History of the Festival
Dmytro Blazejovskyj came to the United States in 1946 to organize Ukrainian catholic Churches, mostly in the Western states. In 1957 he became the pastor of St. Pius X Ukrainian Catholic Church in Houston. He served in Houston until 1973, when he was transferred to the Vatican as Church Historian. He is the author of numerous books and articles. Today, this Ukrainian Catholic Church has been renamed Protection of the Mother of God.
While serving in Houston, Rev. Blazejowskyi became well known to his Slavic brothers and sisters. In the absence of a polish-speaking priest, the Polish parishioners of Christ The King Catholic Church requested the services of Rev. Blazejowskyi. He heard their confessions in polish and even went to their homes and administered the sacrament of the Extreme Unction to the very ill.
In 1963, The 1100th anniversary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius was being celebrated by many national groups in the United States. All these celebrations were done by individual groups. As a historian, Rev. Blazejowskyi saw a need for a united rather than divided celebration. He devised a plan and discussed it with the leaders of his Ukrainian parish. They thought it was a good idea. Rev. Blazejowskyi contacted the Polish group associated with the polish Home and Maurice Hafernik of the Czech Group; the three groups met and planned the first celebration. It was decided to hold this celebration on Knights of Columbus property.
All three languages were represented in the celebration of the Mass that has become an integral part of the Festival. Bishop Morkowsky was approached to give the sermon in Czech and take part in the celebration. From that day forward Bishop Morkovsky attended the Slavic Festivals. He would go from booth to booth to visit with everyone. The original three groups in time were joined by the Croatians and the Slovenians. The celebration is now a tradition.
Bishop Morkowsky was a compassionate, caring man with a homespun kind of humor. He was gracious, kind, and able to communicate with people from all walks of life, both economical, social and religious. He enjoyed life and wanted everyone to enjoy it with him. He liked to fish, golf, hunt, garden, travel, plan and attend any kind of gathering of people especially family reunions, singing and playing his harmonica. He enjoyed all kinds of good food, and whenever you would ask him if he was on any kind of special diet, he would always reply : "Oh yes, I can only eat food."
Rev. Dmytro Blazejowskyi was born in Ukraine on Aug. 21, 1910, and was ordained into the priesthood in Rome on April 2, 1939. He received a Ph.D. in Theology in 1942 and a second Ph.D. in Church History in 1946. He spoke English, Ukrainian, Polish, Latin and Italian.
Rev. Blazejowskyi passed away on April 23, 2011 in Rome and was buried in Ukraine.
Bishop Morkowsky was born on Aug. 16, 1909, in Praha, Texas; the seventh of ten children. His parents were both Czech and his love for people undoubtedly a result of his heritage. He spoke Czech, Spanish, Italian and Latin and had a reading knowledge of German, French, Portuguese and Polish. He died March 24, 1990
Bishop Morkovsky was born on Aug. 16, 1909, in Praha, Texas; the seventh
of ten children. His parents were both Czech and his love for people
undoubtedly a result of his heritage. He spoke Czech, Spanish, Italian
and Lan and had a reading knowledge of German, French, Portuguese
and Polish. He passed away March 24, 1990.