The History of the Church of St. Iosaph in Muddy, Illinois
In 1880 Slovakian immigrants settled in southern Illinois to work in the coal mines of the region, and the small town of Muddy was born. The people who resided in this area shared a common faith, Russian Orthodoxy. A church was built in 1913, dedicated to the memory of St. Iosaph of Belgorod. The church served sixty families at that time. As the coal mining industry died out, people began to move out of Muddy, and soon the parish was without parishioners. Madeline Pisani, a parishioner of St. Basil's, was born in Muddy and attended St. Iosaph's as a child. She and her brother have maintained the now abandoned church for many decades. Each year Fr. Martin, and parishioners of St. Basil's in St. Louis, make a pilgrimage to the church to serve a Thanksgiving Service. A Memorial Service is also conducted at the old Russian cemetery, which is not far from the church. The Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God was celebrated on October 14, 2003. Fr. Martin, along with eight parishioners of St. Basil's parish, made a pilgrimage to the now abandoned Russian Church of St. Iosaph in Muddy, Illinois.