St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church

141 Sarah Wells Trail

Campbell Hall, New York 10916

(845) 496-4156




St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church on the Grounds of Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Church

By Rev. Yaroslav Kostyk


“Thus says the Lord: the Heavens are my throne, the earth is my footstool.  What kind of house can you build for Me; what is to be My resting place?” (Isaiah 66:1).  What could be more pleasing in our life than the conviction that we are doing something, not for ourselves, but for God and His glory?  About the House of God, words from Holy Scripture come to mind when the Lord says “They will build a house for Me and I will abide there.”

When people talk about building a church, all too often they neglect to consider the reason we are erecting this house: a church is a special place where God lives. We know there are beautiful churches, not because man is looking for ways to magnify himself but because man is looking for God and wants to give back to God the talents He has given us. Building or renovating the House of God is evidence of a living faith.  As Paul the Apostle to All Nations says, “He who is just lives by faith” (Galatians 3:11). If the process of building stops, it means man has lost faith, the meaning of his life. Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is for Ukrainians always and everywhere the rock on which our Ukrainian Catholic nation stands. 

Behold the joy that has come to members of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church on the grounds of Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery. The good news about the beginning of construction of the new church in this holy place is joy for our parishioners, Ukrainian Catholics of the Stamford Diocese, and those living beyond its borders. We call this place “holy” not only because it is consecrated, but because of the many sleeping here who have passed from us to Eternity—our parents, brothers and sisters in Christ, and loved ones dear to our hearts—who earned their holiness during their lifetimes. During their time among us, these people raised their children, loved Ukraine and their new American homeland, worked to build a better life, built churches, all for the glory of God.  They devoted their energies to sacrificing for us. Surely, they took nothing out of this world, but they made us stewards of their inheritance, which is ours to preserve and pass on to the generations that come after us. The first gifts of their legacy are our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and the holy traditions of Ukraine.

In 2004, we observe the 20th anniversary of the founding of the mission parish of St. Andrew.  Uniquely, our parish exists to meet not only the spiritual needs of the 48 families living in Orange County who participate in our parish life, but also the needs of all who come to Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery. We consider it to be our mission to administer to all our brothers and sisters in Christ who come to us, which is why we wish to share our joy at the prospect of building our church.  Maybe your loved one found rest in our parish, or, more correctly, in Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in which our parish of St. Andrew grew up. If so, you will be welcome to pray with us.

Just as every parish’s history has interesting lessons to teach to anyone who takes the time to acquaint himself with it, the history of our past 20 years will be recorded by the Eparchy of Stamford as a preparation for the building of our church. Let us remind you that, as of 1971, the Diocesan cemetery was started here in Hamptonburgh and the central cross is a historical monument, the importance of which is universally acknowledged. In 1983, His Excellency Bishop Losten felt the necessity of meeting the spiritual needs of the faithful living in Orange County. He requested that Rev. Roman Russo explore the possibility of celebrating the Divine Liturgy for the Ukrainian Catholics living in the Hamptonburgh region. These beautiful surroundings have inspired us to design a church worthy of the cross.

Rev. Russo celebrated the first liturgy in the chapel in what would become the priest’s house

on Easter Sunday, 1983, according to the Gregorian calendar.  The chapel was consecrated to the honor of St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle. The new parish, which consisted of 17 families, was established as a mission of Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Spring Valley. After this first Resurrection Liturgy, the faithful gathered for worship on Saturday evenings, as the priest had to reserve Sundays to serve his main parish. After Father Russo, Father Julian Osadca of blessed memory commuted to St. Andrew’s from Glen Spey. Father Taras Galondzka served briefly after Father Osadca, followed by Msgr. Peter Fedorchuck. Msgr. Peter commuted from Yonkers for awhile but soon made the house on the grounds of the cemetery his residence.  In 1984, St. Andrew’s was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York.

            In 1994, during the tenure of Msgr. John Squiller, the mission parish of 48 families was raised to the status of full parish by Bishop Losten in acknowledgement of the hard work of the parishioners in support of the Eparchy of Stamford. The parishioners understood that their new status meant that more would be expected of them for the spiritual and material betterment of the parish.

            For the past 10 years that we have been a full parish, Bishop Losten has been supportive of our desire to build a church.  As our pastor is also the director of the cemetery, we are able to save money on the priest’s expenses and devote it to the building of a church instead.

            When the cemetery chapel was no longer able to meet the needs of our growing parish because it was too small, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic parish in nearby Washingtonville generously made their chapel available to our use for Sunday Liturgy.  For Holy Days, our parish is invited to come to the chapel in the priest’s house. 

            Since 1994, the question of building a church has come under serious consideration.  To encourage our aspirations, His Excellency Bishop Losten personally donated $10,000 to our building fund.

            During the tenure of Father Zbigniew Brzezicki ,which began in 1997, our parishioners continued fundraising for the building of our church.  The culmination of our efforts came in the autumn of 2002. Accepting the will of Bishop Losten and the Administrative Council our Building Committee consulted five architects and chose Mr. Taras Dobusz, AIA, of Bridgewater, NJ to design our beautiful church, a church both modern and traditional. It was clear to us that such a beautiful church would cost accordingly but serious enterprises require serious sacrifices, especially when it comes to building God’s House.

            As with each House of God, the church at the Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery will be the mirror of our spirituality. This church will be a tribute to all of those Ukrainians who worked hard all their lives for their loved ones, for God’s church, and for Ukraine.  There are many Ukrainians from different parishes in different states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut as well as Florida, Georgia, Illinois and Virginia who have occasion to visit our cemetery.  While visiting the graves of Josef and Ustina, their sons Volodymyr and Leo Petranuwsky from Texas told me, “Father, if you only knew how good these people were—not only our parents, but their neighbors and acquaintances

from New York who are buried here!” I’ve heard the same words spoken from many other people about our loved ones who have found their rest in this Ukrainian corner in American soil.  Is it not joyful to know that not only our relatives but our neighbors and acquaintances will come to visit those who are buried here in Hamptonburgh and will pray for our Ukrainian church?

            The soon-to-be built St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church will continue its mission to meet the spiritual needs of the faithful and will bear silent witness to our Eastern Ukrainian Catholic traditions. 

            Many of you, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, have had the opportunity to see how our parish lives in the present time.  We welcome you not only on the second Sunday in June when we have the Pilgrimage and our Ladies Guild volunteers work to meet your needs during your visit to the cemetery, but our parish doors are always open for anyone who comes for Divine Liturgy, Panakhyda, or for a reception after a funeral. You can always take home tasty varenyky or delicious real Ukrainian borshcht

Our Ladies Guild workers are trying harder than ever to raise money for the building of our church. In 2003 alone, our Ladies Guild volunteers have donated more than $10,000 towards the building of our church. Perhaps it seems like a lot, but our church will cost 100 times as much!  We are aware that the Ladies Guild and everyone who reads this article and is not indifferent to the future of our parish will respond with their help.  All names of benefactors will be recorded on the Tree of Life, not only in our St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church at Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery but also where Our Lord marks those who worked for His Holy Name while on earth who will be rewarded in Eternity. The Holy Apostle Paul says, “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God has given the growth. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the growth.” (1st Cor. 3:6)  Therefore, by building of our new church, the Lord wishes to show His omnipotence through us. Our obedience and submission to the will of God will bring abundant fruits and will be witness of our living faith. In closing, I want to recall the words of our Savior Jesus Christ when he summoned Nathaniel to his apostleship: “I told you… and you believed, and I tell you, you will see more than this.” When you read the simple words in this article and you believe and respond to the Voice of God that speaks to us, we will see something bigger. 

We hope for your help. Our Ukrainian Catholic church with its golden dome rising above the hill overlooking the Holy Spirit Cemetery will be a fitting monument for succeeding generations to our Ukrainian faith, tradition and language, and will serve as the last portal to the House of the Lord for those who will rest eternally at Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery.

 Let’s build the church!  The Lord will reward us a hundredfold! Our descendants will thank us for preserving our church, culture and the Ukrainian community in America!





Saint Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church

141 Sarah Wells Trail

Campbell Hall, NY 10916


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Donations are tax-deductible.

Please, make checks payable to: Saint Andrew’s Church Building Fund