ХРАМ В ЧЕСТЬ УСПЕНИЯ БОЖИЕЙ
300 North Fourth Street,
Benld, Illinois 62009
304 North Fourth Street
Benld, Illinois 62009-0201
Тел: (217) 835-2202
Факс: (217) 835-2202
Протоиерей Павел Уотерс
304 North Fourth Street,
Benld, IL 62009-1306
Тел: (217) 556-3728
БОГОСЛУЖЕБНЫЙ ЯЗЫК: английский
Beginings of the Orthodox Community in Benld ... A Brief History
A chance meeting on a train traveling
westward early in the second year after the turn of the century persuaded Mr.
Andrew Sosenko, who was hoping to find employment and a home for his family in
Montana or Wyoming, to come to this area instead. What he found was a working
coal mine, with plans for two additional mines to be opened. He shared his
information with his relatives and friends in Europe and int the coal fields of
Ohio and Pennsylvania, spreading the work to the Slavic people of those areas
that there was a golden opportunity for them in this section of Macoupin County.
As a direct result of Mr. Sosenko’s chance meeting, many Russian families, some
coming directly from Europe, settled in Benld, numbering about 40 by the
beginning of 1907. More relatives and friends followed.
Having settled among strangers, the
immigrants missed the temples and cathedrals of their homeland and were appalled
to realize that their children would grow up strangers to thir religion. They
decided to act, and on March 3 1907, beginnings were made towards establishing a
parish at Benld for the Orthodox Catholic Christians. Father Michael Potochny of
Streator, Illinois, was contacted and agreed to help, Fundraising was not easy,
for although the people were spiritually rich, they were materially poor. But
where there is peace, faith and agreement, all will succeed , and so it came to
pass that an organization meeting was temple would give comfort to the
struggling immigrant families. Construction on that temple was begun in the
summer of 1907 when the cornerstone was laid, and great was the Joy in the
parish whey the temple was completed.
Just as the parish was beginning fo flourish, a catastrophe occurred. On the
27th day of July, 1915, St. Vladimir Feastday, the temple burned to ashes - even
the relics of the saints. All the altar appointments and vestments, which had
been a gift of the Czar of Russia to the Benld parish, disappeared forever.
In spite of such a devastating blow, the parish took hold and started
all over again. Another collection, more dedication and labor and a pledge that
a brick help temple would be built resulted in the beautiful edifice the parish
As it was difficult to such a small parish to pay all expenses, the
Central Diocese in Russia agreed to help and paid on-half of the wages for a
priest. This help continued until the Parish became self-sustaining.
So much respect and gratitude goes to the poorly-educated immigrants who
worked so hard to found and maintain Holy Dormition Parish! These people lived
and labored in this community, built homes and reared their families while
adding their customs and ideas to the ever-mixing cultures that we find in our
great country. And what a debt is owed to Father Nikita Gress, who, in the
1930s, wrote Ikons and decorated the Holy Temple. Today’s generation of
parishioners are responsible for the 1989 renovation of the Holy Temple, and
join the parade of the many dedicated men an women who have supported the
Parish. Thanks to the devotion of its parishioners and teh dedication of its
priests, the Parish today stands on a firm foundation that will see its
existence into the next century - and beyond!