• General Meeting of the Lemko Research Foundation, Inc. October 6, 2013
​• Members of the Organization for Defense of Lemkivshchyna and Lemko Research Foundation meet with his Excellency Bishop Paul P. Chomnycky
• Lemko Organization Boosts Ukrainian Studies at Columbia Libraries
Members of the Organization for Defense of Lemkivshchyna and Lemko Research Foundation meet with his Excellency Bishop Paul P. Chomnycky
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On April 8, 2006, representatives from the Organization for Defense of Lemkivshchyna (OOL) and the Lemko Research Foundation, Inc. (LRF) visited St. Basil's Ukrainian Catholic College Seminary to meet with his Excellency Bishop Paul Patrick Chomnycky, OSBM, who was recently installed as the fourth bishop and Eparch of the Stamford Eparchy.

The purpose of this meeting was to inform Bishop Chomnycky about the work of these two Lemko organizations, as well as to congratulate and wish well the new leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy.

Bishop Chomnycky received the Lemko delegation, which included Zenon Halkowycz (president of OOL), Steven Howansky (president of LRF and vice president of OOL), Wasyl Harhaj (membership officer of OOL and treasurer of LRF), Stefan Kosciolek (treasurer of OOL) and Petro Gress (board member of OOL), in the library of the Stamford Seminary.

After introductions, Halkowycz read a letter in Ukrainian from the National Board of OOL and presented it to the Bishop, stating “On behalf of the Organization for Defense of Lemkivshchyna in America, we congratulate you on your installation as the new Bishop of Stamford Eparchy and wish you good health and strength to continue the journey as the new leader of this Eparchy.” Halkowycz then described briefly the history of Lemkos in America, as well as the beginnings of the two Lemko organizations.

Next, Howansky read a letter from the LRF and presented it to the bishop, stating, “On behalf of the Board of Directors of The Lemko Research Foundation in America and all its members in the Diaspora, may we extend to you a warm welcome to North America, and congratulate you on the appointment and installation as the fourth bishop and new Eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford. We wish you a lot of success as the new Eparch and extend our prayers to God for good health, strength and the will to lead us faithful Ukrainian Catholics for many years to come,” Howansky then explained the mission of the Foundation, as well as its accomplishments and achievements.

The bishop asked various questions and showed interest in the organizations, particularly concerning their success in building a chapel in the Lemko style at the CYMA estate in Ellenville, N.Y. Halkowycz explained that the foundation of this chapel was consecrated by his Excellency Cardinal and Patriarch Lubomyr Huzar, and that the actual act of blessing of the new chapel was conducted on June 25, 2005 by his Excellency Bishop Basil Losten of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and Archbishop Anthony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The chapel was dedicated to the memory of all the victims of "Akcja Wisla," the act of forceful resettlement of Ukrainian families from their ancestral lands by the Polish Communist Government. The chapel is open to people of all Christian faiths on the campgrounds of CYMA, where children attending summer camps can learn about a dark chapter of Ukrainian history.

The members of the delegation then shared with the Bishop their accounts, memories of their villages, and experiences during 1947. Each member recounted with great sadness their hardships, fear of their Polish neighbors and general despair. The relocated Lemkos, being a God-loving and deeply religious people, missed their churches and clergy, as the Polish government would only allow them to worship in Roman Catholic churches.

At the end of the meeting, members of the delegation presented the Bishop with the traditional Ukrainian bread ( paska ), Easter egg ( pysanka ) and embroidered towel ( rushnychok ), as well as copies of OOL's magazine "Lemkivshchyna" and books published by LRF.

Afterwards, the members of the delegation, together with Bishop Chomnycky, visited the Ukrainian-Lemko Museum, which is located in a nearby building in two rooms on the second floor of the Ukrainian Museum and Library in Stamford. Howansky informed Bishop Chomnycky about the Ukrainian-Lemko Museum's history and the recent remodeling of the rooms in which the Lemko museum is housed.

Following the tour of the Museum, the members of the delegation invited Bishop Chomnycky to join the delegation for lunch at a local restaurant, during which there was an exchange of ideas and the delegation members learned about the Bishop's earlier years and experiences. The Bishop shared that he was also a Canadian CYM member, leading the group, who were all CYM members, to reminisce about their CYM experiences.

At the end of the visit, on behalf of the organizing committee of the annual Lemko “ Vatra, ” or festival, in the U.S., Wasyl Harhaj officially invited Bishop Chomnycky to attend the Sixth Annual “Vatra” and to celebrate the holy liturgy for all participants. The Sixth Annual Lemko “Vatra” will be held on June 24 and 25 at the CYMA campgrounds in Ellenville. Bishop Chomnycky responded that he will make every attempt to be present at this Vatra.

Finally, the Lemko organizations thanked Bishop Chomnycky for allowing them to visit and for the time spent with together during his busy schedule.
Article written by Zenon Halkowycz and Steven Howansky
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Lemko Organization Boosts Ukrainian Studies at Columbia Libraries
The Lemko Research Foundation and the Organization for the Defense of Lemko-Western Ukraine
(represented by Steven Howansky, Vasyl Panchak and Steven Malyniak)
donate books to Columbia University Libraries in February 2006
Representatives from the Lemko Research Foundation, Inc. visited the campus of Columbia University in February 2006 and donated an important collection of books on Ukrainian-Lemko issues, which will help develop the Ukrainian library collection at Columbia.

“We have chosen to donate these books to Columbia University because we support the mission of Columbia's Ukrainian Studies Program, which includes the acquisition, processing and preservation of Ukrainian books and materials. Our wish is that these books pertaining to Ukrainian-Lemkos be placed in the Columbia library system for students and others to be able to access,” read the statement provided by the Lemko Research Foundation, represented by president Steven Howansky and board members Vasyl Panchak and Steven Malyniak.

Columbia University's Slavic book collection and archival holdings in the Slavic area are of international significance. They include much that is rare even in their countries of origin. The collections are notable for their breadth and represent an important part of the Slavic world's intellectual heritage for the last 150 years. A number of valuable items have come to Columbia as gifts. Organizations and individuals who wish to donate Ukraine-related publications to Columbia's collections may do so through the Ukrainian Studies Program.

The selection of books donated by the Lemko Research Foundation included Eugeniusz Misilo's Akcja “Wisla”: Dokumenty , a Ukrainian-language collection of rare archival materials pertaining to the 1947 forced resettlement of Ukrainians in Poland, as well as the late Petro Pyrtey's recently-published Short Dictionary of Lemko Dialects ( Korotkiiy Slovnyk Lemkivskych Hovirok ), one of the few Ukrainian-Lemko dictionaries currently available. Dr. David Magier, Director of Area Studies Library Services; Jared Ingersoll, Slavic Librarian; and Prof. Frank Sysyn, Petro Jacyk Visiting Scholar, accepted the books on behalf of Columbia University.

"Ukrainian Studies is on the rise at Columbia, and the Libraries are making great efforts to keep up with the new demands of the growing program. Literature of the Lemko and similar regional and ethnic communities within Ukraine is important for our understanding of the country's complex cultural fabric and is often difficult to collect. The gift of such unusual and valuable material is tremendously welcome and useful in creating a rich research resource for scholars today and tomorrow," Ingersoll later said.

The Lemko Research Foundation is a non-profit organization which promotes the study of the history, culture and traditions of people of Ukrainian-Lemko origin. The foundation's mission involves providing assistance to students engaged in Ukrainian-Lemko studies; collaborating with academic institutions; and sponsoring the publication of books, magazines and other written materials on Lemkos and the Lemko region. These activities are funded by membership dues, publication sales, fundraising events and individual donations. The Foundation welcomes new members.

Information on ways to support Columbia University's Ukrainian studies library collection is available by calling the Ukrainian Studies Office at (212) 854-4697 or For more information about the Lemko Research Foundation, please contact Steven Howansky at (203) 762-5912 or

Article written by Diana Howansky
General Meeting of the Lemko Research Foundation, Inc.
October 6, 2013

On October 6, 2013, the 13th General Meeting of the Lemko Research Foundation, Inc. (LRF) took place at the Ukrainian Youth Association center in Passaic, NJ. Zenko Halkowycz, Vice President of LRF, opened the meeting, welcoming new members of the Foundation and asking everyone for a moment of silence to honor the recently deceased President of LRF, Steven Howansky.
Responsibility for leading the General Meeting was then turned over to a Presidium consisting of LRF members Mark Howansky (chairman), Andriy Khomyk (deputy chairman), and Anna Harhaj (secretary).
Reports were presented from the outgoing leadership, including: the Vice Chairman, Secretary, Financial Officer, Auditing Committee, Nominating Committee, Board of Directors, and Board of Academic Advisors. In their reports, the outgoing leadership spoke of the work completed in recent years, specifically the publication of materials about Lemkivshchyna. Also noted was the importance of cooperating with the Organization for the Defense of Lemkivshchyna (OOL) to publish the English language book “Zakerzonnia,” which aims to spread information worldwide about the history of Lemkos.

Members took part in a discussion of the reports, which touched upon the publishing activities and financial affairs of the Foundation.

Elections of the new Board of the Foundation then took place, resulting in the selection of:
President – Andriy Khomyk,
First Vice President – Diana Howansky Reilly
Second Vice President – Peter Kosciolek
Secretary – Halyna Semenyak
Treasurer – Vasyl Harhaj

​Board of Directors – John Zawada, John Gres, Peter Gres, Michael Khomyk, Anna Harhaj, Teodor Pyz, Bohdan Kykta, Mark Howansky

​Board of Academic Advisors – Dr. John Hvozda, Diana Howansky Reilly, Andriy Khomyk, Catherine Mycio, Nicholas Duplak

​Auditing Committee – Stefan Kosciolek, Peter Rusynko, Stefan Malyniak

​Honorary Chairman – Myron Mycio

The chairman of the meeting, Mark Howansky, congratulated the newly-elected Board members and wished them success in the future. The newly-elected President, Andriy Khomyk, thanked everyone for their trust and asked for their cooperation.
At the end of the meeting, everyone present sang the Ukrainian national anthem.

​Halyna Semenyak – October 2013