History

Education   Highlights   Lecture   Murgaš   Music   Philanthropic Activities

Scholarship Fund   Special Presentations   Tours   Vilija

Activities in Slovak Republic   25th Anniversary Celebration

 

Prior to the formal organization, activities began in 1974 in anticipation of our country’s Bicentennial Celebrations. 

Highlights included:

Slovak Language Classes were held on a regular basis and included theme dinners for the participants.

Costumed groups participated in:  The 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia; Bicentennial Celebration in Harrisburg; Fine Arts Fiesta in W-B and the II World Festival of Slovak Youth.  Recordings include:  čas Radosti, 1982;  Liturgy for the Easter Season, 1977 and Forever Blest is He, 1978.

The official Slovak Heritage Society of NEPA:

The Slovak Heritage Society of Northeastern Pennsylvania was formally organized on November 1983 at Sacred Heart Slovak School in Wilkes-Barre, PA. 

At this time, the adoption of by-laws, and the development of the Society logo, official letterhead and membership pin, took place.

On January 12, 1984, the 1st Board of Directors Meeting was held.

On May 21, 1984, the First Annual Meeting was held at the Holiday Inn with 111 members in attendance.

 In 1989 a cross-stitch banner was made and in 1994 a Slovak flag and banner were purchased.

In 1985 the Calendar of Events was first printed. 

In August 2000, Jubilee 2000 was recorded

in February 2001, Passion/Resurrection was recorded

In September 2003 our website, www.shsnepa.org, was published for the first time.

In the fall of 2005 our book, Slovak Customs and Traditions – in the ENGLISH language, was published in Slovakia.

In 2008, to celebrate our 25th anniversary, a commemorative ornament was designed.

Education   

Slovak Classes continue to be conducted in Wilkes-Barre twice annually.  Classes have also been held in Taylor and Hazleton.

Cooking Classes have been held annually since 1987 demonstrating favorite Slovak recipes from main dishes to delicious desserts.

Other Classes include Pisanky, Choral Workshop, Cross Stitch Embroidery, AARP 55 Alive Mature Driving, Slovak Dancing and Workshop.

King’s College Ethnic Community Outreach Initiative presentations included the following topics.

Castles of Slovakia

Church Building & Importance of Religion to Slovaks & other Ethnics

Film - Sololiar Tomaš: Thomas the Falconer

History & Immigration Experience of Early Slovaks

Slovak Customs and Traditions

Slovakia since the fall of Communism - guest speaker: Dr. Ivan Surkos, Consul General of the Slovak Republic.

The society participated in the King's College Ethnic Festival

Wilkes University course on The History of Wyoming Valley, Slovak Immigrant History section

 

Lecture

This annual event is held in January.  

Presentations include: 

The History of Slovakia Slovak Films Slovak Story-Telling
A Play depicting Slovak family life in a coal mining town Christmas Traditions The Slovak-Rusyn Connection
Jankola Library and Slovak Museum A Young Teacher in Prešov  Understanding the Spirituality of Icons
Live Long, Die Short - Ills, Skills, and Pills of Aging Arthritis & Joint Replacement Surgery

Perceiving Icons Through

the Eyes of Faith

Interrupted Lives: Catholic Sisters Under European Communism” Pearls of Wisdom  

 

 

Murgaš Education Outreach

Gala Premiere of “Radio’s Forgotten Genius” Video/DVD Documentary of Rev. Jozef Murgaš

Rev. Josef Murgaš Exhibit at King's College sponsored by the Slovak Heritage Society and the King’s College Ethnic Community Outreach Initiative, and at various celebrations.

A heritage based curriculum" The Slovaks: A History of Accomplishments" which features Father Murgaš was produced.

$1,000 check was presented to King's College on the 100th anniversary of the transmission of sound over land by Father Murgaš. 

A commemorative wreath laying ceremony took place on the occasion of the 80th Anniversary of the death of Rev. Jozef Murgaš.

Rev. Jozef Murgaš remembered by an International Teleconference between Northeastern PA and Tajov, Slovakia.

Rev. Josef Murgaš Exhibit at Wyoming Seminary Lower School  (grades pre-k to 8), Forty-Fort, PA sponsored by the Slovak Heritage Society.

Rev. Josef Murgaš Exhibit was displayed in Western PA by the Slovak Heritage Association of the Laurel Highlands.

Plaque Dedicated to the Memory of Father Jozef Murgaš in Slovakia’s Capital City of Bratislava.

Reverend Jozef Murgaš Exhibit at NJ Heritage Festival.

Music

Performances:

 

    Luzerne County Holiday Fair

    Mercy Hospital Festival of Trees

    Luzerne County Folk Festival

    Christmas Caroling to shuts-in

    various National Slovak Organizations conventions

 Sing-Alongs:

    Luzerne County Historical Society

    Mozart Music Club

    Senior Citizens Club Meetings

    Eckley Miner’s Village

    various Slovak Church Anniversaries

    Slovak Catholic Religious Conference

    St. Nicholas Nights

    Annual Slovak Lenten Hymn-Sings and Križová Cesta

Liturgies:  

    Slovak Catholic Federation Anniversary Masses and at the 75h Anniversary Dinner

    Slovak World Congress Opening Liturgy and Banquet in NYC

    Slovak World Congress III Youth Festival

    100th Anniversary Mass of St. John the Baptist, Taylor PA

    100th Anniversary Mass of Slovak Catholic Sokol (Group 7)

    Slovak Catholic Federation Pilgrimage of Faith 2007

    Slovak Catholic Sokol 43rd International Slet

    First Masses

    Anniversary Masses

    Weddings and Funerals

    Closing of Slovak Churches: Sacred Heart, Wilkes-Barre and St. Joseph's, Nanticoke

    100th Anniversary Mass of Slovak Catholic Federation, Cathedral in Scranton

Special Presentations   

 

An Exhibit at the Wilkes-Barre Pa Bicentennial Blastoff.

Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in “Patch Works”  presented to Sacred Heart School students.

Bratislava Conservatory Ensemble Concert

Organ recital by Dr. Jan Michalko of the Bratislava Conservatory

Book Signing of Thomas Klimek Ward’s “People of the Word: A Synopsis of Slovak History”

Wyoming Valley Historical and Geological Society Exhibit, which included Father Murgaš’s desk, paintings and butterfly collection.

Participated in Public Television WVIA-TV's original documentary film "The Extraordinary Journey - the Eastern Europeans of Northeastern Pennsylvania."

Memorial Concert for co-founded Trude Check-Tuhy by Young Slovak Virtuosos; Karol Daniš, Norbert Daniš, and Pavol Kubán.

Musicians from Bratislava State Conservatory of Music held two concerts; "An Evening at the Opera", Wyoming Seminary and "An Evening of Sacred and Slovak Folk Music", First Presbyterian Church, Wilkes-Barre

Tours

Slovakia

Ellis Island and the Statute of Liberty

The Eastern European Folk Festival in New York City

Various trips throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Vilija

Seven Gala Vilija Suppers were held in Dinner Theatre style demonstrating the significance of Slovak Christmas Eve Customs and Foods.

Philanthropic Activities

Printed material in the form of reference books, art books, journals, histories, poetry collections, classical and folk music recordings, children’s stories (some from Matica Slovenska), copies of the Murgaš Video, and other recordings and books were donated to the Public and College Libraries.  Slovak Music CDs were donated to WVIAFM, our local Public Radio Broadcasting system. The Murgaš Video continues to be aired regularly on WVIA TV. Our volunteers served at the Jankola Library in Danville. Copies of "Slovak Customs and Traditions" were presented to various libraries.

 Luzerne County Folk Festival from 1984 to 1995 included:

    Crafts and Handmade Ornaments

    Slovak Village Kitchen & Bedroom

    Slovak Immigrant Memorabilia

    Slovak Costumes, Linens and Embroideries

    Pictorial Essay of Slovak Freedom Fighters

    Christmas Traditions

    St. Nicholas Feast Day and Vilija

    Morana – A Rite of Spring

    Wedding Display

    Sharing Family Heirlooms

    Putting Up the Cabbage for Winter

Eckley Miner’s Village

Society volunteers give guided tours of the Slovak Home annually at the Patch Town Days. An exhibit and lecture are presented for the Eckley Miner’s Village volunteers.

Exhibits of Slovak Artifacts at:    

 

    Public and Parochial Schools

    Girl Scout Troops

    Senior Citizen Clubs

    Geological Conference

    Historical Societies in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton

    Elderhostel Program at Marywood University.

 

 

Scholarship Fund

In 1992 the Scholarship fund was established. This was used to supplement the scholarships awarded to five students from Slovakia to local colleges, who were housed by Society members. There is a continuing program to assist Slovak Gymnazium students who receive grants to attend Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School in Kingston, PA. Stipends were also given to 3 youths attending the World Youth Festival in Paris. Winners of the Michael Bosak Prize competition are hosted by the society when they visit the United States.

In 2009, pianist, Norbert Daniš, and baritone, Pavol Kubáň, received summer scholarships from Wyoming Seminary Performing Arts Institute. Our society provided funds for airfare and other incidental expenses.

 In 2012 the Society sponsored a Slavic dinner at St. Ignatius Church, Kingston, PA.

Activities in the Slovak Republic

Professor Emeritus Philip R. Tuhy regularly attends conferences in Slovakia as the representative of the Slovak Heritage Society. He has served on various Slovak university faculties and is currently the Chairman of the Adjudication Panel for the Annual Michael Bosak Prize.

Other members who have served on various Slovak faculties are: Trude Check-Tuhy, Francis Luther, Jean Olexy and Andrew Sofranko.

25th Anniversary Celebration

The Slovak Show and Tell was an afternoon of reminiscing and socializing at the concluding celebration of our 25th Anniversary year, held on Sunday, October 19, 2008.

The SHOW portion was a PowerPoint picture presentation of the various activities sponsored by the Society over the past 25 years. It brought back many memories. Pictures of Folk Festival displays, the Murgaš exhibits, the cooking classes, St. Nicholas Hymn-Sing, Lenten Hymn-Sing and Stations, the Youth Festival, Christmas at W-B Court House, special visitors, special presentations, community activities, Slovak classes, lectures and tours.  We did a lot in the past 25 years.

One of the slides shown was the Treasury we are leaving for our descendents:

The TELL portion was very enjoyable. We sat in a circle drinking coffee and eating nut, poppy seed and cheese rolls. We shared memories and then discussed some of the Slovak expressions that apply for every occasion and situation in life. Tom Check had a quite a few that he remembered from his Mother. Margaret Baker and Magdalen Benish brought two books with phrases. We also found some folklore in the Society’s Slovak Folk Customs and Traditions book. A motherism that we find ourselves using every day is “If you don’t use your head you have to use your feet.” An added treat was that Andrew Chuba brought his accordion and we sang our delightful Slovak folk songs.

Neny som zviedavý, len chcem vedieť!!!

I’m not nosey, I just want to know!!!

We did want to know and we were fortunate to find some interesting things during our conversations.

Joe and Anna Biros, Margaret Baker, Andy Chuba, Bill Zdancewicz, Dorothy Sullivan, Bernadette Yencha, Anna Hudock wore their Slovak outfits.