St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church

9321 Orleans Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44141 USA

  • Independent
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“hauntingly beautiful abandonded”

This place is on private property. Listing for informational purposes only. Please do not visit without express permission from the land owner. The church, as neglected as it was, was the focal point for the Slovak community. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church attempted to convert Eastern Orthodox Christians in the Austro-Hungarian Empire only to find resistance. The Byzantine Rite Catholic Church was instead founded that retained much of the Eastern Orthodox traditions while still acknowledging the leadership of the pope.  Masses were held on Old Slavonic rather than traditional Catholic Latin and the Julian calendar was observed, rather than the Gregorian. A three-bar cross was also used in place of a Catholic cross, and clergymen were permitted to get married.By the late 1800s, a significant Carpatho-Russian Orthodox population migrated to Cleveland. But the allowance of marriage by the clergy caused quite the stir with Roman Catholics, and a decree in 1907 permitted only celebrate priests to be admitted into the United States. Thousands of Byzantine Rite Catholics defected to the Russian Orthodox church, and as a result, the majority of the city’s Russian Orthodox churches were constructed by former Byzantine Rite Catholics. Musings for a church specific to the Rusyn population began in 1909, but it was not until 1912 that the first general meeting was held in Jelinka Hall on Aetna Road to organize a parish. A decision was made to purchase several lots for a church and school on June 16 and a contractor was soon hired. Within two months, the first church was completed for $3,000. The first Divine Liturgy was offered in January 1913.In 1924, married priests were once again allowed to enter the United States, but married men could not be ordained as Byzantine Rite clergy. It was also the year that the nation enacted a national quota system for immigrants that impacted those from eastern and southern Europe. Between 1920 and 1938, only 7,500 Carpatho-Rusyns left for the United States. But by the 1930s, more than 30,000 Carpatho-Rusyns had settled in the city.After saving funds for a larger facility, a motion was passed on September 17, 1928 that a new church be built on the site. It was designed by Polish-American architect Joseph E. Fronczak and a general contract was let for $60,000. The old church was renovated into a recreational hall.

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Reviewed by
jeffreystroup

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
January 27, 2014

The photo is from Wilson Middle School on E. 55th; not St. Joseph.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
michaelvallo

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
January 20, 2019

This is St. Joseph Byzantine. I was a student and a altar boy their

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St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church

9321 Orleans Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio
44141 USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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