The history of our parish began at the beginning of the last century. In distant 1925 during the time of early emigration of the Ukrainian people, who because of their poverty and political situation were cast to this far place called Minnesota, our Church was born with the intense effort of a group of individuals who had endured great misfortune; and Archangel Michael was designated as its Patron Saint. The new Church strongly encouraged its members to work for the parish. Under the leadership of the first priest, Father Michael Zaparynyuk, various activities were initiated: Ukrainian school, a drama group, a chorus, and others. In short time the parish became the center of spiritual, religious, and national-cultural life. However, a significant impetus for major growth of the parish and for the elevation of spiritual and national life was the arrival of new emigrants into this country after World War II and their infusion into the parish. This emigration consisted of a highly patriotic and nationalistically conscious group of Ukrainians, who immediately stirred up the collective nationalistic and religious life even more, considerably strengthening the parish to the level of the most active orthodox center in the state. Ukrainian Independence Day holidays were celebrated regularly here. Also, the anniversaries of heroic feats in the struggle for Ukrainian independence were celebrated, along with yearly parish and school holidays honoring Taras Shevchenko and others. Mothers Day, Fathers Day, and St. Nicholas Day events were organized for the children. New Years' celebrations, Malanka, and Zapusty, enjoyed great popularity. Yearly picnics, bazaars, and sales of Easter eggs significantly benefited the parish monetarily. Being a part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America, the membership of St. Michael's Church took an active role in helping to build the Orthodox Center in Bound Brook, New Jersey. Money was also collected and sent for the construction of a large Cultural Center for the main Church, and financial aid was given for the foundation and work of the Seminary of St. Sophia and for the erection of monuments to St. Olga and others.

In more recent times, discussions began with two other Ukrainian orthodox parishes--St. George's Church and Sts. Volodymyr and Olga Church--about unification into a single religious community with one church building. These were prompted by a realistic appraisal of conditions that indicated that the membership of each of the churches was gradually dwindling while, at the same time, the financial needs were growing. Unfortunately, work toward unification did not bring about the anticipated success. Later, the topic of merging came up again in all three of the parishes and in the end resulted in the joining of two of the parishes, St. Michael's Church and St. George's Church, in 2002. The decision was made to retain the names of both of the Patron Saints in the name of the combined Church, and today our parish is called St. Michael's and St. George's Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

During almost 85 years of existence, our parish has been served by the following clergy: Protopriest Michael Zaparynyuk, Protopriest Kornyliy Kirstyuk, Protopriest Paul Korsunovskiy, Mitred Protopriest Andrew Kist, Protopresbyter Stephen Bilyak, Protopresbyter Dr. Volodymyr Levitskiy, Protopresbyter Nicholas Antokhiy, Protopresbyter Michael Kudanovych, Priest Stephen Repa, Priest Miron Pakholok, Bishop Paisiy, and during the last 15 years by Protopriest Evhen Kumka.

The last five years Valentina Yarr has served as the President of the Church Board. Born in the Ukraine and raised in America, thanks to her unique perspective there is peace and harmony between parishioners who originate from the Ukraine and those who were born in this country. Choral singing beautifies every church service, and ours is particularly heavenly. The choir is in the professional hands of director, Mrs. Kira Tsarehradsky, a musically gifted person possessing absolute pitch.

From out of these meager and laconic paragraphs emerges a picture of the difficult and titanic work of the parish community, which overcame many hardships and obstacles on its long journey--how it grew and how it changed generationally. Now, our present task is to preserve and to pass on to future generations this precious pearl of our identity, our faith, and our hope.

July, 2010