Pierogi sales pay off for parish
A volunteer adds potato filling to a varenyky, a Ukrainian pierogi, at St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Catholic Church in Chicago. The varenyky are sold to raise money for the church. | Ryan Pagelow~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 29, 2012 3:39PM
A dozen or so volunteers at St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Catholic Church in Chicago sit down together in the basement kitchen on Wednesdays to make about 1,000 pierogies, called varenyky in Ukrainian.
Pierogi sales over the years have helped pay for a new roof and other repairs at the church.
“This is where we become community,” said the Rev. Mykola Buryadnyk, pastor at the church.
He peeled about 50 pounds of potatoes, which he jokingly called “spiritual therapy,” for the pierogi’s potato filling.
The tradition of volunteers making pierogi together has been going on at the church for at least 40 years.
“My mother did this before me, while I was still working,” said Eleanor Goeters of Chicago. “She was doing it in the 1960s and ’70s.”
The volunteer crews have changed over the years with the generations.
“We’re just doing it for the church and for the camaraderie,” Goeters said.
After volunteers make the pierogi with either potato or sauerkraut filling, the pierogi are boiled, then cooled and frozen.
They’re sold by the dozen for $5 at the church office next to the church, 5000 N. Cumberland Ave., during office hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
— Ryan Pagelow