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Oplatki (SP?) Christmas bread

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  • m.azar@mindspring.com
    Seeking information on Oplatki (Spelling?), the flat bread my dad used in our ceremonial dinners on Christmas Eve. I am new to your group, tracing my
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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      Seeking information on Oplatki (Spelling?), the flat bread my dad
      used in our ceremonial dinners on Christmas Eve.

      I am new to your group, tracing my grandparents, Adam and Eva Gabris
      who moved to the U.S. in 1899 with their children; my father was
      their young son John Stephen Gabris. Also seeking names Strba,
      Panric, Berger and information on the town of Cadca, Czechoslovakia
      (as mentioned in an earlier enrtry from member Debbie O'Connor, my
      great-niece). I am sixty years old, digging up memories but finding
      more questions at every turn.

      Our family ended in up in St. Louis, Missouri, where they were
      members of Holy Trinity Slovak Church, Roman Catholic. We recently
      visited St. John Nepomuk Church in St. Louis where records are kept
      from Holy Trinity.

      While there, we were able to actually get some of the bread which is
      available from Watra Church Goods, Chicago, Il. I think the name of
      the bread is Oplatki.

      This is a flat, white, unleavened bread, exactly the type used for
      Communion Host, but shaped in a 3" x 6" rectangle, with embossed
      scenes of the nativity story. It comes in a 5" x 8" envelope printed
      with a picture of an old country family celebrating their Christmas
      gathering dressed in lovely costumes. (The costumes look Polish.)

      Can anyone tell me the story and meaning of this custom? No one seems
      to know what or why. How did it originate? Was it a tradition from
      the old country? (So far, no luck in finding this on any website.)

      My dad used to make a special, prayerful, solemn ceremony of passing
      this bread out to us children on Christmas Eve. It was served with
      honey. With the passage of time and separating circumstances, the
      meaning is lost to me.

      Does anyone know how I can research this ceremony? Thank you for any
      help on the Oplatki question. I am as interested in the customs and
      life circumstances of our ancestors as I am tracking the vital
      statistics. I have a feeling wherever there is a larger Roman
      Catholic Czech/Slovak community of descendants, this bread and the
      ceremony is known and used--but not found here in Atlanta, GA.

      If anyone has information on the name Gabris, please contact me or
      Debbie O'Connor. We are tracing the Gabris path through the U.S. from
      New York, to Louisiana, to St. Louis, at the same time trying to
      obtain records from the old country. Sincere thanks, Maryann Gabris
      Azar
    • Judy (& Dr. Joe) Quashnock
      This site may help: http://www.wafercookie.com/storigin.html Dr. Q
      Message 2 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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        This site may help:

        http://www.wafercookie.com/storigin.html

        Dr. "Q"


        m.azar@... wrote:

        > Seeking information on Oplatki (Spelling?), the flat bread my dad
        > used in our ceremonial dinners on Christmas Eve.
        >
        > I am new to your group, tracing my grandparents, Adam and Eva Gabris
        > who moved to the U.S. in 1899 with their children; my father was
        > their young son John Stephen Gabris. Also seeking names Strba,
        > Panric, Berger and information on the town of Cadca, Czechoslovakia
        > (as mentioned in an earlier enrtry from member Debbie O'Connor, my
        > great-niece). I am sixty years old, digging up memories but finding
        > more questions at every turn.
        >
        > Our family ended in up in St. Louis, Missouri, where they were
        > members of Holy Trinity Slovak Church, Roman Catholic. We recently
        > visited St. John Nepomuk Church in St. Louis where records are kept
        > from Holy Trinity.
        >
        > While there, we were able to actually get some of the bread which is
        > available from Watra Church Goods, Chicago, Il. I think the name of
        > the bread is Oplatki.
        >
        > This is a flat, white, unleavened bread, exactly the type used for
        > Communion Host, but shaped in a 3" x 6" rectangle, with embossed
        > scenes of the nativity story. It comes in a 5" x 8" envelope printed
        > with a picture of an old country family celebrating their Christmas
        > gathering dressed in lovely costumes. (The costumes look Polish.)
        >
        > Can anyone tell me the story and meaning of this custom? No one seems
        > to know what or why. How did it originate? Was it a tradition from
        > the old country? (So far, no luck in finding this on any website.)
        >
        > My dad used to make a special, prayerful, solemn ceremony of passing
        > this bread out to us children on Christmas Eve. It was served with
        > honey. With the passage of time and separating circumstances, the
        > meaning is lost to me.
        >
        > Does anyone know how I can research this ceremony? Thank you for any
        > help on the Oplatki question. I am as interested in the customs and
        > life circumstances of our ancestors as I am tracking the vital
        > statistics. I have a feeling wherever there is a larger Roman
        > Catholic Czech/Slovak community of descendants, this bread and the
        > ceremony is known and used--but not found here in Atlanta, GA.
        >
        > If anyone has information on the name Gabris, please contact me or
        > Debbie O'Connor. We are tracing the Gabris path through the U.S. from
        > New York, to Louisiana, to St. Louis, at the same time trying to
        > obtain records from the old country. Sincere thanks, Maryann Gabris
        > Azar
      • Eleanor M Kephart
        I remember the Xmas eve supper at my grandmothers home, where the bread was passed out and served with honey after the blessings and I was only a child I am
        Message 3 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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          I remember the Xmas eve supper at my grandmothers home, where the bread
          was passed out and served with honey after the blessings and I was only a
          child I am now 65, my grandmother was from Austria,Hungry which today is
          known as Slovakia, It a blessed piece and we couldnot waste it. if it
          dropped on the floor,I remember my grandmother would pick it up and eat
          it, oh for such memories.

          On Sat, 29 Jul 2000 14:46:23 -0000 m.azar@... writes:
          > Seeking information on Oplatki (Spelling?), the flat bread my dad
          > used in our ceremonial dinners on Christmas Eve.
          >
          > I am new to your group, tracing my grandparents, Adam and Eva Gabris
          >
          > who moved to the U.S. in 1899 with their children; my father was
          > their young son John Stephen Gabris. Also seeking names Strba,
          > Panric, Berger and information on the town of Cadca, Czechoslovakia
          > (as mentioned in an earlier enrtry from member Debbie O'Connor, my
          > great-niece). I am sixty years old, digging up memories but finding
          > more questions at every turn.
          >
          > Our family ended in up in St. Louis, Missouri, where they were
          > members of Holy Trinity Slovak Church, Roman Catholic. We recently
          > visited St. John Nepomuk Church in St. Louis where records are kept
          > from Holy Trinity.
          >
          > While there, we were able to actually get some of the bread which is
          >
          > available from Watra Church Goods, Chicago, Il. I think the name of
          >
          > the bread is Oplatki.
          >
          > This is a flat, white, unleavened bread, exactly the type used for
          > Communion Host, but shaped in a 3" x 6" rectangle, with embossed
          > scenes of the nativity story. It comes in a 5" x 8" envelope
          > printed
          > with a picture of an old country family celebrating their Christmas
          > gathering dressed in lovely costumes. (The costumes look Polish.)
          >
          > Can anyone tell me the story and meaning of this custom? No one
          > seems
          > to know what or why. How did it originate? Was it a tradition from
          > the old country? (So far, no luck in finding this on any website.)
          >
          > My dad used to make a special, prayerful, solemn ceremony of passing
          >
          > this bread out to us children on Christmas Eve. It was served with
          > honey. With the passage of time and separating circumstances, the
          > meaning is lost to me.
          >
          > Does anyone know how I can research this ceremony? Thank you for
          > any
          > help on the Oplatki question. I am as interested in the customs and
          >
          > life circumstances of our ancestors as I am tracking the vital
          > statistics. I have a feeling wherever there is a larger Roman
          > Catholic Czech/Slovak community of descendants, this bread and the
          > ceremony is known and used--but not found here in Atlanta, GA.
          >
          > If anyone has information on the name Gabris, please contact me or
          > Debbie O'Connor. We are tracing the Gabris path through the U.S.
          > from
          > New York, to Louisiana, to St. Louis, at the same time trying to
          > obtain records from the old country. Sincere thanks, Maryann Gabris
          > Azar
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >

          >
          >
          >

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        • Gregory J. Kopchak
          Go to http://oplatki.homepage.com for Slovak Oplatki. Orders will be taken starting in August for Christmas 2000. I just got the information for the Saint John
          Message 4 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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            Go to http://oplatki.homepage.com for Slovak Oplatki.

            Orders will be taken starting in August for Christmas 2000.

            I just got the information for the Saint John Nepomuk festival yesterday and
            it will be on line later this weekend.

            Saint John was the Mother church of all Eastern European churches in Saint
            Louis. All of the Eastern European Catholic Churches of the Byzantine,
            Roman, and Ukrainian Rite had their start at Saint John's.

            If you have Saint Louis roots, the History of Saint John Nepomuk book is a
            must as it lists quite a few families and early records in it. It also has a
            brief history of all Saint Louis Eastern European ehnic churches in it.


            Greg Kopchak
            http://www.iarelative.com




            -----Original Message-----
            From: m.azar@... [mailto:m.azar@...]
            Sent: Saturday, July 29, 2000 9:46 AM
            To: SLOVAK-ROOTS@egroups.com
            Subject: [SLOVAK-ROOTS] Oplatki (SP?) Christmas bread


            Seeking information on Oplatki (Spelling?), the flat bread my dad
            used in our ceremonial dinners on Christmas Eve.

            I am new to your group, tracing my grandparents, Adam and Eva Gabris
            who moved to the U.S. in 1899 with their children; my father was
            their young son John Stephen Gabris. Also seeking names Strba,
            Panric, Berger and information on the town of Cadca, Czechoslovakia
            (as mentioned in an earlier enrtry from member Debbie O'Connor, my
            great-niece). I am sixty years old, digging up memories but finding
            more questions at every turn.

            Our family ended in up in St. Louis, Missouri, where they were
            members of Holy Trinity Slovak Church, Roman Catholic. We recently
            visited St. John Nepomuk Church in St. Louis where records are kept
            from Holy Trinity.

            While there, we were able to actually get some of the bread which is
            available from Watra Church Goods, Chicago, Il. I think the name of
            the bread is Oplatki.

            This is a flat, white, unleavened bread, exactly the type used for
            Communion Host, but shaped in a 3" x 6" rectangle, with embossed
            scenes of the nativity story. It comes in a 5" x 8" envelope printed
            with a picture of an old country family celebrating their Christmas
            gathering dressed in lovely costumes. (The costumes look Polish.)

            Can anyone tell me the story and meaning of this custom? No one seems
            to know what or why. How did it originate? Was it a tradition from
            the old country? (So far, no luck in finding this on any website.)

            My dad used to make a special, prayerful, solemn ceremony of passing
            this bread out to us children on Christmas Eve. It was served with
            honey. With the passage of time and separating circumstances, the
            meaning is lost to me.

            Does anyone know how I can research this ceremony? Thank you for any
            help on the Oplatki question. I am as interested in the customs and
            life circumstances of our ancestors as I am tracking the vital
            statistics. I have a feeling wherever there is a larger Roman
            Catholic Czech/Slovak community of descendants, this bread and the
            ceremony is known and used--but not found here in Atlanta, GA.

            If anyone has information on the name Gabris, please contact me or
            Debbie O'Connor. We are tracing the Gabris path through the U.S. from
            New York, to Louisiana, to St. Louis, at the same time trying to
            obtain records from the old country. Sincere thanks, Maryann Gabris
            Azar
          • Mapetras5@aol.com
            We make, Stollen, or fruited Christmas bread. Sweet butter dough, dried apricots, almonds, cherries, raisins, and figs sometimes. I soak the fruit in rum and
            Message 5 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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              We make, Stollen, or fruited Christmas bread. Sweet butter dough, dried
              apricots, almonds, cherries, raisins, and figs sometimes. I soak the fruit
              in rum and it is gone before the morning is over.

              I don't remember a ceremony.

              Kathie in TX
            • Mapetras5@aol.com
              Nothing like Gan-Gan s Christmas bread!
              Message 6 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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                Nothing like Gan-Gan's Christmas bread!
              • Mapetras5@aol.com
                In a message dated 7/29/00 11:49:51 AM Central Daylight Time, ekephart1@juno.com writes:
                Message 7 of 7 , Jul 29, 2000
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                  In a message dated 7/29/00 11:49:51 AM Central Daylight Time,
                  ekephart1@... writes:

                  << I remember the Xmas eve supper at my grandmothers home, where the bread
                  was passed out and served with honey after the blessings and I was only a
                  child I am now 65, my grandmother was from Austria,Hungry which today is
                  known as Slovakia, It a blessed piece and we couldnot waste it. if it
                  dropped on the floor,I remember my grandmother would pick it up and eat
                  it, oh for such memories.
                  >>

                  We always had a catfish fry and lots of potatoes and vegetables from the
                  garden. The men would use a 50 Gallon drum in the yard and we women, then I
                  was a little girl would bake in the house.

                  Kathie in TX
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