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Some Ukrainian Catholics struggle with when to celebrate Christmas

Transitions from the Julian to Gregorian calendars have not always been smooth. In Chicago, the Ukrainian Catholic community survived the calendar revolution in 60’s by splitting into two parishes.

“Now the calendar is not an issue. We visit each other during holidays. Moreover, even if we celebrate Christmas on different dates, we preserve the unity,” said a woman identified only as Khrystyna, who lives in Chicago and follows the Julian calendar.

Father Taras Lonchyna, pastor of St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Trenton, New Jersey, said some Ukrainians in the United States “follow the Julian calendar, because this unites them with their families in Ukraine.

The calendar is a matter of consensus, he added, noting that his parish celebrates “according to Ukrainian traditions, with the special Holy Supper on Christmas Eve, carols singing and liturgical services.”

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