Praise the Lord and pass the pierogi!

Posted 3/15/22

GLEN SPEY, NY — During times of adversity, people understandably react in diverse ways. Some cower and hide, some fight and others do whatever their hands find to do. As their native countrymen …

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Praise the Lord and pass the pierogi!


GLEN SPEY, NY — During times of adversity, people understandably react in diverse ways. Some cower and hide, some fight and others do whatever their hands find to do. As their native countrymen resist the evil that is Vladimir Putin, congregants at the St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church in Glen Spey prepared 100 dozen pierogi as part of a fundraiser for humanitarian aid in Ukraine. They were snatched up within hours.

Also known by Ukrainians as varenyky, pierogi are filled dumplings. The pierogi prepared for the fundraiser are stuffed with a potato, cream cheese and onion filling, but they can also be filled with sauerkraut, mushrooms, meat and even with fruits.

These handmade delicacies can be boiled, fried with onions, baked, microwaved and even prepared in an air fryer.

It took the better part of two days to make these delicacies. Ninety pounds of potatoes were peeled by hand. The dough was prepared in a large mixer and run through a flattening machine before cutting into circles.

Spirited folk music played in the background and the conversation around the various work tables was punctuated by laughter and gentle banter. Each pierogi was assembled with love and by “feel,” as that’s the only way to correctly create a pierogi.

This reporter is of Ukrainian descent and was delighted to be invited to help put together some pierogi and extremely proud to earn words of approval from these artists as they plied their craft.

These dear ladies and gentlemen have a collective passion to assist fellow Ukrainians, and each volunteer had a story to tell, in both Ukrainian and English.

All have family and friends still in Ukraine. Irena said that she has been able to make contact with family just about every other day. They live in a town west of one of the larger cities and can hear the gunfire in the distance but at this time the city is still holding on.

Irina said that her husband Vasil’s family is from a small city also in the western part of the country, and that as people are escaping from the east, the townspeople are able to provide assistance to the transients.

All expressed great pride that the Ukrainian people are not turning and running. They’re saying, “NO, this OUR land.” One of the ladies was in contact with a friend and encouraged her and her family to come to live with her own family here in the States. The friend responded that she was born in Ukraine, has lived there all of her life, that her people need her and she is staying.

As is true of all of America, this group devours the news reports, hoping and praying for a cessation of these senseless atrocities.

All voiced admiration and appreciation for the leadership of Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Few knew very much about him until he had been thrust into the limelight. “They picked the right leader for this time,” said Anna. Zelenskyy’s background in media and his ability to communicate with an audience have proven to be extremely useful, not only in speaking with those from other countries while engaged in this fight, but also to be able to rally his people. They pray for his safety and that of his family.

The funds raised will be forwarded through the church to be distributed through the church leadership in Ukraine to those in need.

When asked how many pierogi this bevy of dedicated volunteers has collectively made in their lifetime, there was a group laugh as they responded with one voice, “Oh, millions!” And all smiled with satisfaction upon hearing that as a result of their collective hard work, with the pickup of an order for six dozen, all 100 dozen pierogi had so quickly been sold out.

St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Catholic Church, Ukraine, fundraiser, pierogi, volunteers


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