MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church needs the help of the community to keep its doors open.
The small church was built in 1858 and moved twice. You can find it now at 1231 W. Scott Street in Milwaukee.
CBS 58 caught up with Parish Council President Sophia Torcivia and Treasurer Ed Bergey.
“It went from a Baptist church to a Greek Catholic church to a Greek Orthodox church, and we are currently a Greek Orthodox church,” Torcivia said.
The church now serves as a safe space for the Ukrainian community, which is currently going through extremely difficult times.
“With the imminent invasion of Ukraine, it’s been a bit difficult…I’m sorry.”
Staff now face another challenge. The church is physically collapsing.
“The ceiling is about to collapse in this section. We have bungee cords across, keeping the walls apart. We could use manual help, financial help, we need help,” Torcivia said. .
“The attic joists that hold the roof up are the same joists that were there when it was built in 1858. A lot of them break and as a result the roof starts to slip, and that’s what causes the exterior walls moving,” Bergey said.
According to the staff, the steps of the church also had to be redone several times. They would like to install a ramp as an added safety measure for older parishioners.
Sophia and Ed say the church needs at least $60,000 to replace the roof so they can keep their doors open.
“What does this mean for us, for people who are my age, who have been here for a while, it’s a big thing for us,” Bergey said.
“If we stay here, a future generation can also participate and carry on. It’s not just a place, it’s a home,” Torcivia said.
Torcivia says they are working on setting up a GoFundMe page to help raise donations to rebuild the roof of the church. They are also welcoming all donations at this time.
If you would like to send a donation by mail, you can send it to St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church at 1231 W. Scott Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204.