. In 1953, two lots were purchased adjacent parish property in the next block on River Street for the purpose of building a convent for the Basilian Sisters, who staffed the Parochial School, and providing a playground for the school children and a parking area for social affairs of the parish.
With an increasing enrollment in the student body it became necessary to purchase a new school bus. Finally, on March 20, 1955, groundbreaking ceremonies were held for a $60,000 convent for the teaching sisters of the parochial school. The 30 by 40 foot building, designed by noted Ukrainian architect Julian K. Jastremsky and constructed by Philip Condron, was blessed and dedicated on Mother’s Day, May 13, 1956. The school received strong auxiliary support from the Parent Teachers Association that was organized earlier in 1951. The school realized its full potential as a daily primary parochial educational institution when at last in 1954 it offered full eight grades of courses and the first commencement exercise of the eight grade class of nine students was held.
On the spiritual side, the ‘50s saw the formation of a men’s Holy Name Society and Altar Boys Society, a Blessed Virgin Mary Sodality of parochial school girls, and 400 parishioners joined the League of the Sacred Heart. But, probably more importantly, a weekly devotional service to Our Mother of Perpetual Help was begun in 1953 for the intention of bringing and maintaining unity and harmony within the parish. The decade closed in 1959 with two spiritual daughters of the parish observing their 25th anniversary and the Order of St. Basil the Great: Very Rev. Mother M. Jerome, OSBM, a member of the Order’s General House in Rome, and Very Rev. Mother M. Basil, OSBM, Mother Superior in Philadelphia; and one spiritual son became ordained: Rev. Demetrius Wysochansky, OSBM.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1958, St. cereals observed a dual anniversary: 70th year of its founding and 50th year of the present church edifice. The celebration included (1) Blessing of the school playground and the renovated church; (2) Solemn Divine Liturgy presided over by His Excellency, the Most Rev. Metropolitan Archbishop Constantine Bohachevsky and concelebrated by six spiritual sons of our parish: Very Rev. Msgr. S. Chehansky, Rev. Basil Feddish, Rev. S. Kollar, Rev. S. Quartucci, Rev. J. Nesevitch, Rev. J. Wysochansky; (3) Moleben of Thanksgiving conducted by six priests who at one time served our parish as its pastors or assistants: Rev. C. Berdar, P. Chaws, G. Dubitsky, J. Panasiuk, S. Hotra, and B. Volosin; and (4) Jubilee Banquet.
During the celebration in 1958 of the 70th Anniversary of the parish’s foundation, a five year plan was proposed in anticipation of the 75th Anniversary milestone to be celebrated in 1963. Within that five-year period the following improvements were made:
1. The cemetery was renovated – new driveways built and paved, a new section graded, top soiled and grass seated, water pipes installed, and a perpetual care system adopted.
2. A new Hall was built within equipped kitchen and a kindergarten classroom; and a large garage was built adjacent to the new Hall.
3. The iconostas was rebuilt and gold-leafed, stained-glass windows repaired, protective glass installed and the entire interior of the church repainted and renovated.