The first Ukrainian immigrants to settle in the Syracuse area arrived during the years of 1885 and 1888 from a section of Austro-Hungary dominated by Hungarians and were raised and educated under the Hungarian influences and known here as Hungarian Rusyns, or Rusyny or Rusnacky. The second group followed in the years of 1890-95, a much larger group from the part of Ukrainian lands known as Lemkivschyna, and were known as Lemkos. Around 1900, a third group of Ukrainians started to arrive from the region called Eastern Galicia, or Halychna, or later known as Western Ukraine (Zahidna Ukraina). In this region, the Ukrainians had a chance for a better education in their own language in Ukrainian schools and they had a better knowledge of Ukrainian history.
These early immigrants worked hard from early morning to late evening for low pay and under very hard conditions in the steel and wire mills, foundries, factories and the railroad as common laborers. Despite the various hardships that confronted them, they gradually forged ahead. Many families settles on the West End in Syracuse, around the Tipperary Hill neighborhood. They had a strong desire to establish their own church, having attended Latin Rite churches for many years.
Around 1900, parishioners formed a committee to purchase property for a church. The property included several houses along Wilbur Avenue at the corner of Tompkins Street. One house was used as a rectory for future priests, and as a school. Another house, on the corner, was renovated into the first church. A house facing Tennyson Avenue housed the Sisters of St. Basil, who came to the parish to teach parish children. Classes were held in the convent.
After years of fund raising, the present red brick church was dedicated in 1913 with great celebration. The parish grew during this time and improvements were made. In 1958, the present school building was erected. In the middle 1960's the original rectory was demolished and a new rectory was constructed facing Tompkins Street. Several years later, the original convent was removed and a new convents was built next to the rectory.
The parish continues to be a vibrant addition to the neighborhood. Religious services, the annual Ukrainian Festival, and periodic food sales bring a cultural aspect that enriches the neighborhood. We share our pride in our Ukrainian heritage and culture alongside our Irish and Polish neighbors.