Hello all! I do not have a contact address for Fr. Krolikowski but can tell
you he remains affiliated with St. Mary's College at Orchard Park, Detroit,
Michigan, U.S.A. Perhaps you (Stefan) could do some kind of web search to
track him down. Occasional reunions of Afriki Sybiraki take place at that
location which is college, seminary, and beautiful church and retreat.
As for 'good' stories about our parents' homes: I was very fortunate to be
on an academic journey to Ukraine in 2000 during which a student was
assigned the task of locating my father's village and arranging a trip to
it. The people were very kind, hospitable, and helpful. All Ukrainians. I
visited my father's family farm and met with people in the village. I had
the good fortune to 'bump into' a woman who was 'related' distantly through
marriage on my father's mother's side. I was welcomed as a lost child. I
was able to collect 'stories' for my own research as well I met the woman
whose family was moved by the Soviets from L'viv to the family home after my
father's family was deported. Still there after all these years. Very
hospitable. You can imagine what it was like for my father and his family
to see photos of the place, 60 years later!
The people in such villages remain very poor by our standards. My young son
and I were fed, taken on a tour about, taken to the cemetery, and put up at
no cost. It was a very moving and unforgetable experience. People wanted
to know what happened to the family. I had been told little of the people
of the village, and learned while there that my father's grandmother was an
especially respected woman as she was an herbalist and cared for pregnant
women, the elderly, the ill, etc. People wanted to know of her fate
particularly. I came from the journey feeling blessed to know the soil from
which my roots sprung. I have since returned in academic capacity and will
do so again.
Ukrainian people are trying desparately to enter the world of globalized
economies. As Elizabeth has noted, there are challenges by the bucketfull,
many caused by infrastructure/social/political/psychological holdovers of
the Soviet era. It cannot be easy to change overnight [okay, it's been 10
years, but still 'overnight' metaphorically] from a Communist-ruled
environment where decisions were made in Moscow, to sovereignty. Not unlike
Poland. But, there remain strong differences between Poland and Ukraine
where Poland is receiving world bank aid but Ukraine is not. I'm not sure
Poland's fast-track to capitalism is all that 'healthy' as there are
challenges there also, including, for instance that intolerance seems to be
on the rise. Meanwhile, as Elizabeth noted above, in Ukraine [I have also
been to Rivne [Rowno] several times for visits] there is inconsistent
electricity availability at times, infrastructure is in a delapidated state
in many parts, yet between visits I have noticed tremendous improvement.
But who is to say that 'westernization' is the ultimate preferred objective?
My father never expressed ---never ever--- any animosity toward Ukrainians
or even Soviet people for that matter. I was raised to be respectful of all
people and to not hold anger toward any one people. Counterproductive to
the multicultural society that is Canada, including the multicultural urban
community in which I grew up where post-war immigrants were neighbours, from
eastern Europe, central Europe, and Great Britain. School chums were
children of many places.