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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
             Tuesday, April 15 2003  

Where are they now? Donna Woznak

Nanty Glo is the home town of this week's featured person, Donna "Sugar" Woznak. One of 15 children, Donna is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Woznak of Nanty Glo. Donna's parents are both deceased, her father passed away in 1985 and her mother in 2001.

age 4, left,
today, above.

Donna is a graduate of Greater Johnstown Vocational-Technical School, and for the past 14 years has been employed at Laurel Crest Manor in Ebensburg.

Unmarried and having no children of her own, she dotes on her God-child Gary, her 14 year old nephew. "He means the world to me," she says.

The child of ethnic parents, Donna was raised according to the teaching and traditions of the Orthodox church."My parents were very strict Orthodox Christians," she says. Donna is a life-long member of Holy Ascension Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Nanty Glo, which was founded in 1921 by a group of 37 local Orthodox faithful, including Donna's grandfather, Frank Woznak. In 1971,the 50th anniversary of the church's founding, only five members of the original 37 founders were still alive, and all of them are now deceased.

During this time of the year, Christians of all faiths are preparing for the Easter holiday. In Donna's Orthodox faith, Easter is called Pascha, which is Russian for "Passover." The preparation of special traditional foods, which include paska, an Easter bread made with raisins; meats like ham, kielbasa, and bacon; homemade cheeses; colored eggs, and condiments is taking place in anticipation of the approaching holy day. "The food is packed into baskets to be taken to the church and blessed by the priest on Easter morning," says Donna,"The baskets I use are the same baskets my mother used all her life until she passed away in 2001."

Ukranian pysanky pascha eggs

Another Easter tradition of the Ukaranian Orthodox community is the decoration and display of eggs known as "pysanky." These exquisitely decorated eggs are an example of ethnic folk art at its finest and are proudly displayed and treasured for their beauty and religious significance. Although there are special tools that can be used to apply the beeswax designs to the hollow egg shells, Donna says, "My mother used a pin dipped in wax, she didn't have the special tools." According to tradition, Mary Magdalene, after the Ascension of Christ, went to the Roman Emperor Tiberius and gave him a red egg, greeting him with the words "Christ is Risen." The egg, therefore, represents the Resurrection itself with the red coloring symbolizing the blood of Christ.

Donna's memories of growing up in Nanty Glo are linked to her Russian-Ukrainian Orthodox heritage. "I was raised Orthodox," she says, "Easter Lent meant no TV, music, or meat for 40 days...my parents were very strict about that. My parents raised me to be Orthodox. I don't know how to live any other way." Donna remembers her father playing Santa Claus and taking her along to private homes, and to this day she has the brass bell he took along on those Christmas visits." My mother would make home-made ice cream using the snowdrifts on the back porch to freeze it," she recalls. "We had fun in Nanty Glo; we had movies and a playground, played kick-the-can and hide-n-seek until dark...and we didn't know the meaning of the word 'destroy'... It's different now; times have changed."

Donna's hobbies include carrying on the ethnic traditions taught by her parents. "I love to bake and cook the 'old way' my mother taught me. I plant a garden and home-can much of my own vegetables," she says. "And I enjoy occasionally taking home cooked food to a few residents at work."

A life-long resident of Nanty Glo, Donna hopes for economic recovery for her home town.

Anyone wishing to say hello can send greetings to HRoses2@peoplepc.com for forwarding.

If you have a suggestion for a subject for Where Are They Now, please write Judy Rose.

Click here for an index of all Where Are They Now profiles in this series.

You know you're a Pennsylvanian if...

You can eat a cold soft pretzel from a street vendor without fear and enjoy it.
You know the difference between a cheese steak and a pizza steak sandwich, and know that you can't get a really good one outside PA.
You live for summer, when street and county fairs signal the beginning of funnel cake season.
Diners ask the waitress for "drippy eggs" for breakfast.
You know that Blue Ball, Intercourse, Climax, Bird-in-Hand, Beaver, Moon, Virginville, Paradise, Mars, and Slippery Rock are Pennsylvania towns.

— Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Lenten thought for the day

The Rules of a Good Life (second of two parts)

What are the rules for living a good life?, continued

Not to forsake charity. Not to swear, for fear of perjury.
To speak the truth from heart and mouth. Not to render evil for evil.
Not to commit injustice but to bear patiently what is done to oneself.
To love one's enemies. Not to render
cursing for cursing, but rather blessing.
To endure persecution for righteousness' sake...to place one's hope in God.
If one sees any good in oneself, to ascribe it to God, not to oneself.
To fear the day of judgment. To dread hell. To desire eternal life with all one's heart and soul. Not to hate anyone. Not to entertain jealousy.
Not to give oneself up to enby...to respect the aged.
To love the young. In the love of Christ, to pray for one's enemies.
After a disagreement, to make peace before the sun goes down.
And never to despair of God's mercy. Such are the tools of the spiritual art

— St Benedict of Nursia, c. 480 - 547
Quoted in Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth, Anthony M. Coniaris

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