• Introduction

  • St. Michael the Archangel

  • Easter Greetings/ Christos Voskres

  • Cholera Cemetery

  • Gwardia Ludowa Monument

  • St. Demetrius Fence Project

  • The Church of St. Demetrius the Great Martyr in Wola Cieklinska was destroyed in 1953 following the 1945-1947 deportations of the local Lemko population. Built in 1776 in a parish established in 1612, only a single photograph of the church exterior has been found to date. Inside a lonely wooded area, the St. Demetrius Cemetery contains several rusted and broken crosses and a few recent modern headstones. Rusting, tilted gates and remnants of a metal fence mark the cemetery entrance.

    We recently received three photos of a 1967 blessing of these cemetery gates and fence from Nettie Yaremko in Miners Mills, Pennsylvania. The photographs were taken by her cousin, Basil Smolie, who had been born in Wola Cieklinska and immigrated to Canada after the first world war. His captions speak harshly of the people and religion blamed for the destruction of the church. The family story is that someone traveled to Russia and brought back an Orthodox priest for the blessing. The kneeling villagers represent the handful of Lemkos left after the cruel legacies of war, occupation and deportation had decimated the Rusyn population.

    Father Dubec of the Orthodox church in Gorlice, who also services the tiny church of St. Michael the Archangel in nearby Pielgrzymka, is applying to the Polish government for the right to maintain this cemetery. Following his assumption of the responsibility for St. Demetrius, funds will be obtained for the building of a fence outside the original gates (similar to the one pictured in the cholera cemetery project). There will also be a plaque commemorating the St. Demetrius Church and the final resting place of generations of our ancestors.

    St. Demetrius Cemetery, Vola Ceklinska, Poland, 11-8-1967 "This is our cemetery and this is the fence and gate as seen from the front which has been enclosed with money I have collected and will send on to you."

    "The people are praying in the cemetery but the church is no more."

    "This is the service in our cemetery 11-8-1967. The people and priest are here. Our church was built and stood here 372 years until the Poles took it apart and from it built a Polish church. 'Such is the Polish Catholic religion. A good religion would never do to others that which they would not want others to do to them.'" B. Smolie

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