Ukrainian Catholic broke ground last Sunday for construction of a $2 million Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine at 4250 Harewood Road NE.
Plans call for a 130-foot-highstructure in the contemporary Ukrainian style, topped with three golden domes and a bell tower to be built on the three-acre site.
The shrine, with an expected seating capacity of 450, will be built over a parish center that will include an auditorium for 600 persons and 10 smaller rooms.
According to the Rev. Stephen J. Shawel, pastor of Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic Church here, the only Ukrainian Catholic parish in the area, there are about 600,000 members of the church in the United States.
Ukrainian Catholics in this country are under the jurisdiction of Metropolitan Archbishop Joseph Schmondiuk of the Philadeophia Ukrainian Archeparchy. . . The local Holy Family parish is under his jurisdiction even though it is located within the Archdiocese of Washington.
In the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian Catholic Church no longer exists as a separate entity, since the government forced it in 1946 to merge with the Russian Orthodox Church two years after imprisoning its leader, now Josyf Cardinal Slipyi. He was released in 1963 and exiled to Rome. He lives in the Vatican.