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Roman Catholic Parish of St. Augustine

The town of Perechyn was mentioned in historical documents, lists of possessions, writings in 1266, 1349, 1425, respectively. Originally it was a settlement, later it was a village, and since 1947it was the rayon center and urban-type settlement; in March 4, 2004 the Verkhova Rada of Ukraine granted a status of town to Perechyn.

7,800 people reside here. The distance from the city of Uzhgorod is 21 km.

There is God’s church standing by the foot of a small mountain or rather a hill Hurka  – Roman Catholic church of St. Augustine, which celebrated in 2006 its glorious jubilee – the 100th anniversary.

In geographical dictionary of Hungary of 1839 Perechyn is mentioned as a village, where 70 Roman Catholics , 759 Greek Catholics and 76 Jews resided. In 1903 2 thousand people reside here.

In 18-19 centuries Perechyn got involved in market relations with our forests and railroad station in settlement Velykyy Bereznyj nearby the town of Perechyn. This encouraged a joint-stock company “Bantlin” to establish chemical plant in Perechyn (1893). With the development of industry and railroad the population also increased due to the foreign experts – Italians, Germans, Slovaks, Hungarians invited by “Bantlin.”

The number of Roman Catholics increased up to 680-700 people. Perechyn Roman Catholic Congregation was established in 1902. They began to insist on the construction of Roman Catholic church, but until than they visited Greek Catholic Church of St. Nicholas built on Hurka hill.

In 1905 the Italian Hayotto Francesco buys a land for the construction of the church from the family of Zim Franz where the elder was Verdzhak.  The factory allocated 10 thousand crowns for the construction of the temple and the rest of the money was collected by the faithful.

The basement and the walls were made of stone brought in carts from Suhyy Potik, Tepla Yamka built by Italians Cominotto Santo with sons, Menis Jakub Hayotto F.

Woodwork is doors, windows, benches, altars. The first altar was the central one of St. Augustine and on the right side there was the altar of Jesus, six months after consecration the third altar of Our Lady of Lourdes was placed. All of this was made in the joiner’s shop of Hoyer Oleksandr.

The church was built and consecrated in St. Augustine Day in 1906. The church is built in eclecticism style that arose in the bourgeois France in late ХVIII – early ХХ century.

Dimensions of the temple: length of 24m, width of 9 m, height of 34 m.

There is a Bell Tower; 2 bells were consecrated together with the temple, and a small bell was placed and consecrated two years later on the feast of St. Augustine. There are the main building and the sacristy, a beautiful organ in the church. The church organ was manufactured in the mid-ХІХ century and internal parts between 1920 – 1939. In 1914 Perechyn became a parish. Metric records were made since 1920.

The first parish priest was Fr. Bartfoi Kalman. Indoor repair of the church was done in 1934  in his presence.

The successor of Fr. Bartfoi was Fr. Shteffel Diord (born in 1910), as well as the priests Lantski, Shorosh, Larinets Adalbert, who also served in our church in 30-40th.

In 1943-1945 Fr. Pribush was a clergy. Since 1945 to 1947 Fr. Josyp Yovzhychko (bornin Kapushany was a clergy), he lived in the apartment of Cominotto Arthur family, and in 1946 – 1947 prepared children for the first communion. In 1947 he moved to Czechoslovakia and our church did not have a permanent priest, the children were not allowed to come to the temple.

Buyolov Bernard was a priest here. Spiritual situation was slightly improved, when spiritual father Horvat Augustine arrived from exile. He lived in an apartment of Ignats Imrii family, he served for all in Turyansk valley, baptized children, secretly performed marriage ceremonies, made funeral. In that time outdoor repair of the church was made.

In 1979 all the repairs were done by the faithful under the direction of master Molnar Myhailo: women Cominotto Agnesa, Bublak Elyzaveta, Kotsky Clara, Hoyer Hanna, Shtifel Maria did a mixture of cement and utility men (Ignaz Ludwig, Hrentseriv Vasyl, Nod Ludwig, Smolar Ivan) worked in mornings and in evenings after the work. Perechyn church experienced very difficult years when the faith was severely persecuted, the church used to be closed, and priests without fault used to be sent to Siberia in exile. Just few of them came back…

Our church always was opened, and when there were no priests the faithful prayed for the deceased and buried him themselves, quietly celebrated prayers and litany at the temple, and promptly paid high taxes and various funds. All attribute of Turya-Remetsky church of 1945 was saved in the temple of Perechyn (responsible persons were the members of twenty: Bublak E., Ignats L., Hrentseriv, Cominotto, Pidhorodska A., Kotsky K., Fedir A.).

The black cloud ran on the faithful as antichrists started to withdraw and break crosses. But our parishioners responded well and immediately moved the cross beside the road deeper into the church yard and placed it near the church, pulled away from the main road. The fate of the cross in the courtyard in front of Raytsi Vasil was different. The faithful took it and put on an old cemetery. There it is until now.

In that time Fr. Augustine Horvat was taken out of the church for the reason that he hid imprisoned priests of the Greek Catholic Church, secretly baptized children, educated and prepared children for First Communion, etc. Two years later a priest Fr. Tovt was sent here to serve.

Then Fr. Petro Zharkovskyy came to us to serve. In his presence the whole church attribute of Turya-Remetskyy Roman Catholic Church of St. Yuri, which was saved for more than 50 years in the church of St. Augustine, was returned according to the act.

The first missionaries in Zakarpattia were priests from Slovakia. In 1993 according to decision of the Apostolic Nuncio in Ukraine Antonio Franco Perechyn became the center of missionary activities. The first priest-missionaries here were spiritual fathers Fr. Ian Snyahnichan CM, then Fr. Stanislav Zontak CM, Fr. Ignaz Matkulchik CM. In their presence an unfinished house of Perechyn resident A. Matovka was bought for the spotlight.

Fr. Frantisek Hornishek CM, Fr. Josyp Noga CM arrived at our parish later. They finished building of a spotlight. In their presence prayer for ten were organized before the Christmas which has already become a tradition of the church. Those were visits of nine families which invite the faithful with an icon of the Holy Family for prayer.

Fr. Milan Shashik, CM replaced them as a pastor who came here to serve, and young priests, people from Zakarpattia Fr. Anatoly Tovkan CM, Fr. Mylailo Talapkanich CM were his assistants at that time. Summer camps for rehabilitation and recreation for children and adults in Cyniak were organized, as well as pilgrimage for two times to Rome, to Hungary in Maria Povch, and to Lviv for a meeting with Pope John Paul II.

The day of St. Augustine was celebrated as a great holiday in 2000 when Fr. Milan Shashik CM invited the pilgrims from Poland and they brought an icon of God’s mercy and monstrance as gifts for the Roman Catholic Church and the Greek Catholic Church, and a brass band came from Slovakia.

In presence of Fr. Milan the building from Yuhas family was bought with great efforts in order to create Pastoral center, and a foundation, walls and roof were laid. The construction of Caritas was started and it is not finished yet.

Thank God that in 2003  our youngster Vitaly Novak was appointed as a priest  for the first time, and  Shpak Yuri followed in the steps of him, and now one more of our youngsters, Hal Yuri, started his study at the seminary in the town of Horodok.

Father Milan Shashik CM initiated the construction of the Road of the Cross on the Hurka hill. A 9 meter cross was set first of all.

Pope John Paul II appointed him as Bishop of the Greek Catholic Church on January 6. After the Bishop Milan Fr. Anatoly Tovkan CM becomes a superior of our church. It maintains all the good initiatives of his predecessors. He builds Pure Virgin chapel in the yard of the church. He organizes trips for patronal festivals.

Fr. Anton Jedynak CV becomes parish administrator after him.

During this time the following priests came here to work: Fr. Adam Strochinskiy CM from Poland, Fr. Mykola Dobra CM, a native of Dovge village in Zakarpattia oblast (2010), Fr. Stanislav Irisik CM conducting recollections for couples and teaching young people to pray.

A lot of work was done by our priest Fr. Anton: Way of the Cross was completed, the construction Pastoral Center was finished, church yard was cleaned up, construction of family type house is in progress. In summer children had vacations in a beautiful resort “Fountain” and in Pastoral center. Children have interesting leisure time, there are outdoor activites, sledding in the winter, Christmas and New Year holidays, carols.

Association of Charity (AIC) was established under the guidance of Fr. Mykola Dobro CM and Sister Clara Kuchak.

There is a choir of adults and children led by Sister Clara being very responsible in performing her duties. Sister Angelica was nice and excellent designer, she paid a lot of attention to design and assembly of the house for big holidays and for daily service. We regret that both Sister Clara and Sister Angelica were sent to serve to Uzhgorod. Many good words should be said about young missionary sisters Catherine, Alain, Ulrika, Vincenta, Svyatoslava, Angelica, Clara. That were really lovely and involved organizers to study catechesis and to prepare children for the First Communion; sisters devoted themselves completely to serving God and people. They went with children in Slovakia in Udavske town for holidays.

In 2005 we hosted pilgrims from Latvia who went on foot with a large cross and with statues of Jesus and the Virgin Mary first to Vatican for a blessing by Pope John Paul II and then their way was to the Holy Land.

Good tradition here is that every year on December 31 we meet in the temple with our priest Fr. Anton and express our gratitude and prayer to God for the previous year and ask God’s help in the New Year not only for his faithful but also for people of good will of Perechyn, our state and the whole world. At midnight our bells break the night silence, announcing to Perechyn that the New Year is coming with the help of God.

Our children were also active during club of humor games in Seredne village, which are always connected with the life of Jesus, the saints; include ingenious humorous sketches based on people’s life. In 2010 there also was a sincere Christian competition in Seredne village.

For everything that was lived in our temple of St. Augustine by the faithful, priests, sisters, we thank God that we have never changed or lost the faith and that we are working to save our souls.

Holy Trinity, sing Hosanna! And glory to Our Lady!

Prepared on materials of Zita Bublak


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