Prince of Peace Parish, South Side, will host the annual Slovak Mass and Easter Customs Breakfast on Saturday, March 29.
This much-loved spiritual and cultural program is sponsored by the Slovak Customs Group/Cultural Diversity Committee of the parish. Proceeds, in part, benefit the School Sisters of St. Francis in Ruzemberok and the Oz Barlicka Institute in Presov. Both organizations focus on the well-being of young people in Slovak.
For many years, the School Sisters operated an orphanage and now care for elderly sisters, while the Barlicka Institute provides life-skills training for young adults. Initially, the Barlicka concentrated on providing life-skills training for young adults with disabilities, but in recent years has expanded their program to include recuperative and rehabilitative care of the elderly, as well as training and support for new mothers and basic child care services.
This mini-cultural festival begins at St. Adalbert Church, 14th Street, South Side, with recitation of the Holy Rosary in Slovak at 9:45 a.m. Father Peter Haledej, pastor of St. Aloysius Church in East Liverpool, Ohio, will celebrate Holy Liturgy in Slovak at 10 a.m.
Geri Walters, organist, and the Prince of Peace Choir will lead the congregation in singing Slovak hymns. After Mass, everyone is invited to the Prince of Peace Parish Center, 81 South 13th Street, for a complementary Slovak Easter breakfast and the opportunity to experience a few of the A B C's of Slovak Easter traditions:
Authentic Slovak treasures -- books, crystal, linens, dolls, pottery and costumes;
Bake sale -- featuring homemade nut and poppy seed rolls, paska and cookies;
Craft demonstrations -- including the art of decorating colorful Easter eggs (pysanky), weaving palms, stuffing kolbasy and more;
Delicious traditional foods enjoyed on Easter morning in a typical Slovak village -- paska (sweet bread), sunka (ham), sirek (egg-cheese) and hrin (beets with horseradish).
Guests are also encouraged to browse among a number of displays depicting the folk culture and village life of our Slovak ancestors, and to share personal experiences of growing up, visiting family members in, or dreams of, traveling to the beautiful homelands of parents or grandparents.
Master folk artist Larry Kozlowski will demonstrate traditional folk crafts such as decorating eggs Slovak-style and braiding palms. Timmy Zatek will be hand-stuffing kolbasy, a delicious craft learned at the knees of his dad, Paul, and grandmother, Helen Zatek.
Selected imported gifts of Slovakia will be available for sale.
Admission to the Slovak Easter Breakfast is free, but donations are accepted. Call the Prince of Peace Parish Center at 412-481-8380 for more information.
Those who would like to display their own Slovak treasures, demonstrate a folk craft, or make a donation, should call Paul or Connie Zatek at 412-488-8238.