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Cleveland Kurentovanje

Cleveland Kurentovanje (koo-rahn-toh-VAHN-yay), a Slovenian-infused Mardi Gras festival, is a carnival event that has been celebrated in Slovenia for the past 50 years, connecting culture, arts, and people from all over Europe. Cleveland Kurentovanje is filled with costumes, a parade, ethnic food and drink, free musical and cultural performances, and authentic Kurents. The central figure of the carnival, the Kurent, is believed to chase away winter and usher in spring with its supernatural powers. Since it’s conception in 2013, Cleveland Kurentovanje has been held in the historical Slovenian immigrant neighborhood of St. Clair-Superior and has seen exponential growth with thousands in attendance each year. For 2018, Cleveland Kurentovanje presents four days of cultural and celebratory events:


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Slovenian Artistsan New York – January 2018

Eva Petric in conversation with David Cohen   on Saturday, January 27 at 3.30pm, Galerie Mourlot, 16 East 79 St., Suite 21, New York (between Madison and 5th Ave.You are cordially invited to join a discussion with David Cohen, publisher and editor of Art Critical and Slovenian multimedia artist Eva Petric who resides and works between New York, Vienna and Ljubljana about her work An Echo / A StainCS1 CS2


Concert by composer and saxophonist
with his upcoming album release “ELEVEN” by Clean Feed Records  on Wednesday, January 31 at with sets at 8pm and 9:30pm at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York

“Igor absorbs the clatter and racket of the once (and maybe once again) Great City of New York. Fragmented words that you pass on the street or that seep into your ears in bars. He can make everyone in a room grow silent enough to hear his breath over the long notes of a ballad. He can veer and swerve outside the margins, leaving structure and melody in the dust and turning sound into emotion and making you feel like you’re being psychoanalyzed. That’s the thing about Igor: He’s always thinking. Always listening. Always playing. Always living. And always digging so deep that you think: I’m dead. Buried. Six feet underground. And then he digs you back out, and you see the light, and you’re glad to be among the living.”–Billy F

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Newsletter – Slovenian Consular Office in Chicago

Chicago Newsletter


Click here for the newsletter

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Tony Mravle Jr. Appointed as Chief Executive Officer at KSKJ


On behalf of the Board of Directors, I wish to share a matter of importance regarding a change of leadership at KSKJ Life.

Following a successful 45-year career, of which seventeen were as CEO, Anthony T. Mravle has retired as CEO effective January 1, 2018. The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Tony Mravle Jr, Chief Information Officer, has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer.

Rudy2One of the most important responsibilities of the Board is to ensure the stability and future viability of our organization. Along with strategic planning and risk management, the Board is responsible for managing the CEO and ensuring back-up and succession plans are in place.

Finding and retaining the right leaders is a difficult task for any organization. It is critical to identify the person that has the right combination of education, experience, skills, values, and organizational fit, not only for the present moment but for the future. It is also important to ensure that the collective leadership team has the necessary characteristics to support each other and successfully manage the array of serious responsibilities required for leading a fraternal life insurance organization.

We have experienced this challenge in our own organization. Tony Sr retired from the CEO position in the fall of 2012. Unfortunately, during the following year the Board felt it was necessary to ask him to return, and Tony Sr agreed to resume CEO duties.

Thankfully for KSKJ Life, it was during that period of transition that Tony Jr. was hired as VP of Fraternalism and Communications.

A life-long member, Tony Mravle Jr began working with us in 2004 as a consultant, supporting Julie Schneller with the creation of our Young Adult Leadership Conference, the first of which was held in Chicago in 2005. Since his hire as a full-time employee in 2012, Tony Jr has served on the home office executive committee and has played a key role in guiding KSKJ Life’s expansion of fraternal support and member benefits, technology innovation, branding and marketing development, and talent acquisition and growth. Tony Jr holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, the FLMI (Fellow, Life Management Institute) designation, and the PHR (Professional, Human Resources) certification.

This transition and the new appointment are exciting milestones in the history of KSKJ Life.tony2

Tony Mravle Sr. originally joined KSKJ in 1972 as the Treasurer, and held several leadership positions before being appointed as CEO toward the end of 1999. During his time in that role, Tony Sr. led the society through a sustained period of significant development by executing key strategies for product expansion and asset growth. Among the highlights are KSKJ Life’s development of a strong independent agent distribution channel, expansion into new states, successful new releases of fixed annuities and final expense products. Since 2000, KSKJ Life has experienced incredible increases in membership growth and assets (from $50M to $500M).

In his new role, Tony Sr will continue to serve as Investment Manager, reporting directly to the Board of Directors, as he transitions these and other duties to the executive team. There is an excellent staff and strong leadership team in place at the home office that will continue in their roles, including Stuart Buchanan, Chief Operations Officer; Paul Kaiser, Director, Agent Sales; Kathy Lovati, Manager, Agent Sales; and Brian Sharp, VP Information Technology.

Tony Sr will leave a considerable legacy, and we’re grateful for his inspiring leadership over the years. We’ll look forward to working with he and Tony Jr to ensure KSKJ Life is positioned for continued success through a robust transition plan.

I want to thank the Board for their leadership, service, and dedication to KSKJ Life.


Rudolph Krasovec Jr
Chair, KSKJ Life Board of Directors


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CLE SLO SKI CLUB – Feb trip deadline approaching


From: Christine Vidmar <>
Date: January 16, 2018 at 9:00:37 PM EST
Subject: CLE SLO SKI CLUB – Feb trip deadline approaching

Dragi prijatelji,

A great time was had by all on the MLK trip!  (Download Pic SLO SKI)  We all had some potica and “medicine” and I think each of us may have met a new Slovenian friend this weekend.  Rob Ugrin and Tony Klepec did a wonderful job entertaining us with their button box and accordion skills and we had some talented singers on board this time too.  Holiday Valley was very enjoyable.  In the evening we relaxed and had a great time in Ellicottville.  Holimont was especially wonderful; they did a great job grooming, no lift lines, and in the afternoon we had some sunshine.  Mark your calendars for next year MLK Sun-Mon; same trip for sure.

Saturday, February 24, 2018 is our one-day bus trip to Holiday Valley Ski Resort.  The $90 cost includes a round trip motor coach, along with an 8 hour full access lift pass.  Children between the ages of 7-11 enjoy a discounted price of $75; children 6 and under ski for free!!   Non-skiers and boarders are also welcome to join for only $35.  Deadline for registration and full payment for this Holiday Valley trip is February 4, 2018.  To register, please send a check payable to: Cleveland Slovenian Ski Club, 111 E. 214th St., Euclid, OH  44123 and include the below information for EACH person:  (1) First and Last Name (2) Age (3) Cell phone (4) e-mail address (5) Skier/Boarder or Bus ride only.  Reservations are first come, first serve, and you’re not considered registered until payment is received.  At this point the bus is about half full.

We’ve been consistently selling out and have had the pleasure of many new members join us.  It’s especially enjoyable for us to meet new people, and see the camaraderie that skiing naturally brings.  It’s always been about celebrating our Slovenian roots… and your cooperation, friendly faces, and our joint love of skiing make it a pleasure to plan.  Come join us on the slopes!


Christy and Frank Vidmar

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The Bishop Baraga Association


Monthly Dinner to benefit

The Bishop Baraga Association

Sunday, January 14, 2018
After 11:00 am Sunday Mass at the Slovenian Catholic Mission church, join us for our fabulous and always home-cooked monthly dinner!  This month’s dinner proceeds will go to the Bishop Baraga Association to assist in furthering the cause of the great Bishop’s sainthood.

Dinner prices are:
     Adults are $15
     Children 7 and over are $8
     Children 6 and under are freehouse

There will be a 50/50 raffle!
All bakery and pastry donations are appreciated.

No reservations are required! 
Hope to see you Sunday!

Our current fundraising efforts

Renovation of the Baraga House
The Bishop Baraga Association has begun to renovate the house in which Bishop Baraga died for the purpose of moving all the archives associated with him and all the missionaries that worked with him (which eventually included over 20 Slovenian priests) to make them accessible for more in-depth research on the history of the church in the upper midwest.

The building is also being renovated to return it to its original look when the Bishop lived there and to ensure it will continue to exist for a long time. There is a firmly held belief in the leadership of the Bishop Baraga Association that Bishop Baraga was deeply influenced by his missionary work by his Slovenian heritage.  In every major monument or building in Michigan which has been created in our lifetimes such as the Shrine of the Snowshoe Priest and the Bishop Baraga chapel in the Cathedral of St. Peter in Marquette, there have always been plaques which recognized the contributions of the Slovenians from Northern Illinois. We would like to do the same by donating $5,000 for the renovation of the Baraga House. This Sunday’s Baraga Fund Raising Dinner is focused on this effort.

Aside from what is made at the dinner, donations are also being accepted for this cause. The plaque will recognize the specific donation of the Slovenians from Northern Illinois in the renovation of the home. Of course, anyone who wishes to make a donation on their own directly to the BBA for this cause is also welcome to do this. Checks can be written to the Bishop Baraga Association. The memo line should include a reference: Renovation of the Baraga House.

Within a few weeks, a short documentary will be released which was done by EWTN on Baraga’s work in the upper Midwest. The BBA has begun a discussion with the Slovenian organization that created the documentary on Bishop Volk, “The Bishop on Fire”, to create a documentary on Baraga’s Slovenian background and ministry.

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“Pursuit of Happiness”


“Pursuit of Happiness”
by Slovenian contemporary dance company

January 12 and 13, 2018 at 7:30 pm and January 14, 2018 at 2:00pm at the Festival “Uder the Radar”
Skirball Centre, 566 LaGuardia Place, New York, NY 10012

OBIE-Award winning, New York-based performance group Nature Theater of Oklahoma takes on the American Dream and the bleak desert of its aspirational aftermath. Created in collaboration with six dancers of the highly acclaimed Slovenian dance company EnKnapGroup, lead by the renowned choreographer Iztok Kovač, the piece charges through a rough-and-tumble, endlessly morphing myth of the Wild West, where whiskey pours, fists fly, and bullets ultimately settle the score.

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Slovenian Cultural Garden

Garden SignWEB

Even in the cold winter, the snow-capped plants and statuary provide an elegant, formal look to the courtyard of the Slovenian Cultural Garden


I would like the thank the Slovenian Workmen’s Home Ladies Auxiliary “Kitchen Angels” for their donation of $100. This money will be used to offset the cost of winterization for the fountain, drains, and pumps which for the first time in many years once again work.

We now focus our attention on volunteer cleanup, fundraising for continued maintenance and participation in the 73rd Annual One World Day Celebration to be held in August 2018.

Mailing address: Slovenian Cultural Garden c/o St. Mary’s Church 15519 Holmes Ave Cleveland, OH 44110

Lep pozdrav,

Philip Hrvatin

President – Slovenian Cultural Garden Association

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Volunteer Opportunities at St. Vitus Church

Volunteer Opportunities in December 2017 at St. Vitus Church

As we are approaching, in gratitude to the many living as well as fallen Veterans for Veteran’s Day; and then Thanksgiving You canDay and weekend, I am providing volunteer opportunities in the month of December 2017 at St. Vitus Parish. These, as well as other opportunities are open and welcome to one and all. The month of December is quite hectic as you will note below in and around the parish.

Attached in “pdf” file format Mihevc Grant Program Volunteer Form is a volunteer form you can fill-out, complete, and return either the weekend collection basket, via email, or by mail back to the parish rectory at 6019 Lausche Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44103.. For families involved in the parish Mihevc Grant Program, these are opportunities to fulfill service requirements of the parish scholarship program. But again, these opportunities are open to any parishioner or individual willing to help St. Vitus Parish; and by extension, the broader community. The opportunities are:

December 9 (Saturday) CHRISTMAS DECORATION WORK.  Start at 9:00AM. Start of Christmas decoration work, primarily assembling of swags, wreaths, hanging outside and assembly of inside Christmas trees in the church sanctuary. ENTER THE CHURCH ON THE MARY SIDE (WHERE THE ADA RAMP IS LOCATED) AND GO TO THE LOWER CHURCH HALL. Primary coordinator: Louise Strauss. Primary person(s) in charge of assembling swags, wreaths, etc., is Theresa Avsec; and primary persons in charge of setting up inside trees, lighting are Maggie and Mike Milakovich. Lunch will be provided on DEC 9.

December 16 (Saturday) Start time 9:30AM. Continuation of decoration work, primarily the inside of the church. Lunch will be provided on DEC 16.

December 12 (Tuesday) Food Bank Preparation. Start time at 9:00AM. Parish Food Bank Pantry. Preparation work in the lower church hall. Bringing in of boxes, storing, putting canned food items, etc., in paper bags, discard cut up card board boxes, etc., type tasks occur this day, each month. Normally finish around 11:30AM.. Betty Svekric is the coordinator for the parish food bank. Call the parish rectory at 216-361-1444 if interested in this service opportunity.

December 13 (Wednesday) Food Bank Distribution. Start time at 11AM. Distribution of food bank bags in the lower church hall. Verification of recipients (parish serves a geographical area), handing of bags, assisting elderly with bag(s) up the stairwell steps, breakdown and take-out of card board boxes to recycling dumpster in the backside of the auditorium, etc. Arrive at 10:30AM. Distribution begins at 11AM until 12:30PM. Note: Normally 60 to 75 bags are provided. Call the parish rectory if can volunteer in this work of mercy.

December 16 (Saturday) Parish Corporal Work of Mercy. Start time 9:00AM. Packaging boxes, bags, etc., for distribution to seniors, home-bound, seniors residing in assisted living facilities, etc. Also, you can make baked items for packaging. Need individuals to package as well as to deliver to seniors, etc. Contact Sister Mary Avsec, S.N.D., at (216) 432-9179 or Majdi Patyk if interested in this volunteer service. Packaging occurs in the lower church hall.

December 16 (Saturday) Delivery of food baskets. Delivery of food baskets to seniors, shut-ins, etc., Note: Food baskets/bags are to be picked up at St. Ignatius High School, by the Mary Chapel, located on Lorain Avenue and West 30th Street (north side of Lorain Ave.).  Our parish is scheduled to have 26 baskets. Each volunteer car to deliver 2-to-3 food baskets. Estimated value of each basket=$50 with no charge to the parish. A number of the deliveries are to residents at St. Vitus Village residents. Need 11 cars/volunteers and already have six families signed up.

December 30 (Saturday) Preparation work for social (in the parish auditorium) that follows the All Parish Mass and Concert of Sacred Songs on DEC. 31, (Sun.) All parish Mass at 10AM followed by Concert of Sacred Songs in St. Vitus Church. Social, fellowship, food, and light refreshments AFTER the Mass and concert in the parish auditorium. Bring your family and friends to the Mass, Concert, and then social.

In closing, thank you to everyone participating in these and other parish endeavors which enable St.. Vitus Parish to be a caring community and home for one another. Please continue to attend the weekend mass

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