On Sunday, February 18, 1979, the Hartford Community observed the 87th birthday of his Beatitude Patriarch Josyf Slipyj.
The festivities began in the morning with two Liturgies celebrated at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. In the afternoon, Mr. Bohdan Stelmach, President of the Hartford Branch of the Society for the Patriarchal System in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, acted as master of ceremonies at a concert held in honor of His Beatitude.
The Reverend John Ropke welcomed the congregation and guests. Afterwards, the main speaker was Doctor Michael Voskobijnik, professor at Central Connecticut Teachers College, and a prominent member of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Hartford. Professor Voskobijnik’s speech was deeply appreciated by the audience, especially his expressed desire for the spirit of brotherhood between the Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
Mrs. Oksana Kuzma rendered a moving recitation of Vasil Symonenko’s poem «There Are a Thousand Roads». Then, three students of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic School, Alden Provost and Damian and Paul Platosh, recited two poems in honor of His Beatitude.
Hartford’s choir, «Dibrova», under the direction of Mr. Alexander Pryshlak, sang three songs ending with an inspiring rendition of the «Hymn of the Patriarch».