It’s no secret that I love shooting churches and stained glass windows. Their beauty leaves me awestruck. I’ve done some shots of the “new” St. Nicholas Byzantine here previously, but I’ve always wanted to do a full shoot of the parish. I recently “celebrated” my birthday by spending the afternoon at St. Nick’s, doing my dangedest to get everything, and get it right. I think I did just that. (Please click the photos for a larger view.)
Saint Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Parish was established on Sept. 14, 1914, at the former location on Toledo Avenue in Lorain, Ohio. On that date, the first Byzantine Catholic bishop, Bishop Soter Ortinsky, dedicated the one-story structure of Saint Nicholas church. The pastor at the time was Father Basil Beretz.
The people who were members of Saint Nicholas Parish in September, 1914, were the same ones who had initiated plans for a parish of the Ruthenian Byzantine Rite Catholics in 1905. Founders of this parish emigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (today, the eastern-most section of Slovakia), to Lorain, in the last part of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century. For a few years they attended Saint Michael Hungarian Byzantine Catholic church on Wood Avenue (presently on Reeves Avenue), and for a brief time services were held in Kohlmeyer’s Hall on Pearl Avenue in Lorain.
During the pastorate of Father Andrew Pataki (former bishop of Parma, Ohio, and presently the bishop of Passaic, N.J.), a giant step was taken toward assuring the future of Saint Nicholas Parish. On Dec., 7, 1958, ground was broken for the construction of a parochial school. The cornerstone dedication took place on Sept. 20, 1959. Because of a fire originating in the altar boys’ sacristy in the church in March of 1960, the church was renovated by the Nobris Decorating Company of North Canton, Ohio. A festive dual observance took place on Sunday, June 1, 1960. Archbishop Nicholas T. Elko, blessed the newly-renovated church and the new Saint Nicholas school.
During the pastorate of Father Michael Felock, plans for a new complex became a reality. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on Jan. 25, 1981 on the present property at West 40th Street. The dedication and solemn blessing of the new Saint Nicholas complex was held on Sunday, Oct. 10, 1982. The interior of the church and sanctuary were renovated under the pastorate of Father David Hannes in 1994. Since then, a few seraphim and cherubim have been added to the ceiling surrounding the existing icons. A new mobile classroom has been set up so that the two mobile trucks could be removed from the property. A computer lab with a network connection to each classroom, has been created for the students and faculty of Saint Nicholas Academy.
For more St. Nicholas history, click here. For more St. Nicholas photos, stay tuned.