By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s Ukrainian community brought the Christmas spirit Wednesday to the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on North Franklin Street in Northern Liberties.

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The Rector of the Cathedral, the Reverend Ivan Demkiv, says they celebrate Christmas on the Julian calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.

“Recent immigrants from Ukraine, like we say, ‘fourth wave of immigration,’ they celebrate on the old calendar, January 7th,” he says.

Father John Fields is with the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

“They have kin over there,” Fields says. “They feel a relationship with their relatives in Ukraine by keeping this feast on this day.”

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It’s a celebration rich in tradition, according to Lidiya, who has lived in the United State for 21 years, but mindful of the turmoil in her homeland – the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“We unite with our brothers and sisters in Ukraine,” she says, “and we wish them Merry Christmas.”

Pope John Paul ll visited the golden domed Cathedral on his U.S. visit in 1979.

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