When Ukrainian immigrants arrived in Rhode Island in the late Nineteenth Century, they found work in mills throughout the Blackstone River Valley. Although their early years in America were extremely difficult, these immigrants quickly formed church parishes, among them our parish.
Today, after more than a century, the parish of Saint Michael the Archangel continues to serve Rhode Island and central Massachusetts; and, through video broadcasts of our Divine Liturgies over the Internet, our parish now serves the world.
Our current priest, Rev. Msgr. Roman Golemba, has served the parish since 1997. He is an accomplished photographer, and one will often see him, camera and flash in hand, at church events. He is also a walking database of jokes who always seems to have one appropriate for any situation. Ordained in 1974, Fr. Roman served several parishes in New York and Connecticut before joining St. Michael's.
We are a small parish, consisting of about 70 persons, and a handful of viewers on the Internet. Quite often, after Sunday Divine Liturgy, we will gather in the basement hall of the church for coffee and a light lunch.
We are governed by our priest, two trustees who are selected by the parish priest, and an advisory committee of five persons elected by the parishioners at our annual meeting. Our Ladies Sodality group actively raises money for a variety of projects that benefit the parish.
We respect our the traditions of former generations, and the passage of time is marked with annual events: the blessing of water during Theophany and of food baskets during Pascha (Easter), the summer parish picnic, the parish luncheon celebrating the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel in November, and a visit by Saint Nicholas (but not Santa Claus) in December.
We also respect our ethnic heritage by celebrating our Sunday Divine Liturgies in Ukrainian. Our Saturday Divine Liturgy serves those who prefer to celebrate in English. Like most Ukrainian Catholic parishes in the U.S., we observe the New (Gregorian) Calendar.