Saint Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church stands as one of only three organizations in the US which draws its foundations from Russian Orthodox traditions and is in union with Rome’s Apostolic See.
At our parish, individuals of various ethnic backgrounds come together to worship God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit through prayer, sacraments and acts of charity.
St. Andrew’s History
Andrew continued Jesus’ teachings throughout his lifetime by preaching in Asia Minor and Scythia as well as along the Black Sea and Volga rivers. He is considered patron saint of Romania and Russia.
He was a central figure of early Christianity and is widely represented in icons. He is widely seen as founding Constantinople as well as being one of the main sources of apostolic succession within the Greek Orthodox Church.
As Andrew the Apostle, his name would later change to reflect this fact and remains an influential figure within Orthodox Christian tradition. Additionally, Roman Catholic Church honored him by declaring him a saint as well as patron saint to many nations with predominantly Christian populations.
St. Andrew is said to have visited Scotland at some point during his extensive travels and became its patron saint as a result. An ancient legend claims that, after his death, several of his relics were brought back to Fife by monk Rule who brought them with him as gifts for burial there.
Relics were eventually transported to Rome and placed within one of Saint Peter’s Basilica’s four central piers for safekeeping. Later on, however, Pope Paul VI returned them back to Greek Orthodox Church; and eventually in 357 AD Emperor Hadrian ordered that they be transported directly from Rome to Constantinople.
Relics from Saint Andrew can now be seen enshrined at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew and All the Saints in Patras, Greece as well as preserved at Patriarchal Cathedral of the Greek Orthodox Church in Istanbul.
Andrew was known for his dedication and enthusiasm in serving the church during his time. He was one of the first witnesses to witness Jesus’ Transfiguration, as well as accompanying Saint Peter on his missionary trip through Asia Minor.
He is widely acclaimed as an outstanding missionary, spreading Christianity throughout Europe. As Archbishop of Constantinople he established the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
His name is also popularly used as a boys’ name in some countries, and his feast day is observed annually on November 30. Relics from St. Thomas can be found preserved in many churches across the globe; his legacy remains widely revered within both Eastern and Western Christian congregations.
St. Andrew’s Parish
Early 1900s saw a large influx of Ukrainian immigrants to Boston. Accompanied by increased social and cultural activism in their new community, these events prompted the Society of Saints Peter and Paul to request for a pastor and church; thus beginning what is today known as St Andrew’s Ukranian Orthodox Church parish.
Beginning services were held in various rented spaces before constructing their first parish building in the mid-1920s. As the parish grew, new issues and conflicts emerged: use of kitchen facilities; control over parish funds; as well as issues concerning liturgical calendar.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the United States is part of Eastern Orthodox Christian faith, continuing the ancient First Century Church tradition. Under His Holiness Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine Filaret’s jurisdiction is the Vicariate of Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in North America and Canada (VICCA), and all parishioners may join as members.
Today there are various parishes serving the Ukrainian community in and around Jamaica, New York – Saint Andrew’s Ukranian Orthodox Church is among them.
This parish is part of the Western Eparchy Edmonton District of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and uses the Julian calendar.
Since 2001, Father Volodymyr Steliac has led our parish. Under his direction, our parish and its community has continued to flourish.
He is deeply committed to Ukrainian Orthodox faith and remains faithful to his family even during difficult times. When news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine breaks, he stays up late praying for their people.
Saint Andrew’s Ukranian Orthodox church boasts a large and active membership, who come together to celebrate their faith and help others within the community.
All year, various programs and events take place to strengthen the Ukrainian community in the greater metropolitan area, such as prayer breakfasts, youth meetings, food drives and educational seminars.
St. Andrew’s Mission
Saint Andrew’s Parish seeks to serve its community through regular liturgical worship and pastoral oversight as well as cultural activities marking Orthodox Christian holidays and Ukrainan national celebrations. Additionally, Saint Andrew’s publishes and distributes Ukrainian and English spiritual literature while supporting various parish ministries across Ukraine.
As part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC), the parish maintains strong ties with its mother church in Kyiv, Ukraine and forms part of its hierarchy; including Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral in Winnipeg Manitoba as its metropolitan cathedral; seminary; and central administrative office.
This parish maintains close ties to both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Western Eparchy. Since 2001, Father Volodymyr Steliac has been providing spiritual care in response to parish needs.
Due to its historic Ukrainian roots, most music and prayers in the Liturgy will be performed in Ukrainian on the first Sunday of every month; on subsequent Sundays however, most hymns and liturgical prayers will be sung in English.
This allows the congregation to fully immerse itself in Liturgy as members of the Ukrainian community and give non-Ukrainians an experience of traditional Ukrainian church services.
On a larger level, the Society’s purpose is to assist Ukrainian Orthodox seminaries and theology students in Ukraine as well as aiding with church restoration after Soviet rule has ended – helping retrieve stolen mosaics back home as well as financing St Michael’s Cathedral reconstruction in Kyiv after its demise.
Lewytzkyj Seminarian Scholarship Foundation, open to both American and Ukrainian applicants, is just one part of The Society’s activities in Ukraine. Additionally, financial assistance is given directly to individual parishes for church construction as well as funding local youth and adult organizations. Furthermore, Bibles translated in Ukrainian as well as other liturgical publications are made available freely for distribution among the faithful.
The Society also hosts an annual Ukrainian Orthodox Youth Conference that takes place each year in Toronto and makes donations towards restoring churches damaged by war or natural disasters in Ukraine.
St. Andrew’s Music
As a Ukrainian Orthodox parish, our worship music follows Eastern Christian liturgical traditions. This highly reverent form of prayer can be found across churches worldwide; choirs sing while cantors add musical accompaniment. Sometimes even two- or three-part harmony with priest intoning the chants is part of this experience!
Our choirs are immensely active, with several choristers having received extensive training in this area. Their presence adds something truly special to our services and makes this church such a welcoming space to be.
Through out the year, our parish hosts various musical events including classical and contemporary concerts open to the public – perfect ways for members of our parish community to come together!
One of our most beloved annual events, the Ukrainian Festival is an opportunity to honor Ukraine and celebrate their vibrant culture through dances, songs, music and food. Each year this event draws over 10,000 visitors!
At this festival, families and friends come together to learn more about our culture and heritage while enjoying activities designed for people of all ages and interests.
Burial Society services are an integral component of our services and ensure all funerals adhere to Orthodox Christian Tradition. Teams of parishioners have been trained in this vital function of church funeral services to ensure every funeral complies with them.
Experienced by church families across our denomination, this experience is often heart-felt and emotional. A funeral procession serves to remember loved ones while honoring traditions of our faith.
St. Andrew hosts numerous church services throughout the week in addition to its traditional Sunday and Feast Day services, such as Vespers, Confessions, Communion on Mondays, and Divine Liturgy on Saturdays.