Image - Prudentopolis, Brazil: Ukrainian Catholic church. Image - Prudentopolis, Brazil: Vesselka Ukrainian dance group. Image - Prudentopolis, Brazil: Vesselka Ukrainian dance group.

Prudentópolis. A town (2020 pop 52,513) with an area of 2,395 sq km, located in the state of Paraná in Brazil. The population is estimated to be 75 percent Ukrainian and 20 percent Polish; the town has one of the major concentrations of Slavs in South America and is one of the largest centers of Ukrainian immigration on that continent. Ukrainian immigrants began to arrive in the late 1890s in São João de Capanema, today Prudentópolis. From the beginning it became the center of the Ukrainian Catholic church. By 1897 a parish had already been founded, with 5,250 members, by S. Kizyma of the Basilian monastic order. A chapel was ready in 1898, and in 1904 a new church had been built, which was later replaced by an even larger one. Saint Josaphat parish now comprises a number of churches and chapels from the neighboring areas. A number of church organizations exist, such as the Sisters Catechists of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (from 1899), which has branches in Brazil, Argentina (Oberá), and Paraguay (Encarnación). The nuns are trained by the Basilian Fathers, and often they participate in other nonreligious organizations in addition to teaching at local schools and directing one of the state schools (where Ukrainian is taught as an optional subject). Also located in Prudentópolis are the Internato S. Olga (administered by the Saint Olha Association of the Ukrainian Catechists of the Sacred Heart of Jesus); the Seminário São José; and the printing house of the Basilian Fathers, which publishes Pratsia (Brazil) and Ukraïns’kyi misionar. A local radio station transmits Ukrainian programs in Portuguese and Ukrainian. A large number of secular Ukrainian organizations are also active there.

Borushenko, Oksana; et al. Arquivos de Prudentópolis (Curitiba 1971)

Natalia Kerechuk

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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