Today I am writing about a place that has a very special place in my heart: St. Stanislaus Polish Roman Catholic Church in Tarnoruda, Ukraine, called Kościół p.w. św. Stanisława B. M. Tarnoruda is a small town in the Khmelnytskyi region of the Volochysk District in Western Ukraine. It is located only a kilometer or two from Faschivka. Fascivka is the town where my great-grandfather, Aleksandr Cymbał, was born and raised. And, most likely he was baptized at St. Stanislaus in Tarnoruda, the nearest Roman Catholic Church. And that is most likely the church where he and his family attended services in his younger years. He was only about 19 years old when he came to the USA, forever leaving behind his parents. But all that is a story for another day.
When we visited with my third cousin Michał, in Faschivka this summer, he took us to Tarnoruda, to see the church. He also knew who was taking care of this magnificent historic place, an old man by the name of Pan (Mr.) Hibner. He has the keys to the church, and he not only let us in, but showed us around, showed us many, many precious items. You can see in one of the photos, the old keys of the church.
My pictures are here: http://poland.leonkonieczny.com/Poland%202011/Tarnoruda-St.%20Stanislaus%20Church/index.html.
But Pan Hibner was full of interesting stories. During World War II, he actually hid many of the church artifacts, keeping them first from the Russians, then from the Germans, and again from the Russians. He showed us many of them. And some of them, he has in his house, located not far away. He took us there too and showed us many, many old things, chalices, a monstrance, old prayer books, vestments, a true treasure trove of old artifacts. And it was made all the more special by the fact that this was the church of my great-great-grandfather and his family, many of whom immigrated to the US in the first part of the 20th century.
So, I invite you to look through the photos. Many are from the church, inside and out. Some from the sacristy, some from the choir loft. Some are from his home where he lives very simply and now alone since the death of his wife many years ago. A simple man who does the work of angels, preserving a valuable relic, and for me, a link to the past. Enjoy!