Next Food Fundraiser - December 16, 2023
Sundays 9:30 a.m.
2301 South 16th Street
Omaha, NE 68108
Our parish serves the Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic community in Omaha.
We belong to the Byzantine Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church that has its own rite, that is, liturgical traditions. Along with the Roman Catholic Church, the Byzantine Church is in full communion with Rome and is under the spiritual leadership of the Pope of Rome. We are part of the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Eparchy in Chicago.
We encourage one and all to visit our church and come celebrate the sacred mysteries of the Divine Liturgy.
Omaha, NE 68108
The people who established this parish came to this area from Ukraine. The Ukrainian immigrants started to arrive in the Omaha area in 1949. The years of adjustment to a new environment where the new language and customs had to be learned had been frequently filled with nostalgia for the homeland and for the Ukrainian Church.
The Rev. Dmytro Blazejowskyj, the pastor of the Ukrainian Church in St. Joseph, MO, informed newcomers that an old naturalized immigrant, Michael Zdan, was living in Omaha. This man, who for 50 years had lived in the United States without his countrymen, threw his full energy into organizing the Ukrainian community. His dream was to establish a Ukrainian Catholic Church.
More families were encouraged to come to Omaha for this purpose, and on January 14, 1950 the first Holy Mass of the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite was celebrated in St. Ann’s Church. Fr. Blazejowskyj took over the priest’s responsibilities and said Masses for the Omaha Ukrainians in the chapel of St. Joseph Hospital due to the hospitality of the Sisters of St. Francis of St. Joseph Hospital.
On May 10, 1951, the first real church committee was founded and upon whose request His Excellency Archbishop Bohachevsky granted permission to establish a Ukrainian Catholic parish in Omaha and authority to perform this task was given to Fr. Blazejowskyj. On July 29, 1951 Fr. Blazejowskyj called the first parish meeting at which time the name of the parish was established. The name Assumption was selected in honor of the dogma of the Assumption proclaimed by Pope Pius X11 that same year.
In June, 1952 Father Steven Sulyk, one of the assistant priests to Fr. Blazejowskyj, was assigned for permanent stay with the Ukrainian community in Omaha and thus from June 29, 1952 the Ukrainian Omahans had their Masses every Sunday and a steady spiritual care of their own priest.
In November of the same year Fr. Sulyk was replaced by Father John Lazar who continued to lay the foundations for the parish. The church statutes had to be explained to the people and the financial system had to be worked out. The American system of supporting the church was new to the people, and a lot of effort was needed to make it work. From February 29, 1953 Father Jaroslaw Swyschuk became the administrator of the parish.
With great zeal and dedication Fr. Swyschuk started to work on the acquisition of having a church building. An old Greek Orthodox Church located at 16th & Martha Streets was purchased on July 23, 1953. The parishioners donated many thousands of hours of work in readapting the church building to the requirements of the Byzantine rite and to the needs of our community.
The first Holy Mass was said in the church on January 1, 1954 at the end of the Holy Mission, commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of the Exarchate of the Byzantine Rite in the United States. The church was blessed and formally dedicated by His Excellency Archbishop Bohachevsky on September 5, 1955.