History of SS. Boris & Gleb
Ukrainian Autocepahlous Orthodox Cathedral

SS. Boris & Gleb parish was founded in 1979, in Parma, Ohio, by the late Very Rev. Archpriest Lew Ostrowsky, under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America, Ecumenical Patriarchate.It was the first canoncial Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Parma or Cleveland. Like many Orthodox parishes in the United States, SS. Boris and Gleb was established by immigrant families, who, having left their homeland to seek a better life in North America, desired to worship God according to their age-old religious customs and traditions.
 Arriving in America in the early 1960s, Father Lew saw a need for a church which would serve the needs of Ukrainians from Western Ukraine, the territory of Halachina (Galicia). In the beginning, as parish growth increased, services were held in a classroom in Parma.

 Father Lew also served as a supply priest for the Albanian Orthodox Church of St. Eprempte in Cleveland, and also assisted as needed at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Lakewood.and Christ the Savior Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in North Royalton.He was well respected by the Greek Orthodox clergy of the Cleveland area.

As the years past, the parish obtained property on State Road in Parma with eight acres in which to build a church. Unfortunately, opponents of Fr. Lew fought the issue of a church building and the City of Parma would not rezone the property for a church and parish complex..A chapel was erected in Father's home, from which he would serve the spiritual needs of his parishioners.

Father Lew did much writing on the history of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America, Ecumenical Patriarchate. Prior to the death of Metropolitan Andrei Kuschak, he wrote a 150 page book on the Ukrainian Church, which was never published. The whereabouts of the contents of this book are not known.

Father Lew's health began to fail, and he would only be able to have services at his home. After his death in 1989, his nephew, Father Stephan Bibij-Petrovich, (now Metropolitan Stephan) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Kyiv Patriarchate, continued the leadership of the parish and held services at a hall in Parma each Sunday afternoon, after serving his own parish in Sandusky, Ohio.

It was an important issue for the Ukrainian parishioners in Parma to have a full time priest for SS. Boris and Gleb. Many new arrivals from Western Ukraine wanted a parish of their own, where they could preserve their unique customs and heritage. Since the parish lacked the initial funds to purchase a church building, the Rt. Rev. Fr. Stephan Posakiwsky offered Fr. Stephan to share his church and to have a combined Divine Liturgy at St. Stephan Church of the Millennium in Brunswick. The parishioners worshipped there for two years, until funds were raised to purchase the present Cathedral in Cleveland in 1995. It was during these years, that Archimandrite Stephan had the opportunity to make many trips to Ukraine and to attend the installation of His Holiness, Patriarch Filaret, as Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine.

Shortly thereafter, in 1996, SS. Boris and Gleb was designated the Cathedral Church for the Archdiocese of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North & South America- Sobornopravna, by Metropolitan Vasili Bodnarchuk of Ternopil, Western Ukraine, then Senior Hiearch and Acting Patriarch of the Ukrainan Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Archimandrite Stephan was appointed by Metropolitan Vasili as Bishop-Elect for the new diocese.

1997 saw the arrival of Fr. Michael Yafcak-Champion, (now Archbishop Michael) who was appointed by Vladika Stephan as pastor of the Cathedral parish and Protosyngellos of the Archdiocese. Fr. Michael was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite in March, 1998. 1998 also saw the first Sobor of the new Archdiocese, and the consecration and installation of Vladika Stephan as Primate and Metropolitan. The Archdiocese was raised to the status of a Metropolitan See, by decision of the Sobor. In July of that year, the Metropolia received its second hierarch when Vladika Michael was consecrated to the episcopacy and assumed the role of Archbishop. There began a period of great growth for the Cathedral and Metropolia, with the ordination of four new priests and several deacons and still others in minor orders, and the addition of 20 parishes and monastic communities. Other hierarchs joined the synod of the Metropolia, and the church extended itself to the west coast in California and Alaska, the east coast, in New York and New Jersey, and also Denver, Atlanta and Canada, among other places.

The Cathedral Church has undergone many changes and improvements from the provisions for worship of its former occupants, the Romanian Baptist Church and Zion Pentecostal Church. Vladika Stephan and the parishioners worked very hard to transform the space into a proper Orthodox liturgical setting. A magnificent iconostasis is the work of renowned Kyivan iconographer and Protodeacon of the Cathedral, Konstantin Rouban. The imposing dome and majestic tabernacle and baptismal font are the work of Dan Verbisky and IDAR, Inc. Vestments and other liturgical appointments have been purchased by the parish and donated by parishioners and benefactors.

SS. Boris and Gleb has grown from only six families at its initiation to over 56 families at present and the growth is continuing. A full liturgical cycle of services is held in Ukrainian. Sunday Liturgy is at 10:00 a.m. and Saturday evening Vespers are at 6:00 p.m. All are welcome to worship with us. The St. Nicholas Orthodox Mission provides food and clothing for the needy in the Cathedral neighborhood and is also sent to help our people in need in Ukraine. The Mission also sponsors outreach and educational materials. The Cathedral Church continues to serve as the heart of the Metropolia and houses the Chancery Offices and Social Center.

The Interior of SS. Boris &
Gleb Cathedral

The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church of North and South America
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