The C-RS Connection is a monthly e-newsletter providing information about upcoming events, membership announcements, new member introductions, volunteer profiles and more! 

C-RS Connection 

March 2020



Dear Friends, 

We find ourselves in the midst of a rapidly changing and incredibly challenging situation. By now it’s likely your family has started practicing some kind of social distancing. Caution and common sense are of utmost importance.

For the time being, we have suspended our scheduled programs and participation in ethnic events. Meanwhile, we are continuing with the renovation of our Cultural and Educational Center and the Board of Directors continues working on our long-term strategic plans.

I sincerely hope that you and your families pass through this difficult period unaffected and that our government’s protective programs are successful.

Take care,

Maryann Sivak, C-RS National President


Welcome to our newest C-RS members. The following list of names reflects new members who have joined since February 15, 2020. Please review the list - you just might find someone you know. 

  • Dennis Affinati - Avella,  PA
  • Mark Demyanovich - Orlando, FL
  • Pamela Gianni - Pittsburgh, PA
  • Katherine Hogan - Tallahassee, FL
  • Ron Horvath - Lyndhurst OH
  • Sandra Lance - Middleburg PA
  • John Majoros - Clemont, FL
  • Paul J Pelesky - Boswell, PA
  • Bernice H Senese - Claremore OK
  • Gerald Shelestak - Lynnwood, WA
  • Susan Stolitza - Cleveland, OH
  • John Yasenchak - Bangor, ME

Again, we welcome these new members and look forward to a lasting relationship.  We hope they become involved by bringing their talents and skills to the C-RS.



Just a note to inform the membership that a new feature is now available on the C-RS website. Members can now submit a prospective member referral online using the newly implemented "Membership Referral Form".

To access this feature, go to the "Get Involved" option on the C-RS website and select "Membership Referral Form" from the drop-down menu. Complete the form and click the "Submit" button. The form will automatically be sent to me. Upon receipt of the form, I will postal mail a membership invitation packet to the prospective member in hopes that the prospective member will join. This is part of an ongoing effort to address membership outreach and growth.

In the Spirit of Rusyn Unity,

Tom Brenzovich

C-RS Membership Mgt System Administrator/Trustee


The Carpatho-Rusyn Society Heritage Program archives are now up and available for listening. The Carpatho-Rusyn Society has set up a new media page:

The purpose of this site is to post radio archives, videos, presentations, and other media items from the C-RS. Currently, only the radio program is available, but as we grow we will add more menu items and links.

To access the Carpatho-Rusyn Society Heritage Program site, please go to: The radio program is hosted by Dean Poloka every Sunday from 2:30-3:00 pm Eastern Time and can be heard on AM 730 and FM 96.5 - WPIT in the Pittsburgh area. You can also listen online during broadcast time at the station's web page:

The Carpatho-Rusyn Society Heritage Program will be sponsoring two special Easter broadcasts on Sunday April 12 and Sunday April 19. If you would like to sponsor one of these broadcasts in full or in part, please contact Dean Poloka at 412-877-9351 or email


Dr. Peter Yasenchak, originally from Kingston, Pa,  celebrated his 90th birthday on March 9th. Happy Birthday, Dr. Peter! He is the husband of Mildred Yasenchak.

As a Kingston High School athlete, Dr. Pete is best known as a Pennsylvania wrestling champion. After graduation, he began his college education by receiving a BS degree from Millersville University.  He then went on to receive his MS from Lehigh University and his Doctorate from the University of Delaware.

As an educator, Dr. Pete was a shop teacher at Auburn High School, principal for Pottsville High School evening school, Reading Community College consultant and also worked for the PA Higher Education Assistant Agency. He operated his own office of psychology located on Second Street in Pottsville. Dr. Pete also was the Director of Schuylkill County Historical Society.

Dr. Peter has been a long time member of the Original Byzantine Male Choir of Pennsylvania and served as Master of Ceremonies for many Choir Presentations in Pennsylvania, New York and Washington DC.

For 20 years, Dr. Pete served as Assistant Cantor for Professor Joseph Kotch at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in St. Clair and currently another 20 years as Cantor. Along with these duties, he serves as cantor for Rev. James Carroll in Brockton. It comes as no surprise to see him attend funerals and sing the beautiful funeral hymn and Eternal Memory for the deceased.

Dr. Pete is still very active in many local organizations including Lions, Rotary etc. He has been the recipient of the ASUR Club Man of the year award and also served as former president and current board director and member of the Eastern PA chapter of the C-RS. 

Thank you, Dr. Peter Yasenchak for all you have done! May you enjoy many more healthy and happy years.

The Officers and Board members of the Eastern PA Chapter


Exciting news for all you genealogy researchers! The C-RS web site now has available a genealogy forum - be one of the first to visit! Get involved with other Rusyns and explore your common ancestral backgrounds, ask questions and answer questions. Relate exciting stories about a trip to the homeland! Maybe even find a cousin at the forum. This has been a much sought after dream of Sharon Jarrow and without Tom Brenzovich and his incredible IT wizardly it wouldn’t have happened!!! Get involved and post today!

Instructions for accessing the online Genealogy Forum:

  • From the C-RS website. home page, scroll down to the “Genealogy” icon (link) and click.
  • You will be directed to the “Genealogy” page, please read the term & conditions.
  • Scroll down to the “Join Genealogy Discussion Form” button at the bottom of the page and click.
  • You will be asked to log in with your email address and password, the discussion form and the recent forum update page will appear.
  • You have the option to either reply to an existing topic or create a new topic.
    • For new topics click on the “Topic” button and enter the subject and topic content (body). Note: To prevent spam you will be asked “I’m not a robot”, respond accordingly.
    • To reply to an existing post, click on the topic title from the list, and then click on the “Reply” button to enter your response.
  • Then click the “Post” button.

Attachments can be included as part of the reply or topic, i.e. pictures and/or documents. To insert an attachment:

  • Click on the “Choose files” button at the bottom of the page.
  • Select the file(s) to be attached. Up to 20 files can be uploaded. Each file should be less than 20 MB.
  • When complete, click on the “Post” button.


The Who are the Rusyns DVD was released in 2019 for the 25th Anniversary of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society.

It is professionally presented by John Righetti explaining the complicated history of the Rusyn people. This “hard copy” should be in every Rusyn home simply because it will be referred to often and hopefully shared with others. One realizes how close the Rusyns were to becoming extinct and gives great hope for the future as we are now recognized as an ethnic minority by many countries.

The DVD can be purchased for $25, which includes postage and handling. Please include the name and address of the recipient and mail your check made payable to Carpatho-Rusyn Society to Bonnie Burke, 1101 Tanner Crossing Lane, Indian Land, SC 29707. 

Orders will be processed immediately upon receipt.


Given the current health guidelines regarding the COVID-19 virus, all C-RS events from today March 16th through April 15th have been canceled for proactive measure. 

Sunday, March 29, West Seattle, WA (Cancelled)

In keeping with the current health guidelines regarding social distancing, the Pacific Northwest Branch has cancelled the Third Annual Pysanky Workshop scheduled for Sunday, March 29.

The leaders of the PNW branch send to all C-RS members and their loved ones best wishes for safe passage through these uncharted waters.

We encourage everyone to enjoy the pysanky experience at home by ordering dyes, tools, and many related items online from our source, the Ukrainian Gift Shop in Minneapolis.


Saturday, April 25, Oak Lawn, IL

The C-RS Lake Michigan Chapter Meeting will take place from 1-3:30 pm at the Oak Lawn Public Library, 95th Street and Raymond Avenue, Oak Lawn, Illinois.

Maria Silvestri and John Righetti will present their new documentary The Resurrection of a Nation. This is a story of the revival of Carpatho-Rusyn ethnicity in every country, including the United States.. The film producers John and Maria will conduct a discussion of the film with audience members afterwards. Enjoy this documentary filmed in Slovakia, Canada and the United States made especially for the 30th anniversary of the Fall of Communism 1989-1990.

Open to all - Bring a friend.


Copyright © 2020 Carpatho-Rusyn Society. All rights reserved.
915 Dickson St.
Munhall, PA 15120
(412) 567-3077

The Carpatho-Rusyn Society (C-RS) is a national 501(C)(3) organization founded in Pittsburgh, PA in 1994. As stated in our mission statement, the C-RS is dedicated to manifesting Carpatho-Rusyn culture in the United States and supporting Rusyn culture in the homeland in east central Europe. Information about joining C-RS and a membership application may be obtained on the C-RS membership website at