Niagara Gazette — Sometimes my column takes a personal visit as I become more involved with the subject matter. That occurred with the writing about the history of the “other St. Mary’s” — that is, the one at 2715 Ferry Ave., which is also known as the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, Byzantine Rite, in Niagara Falls.
Mike Parsnick and I visited with the Rev. Raymond Palko a week or so ago and he noted he has been associated with this parish since 2008 and called it “a family” stating he feels “elevated by its members.” Though small in number, they make up for it with their devotion and ambition to keep things stabilized. He mentioned the church members decided to host a fund raiser to raise some needed dollars to be used for repairs and maintenance.
They planned “Fruit of the Vine Wine Tasting “Fun”raiser and invited the principals of the EagleCrest Vineyards in the Finger Lake region of New York state to attend. The wine tasting was presented by Will Ouweleen and Lisa Woodhams poured. The exact location is 7107 Vineyard Road, Conesus, in Livingston County and it was originally founded as O-Neh-Da Vineyard in 1872 by Bishop Bernard McQuaid.
A website on winery profiles describes its original mission “was to produce 100 percent pure grape wine for sacramental use.” Today it remains the oldest operating winery in the New World, dedicated to making valid and licit sacramental wine for all faiths. EagleCrest Vineyards was created to sustain the operation as the cost of premium sacramental wine production is offset by the direct sales of artisan-crafted Finger Lakes table wine. These wines are pure grape wines priced for daily enjoyment. The winery sits on 6,694 acres of state forest land above the western shore of Hemlock Lake, known as home to New York state’s oldest bald eagle nests.