by Kathy Hanis
Holy Family Catholic Church is celebrating Slovenefest 2017 on Saturday, Sept. 23.
The 9th Annual Slovenefest celebration will be held at Monsignor Mejak Hall, gym, and Holy Family school grounds located at 513 Ohio, Kansas City, Kansas. The festival will run from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The celebration begins with Mass at 4 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 274 Orchard St., Kansas City, Kansas, about a block away from the school grounds. The Rev. Peter M. Jaramillo is the fourth full-time pastor at Holy Family Church.
Festivities will follow the Mass and includes children’s and adult games, a cultural booth, souvenirs, and a silent auction, and an authentic Slovenian dinner, serving a choice of sarma (stuffed cabbage roll), poljene paprika (stuffed pepper), krvavica (a specialty sausage), Slovenian potato salad and green beans. The dinner is available for $15.
All funds raised at the Slovenefest benefit the Holy Family Church. The festival will include music and dancing by Hravatski Obicaj and the Bryan McCarty Band.
The Holy Family Altar Society has been preparing for the Slovenefest, making 150 pounds of Slovenian potato salad, more than 600 cabbage rolls and more than 100 apple strudels.
Slovenians who have achieved remarkable success include Monsignor Heliodore N. Mejak, who was the longest living priest to serve at Holy Family Church from June 1944 until Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 2007 (64 years). Bishop Anton Martin Slomsek, who was also a scholar and was responsible for saving the Slovenian Heritage, was beatified by Pope John Paul II on Sept. 19, 1999. Bishop Frederic Baraga was honored by beatification by Pope Benedict XV. France Prešen was a 19th-century Romantic Slovene poet, best known as the poet who inspired virtually all later Slovene literature and has been generally acknowledged as the greatest Slovene classical author. The art nouveau style of Slovene architect, Jože Plečnik, designed the iconic “3 Bridges” and many notable buildings and contributed to many civic improvements in the city market place, and along the banks of the Ljubljanica River and through Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
Slovenians from Kansas include, Dr. Paul L. O’Boynick, II, M.D., is a neurosurgeon with Neurosurgery Associates of Kansas. Dr. Michael Bartkoski spent his career in the animal health sciences field, primarily in vaccine manufacturing. Robert Serra, a Kansas District Judge, Joseph Lastelic, a retired Washington correspondent for The Kansas City Star and Don Lipovac, accordionist, who performed on the Lawrence Welk Show and countless weddings and church and ethnic festivals.
The first lady of the United States, Melania Trump, born in Sevnica, Yugoslavia, (Melanija Knavs, pronounced, Knauss), is a former Slovenian-American model, and the wife of businessman and President of the United States, Donald Trump.
Alfred Matthew Yankovic, better known by his stage name, “Weird Al,” Yankovic’s father, Nick Louis Yankovic, was of Slovenian descent, was born in Kansas City, Kansas, and was baptized at Holy Family Church, among many other outstanding Slovenian parishioners.
For more information about the festival, visit www.holyfamilychurchkck.com.