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The Staff

Genealogists with Over 60 Years Combined Experience

Publisher & Managing Editor

Steven M. Osifchin


Editor

Joy E. Kovalycsik


Technical Support

Divan Zedwet

 

   

 

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Our Faith

Greek Catholic Church in Slovakia - Archeparchy of Presov

Bishop Gregory Tarkovič

Bishop Joseph Gaganec

 

Saint John’s Greek Catholic Cathedral, Presov

 

Byzantine Catholic Epharchy of Parma, Ohio -

Apostolic Administrator/Bishop Milan Lach

 

St. Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Cathedral

Past & Present -

A Beloved Centuries Old Tradition

Stations of the Cross

 

Pioneer Greek Catholic Priestly Families-

Reverend Father Emil A. Kubek

 

Saint Mary’s Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church

Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia

 

Byzantine (Greek) Catholic Societies

 

The Slovak Republic -

Blessed Titus Zeman, S.D.B.

Prešov

 

Carpatho-Rusyn Heritage

The Slovak Catholic Church

 

Prominent Carpatho-Rusyns

Bishop Gregory Tarkovič

Bishop Joseph Gaganec

 

 

   

 

Updates

 
 
   

 

West Virginia

 
 

 

Byzantine Catholic

 

Assumption of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church

Weirton, Hancock County, West Virginia

 

Saint Mary’s Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church

Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia

 

Orthodox

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Byzantine Catholic

 

Assumption of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church

Weirton, Hancock County, West Virginia

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At the turn of the century immigrants seeking work as laborers arrived in the town of Weirton.  Ernest T. Weir relocated from Pittsburgh to Weirton early in the 1900s and began the Weirton Steel Corporation.  Surrounding the steel mill were numerous homes where the expanding workforce resided.  During the height of production, approximately 13,000 people were employed at the Weirton Steel Corporation.  This corporation was the largest private employer in the state of West Virginia.  Many Greek Catholics had arrived in Weirton seeking work.  By 1920, they decided to build a church to worship in the faith of the ancestors.  Originally, Greek Catholics attended services in two towns in Ohio, Toronto and Mingo Junction.  As their numbers grew it was evident they required a church to meet their spiritual needs.  The fraternal society of Saint Nicholas was started and mass was said once a month at the Finnish Hall in North Weirton.  The first priest to serve the needs of Greek Catholics in Weirton was Father George Simchak of Avella, Pennsylvania.

 

In November of 1924 the Assumption of the Mother of God Greek Catholic church was founded.  The members worked tirelessly and were very generous with donations so a church could be constructed.  One year later, the new church was erected and blessed by the Most Reverend Basil Takach.  Father Michael Warady was installed as the first full-time pastor and within a very short time a rectory was purchased.  In 1925 the Rosary and Altar society were started.  These societies were very helpful to the church as they served the sacred and secular aspects of the parish.  The societies were and are of immense benefit as they have sponsored and assisted with parish dinners, piroghi sales, Mothers and Fathers Day breakfasts and the very popular annual parish picnic.  Also, during this time a Men’s Club was begun and is another society which is very important.  The members of Assumption of the Mother of God church continued to work hard and the church grew very quickly.  During the difficult days of the depression, many parishioners continued to give donations for the church even though their own financial situations were strained. 

 

After World War II, numerous upgrades to the church and grounds were made prior to the parish silver jubilee celebration.  Renovations to the interior included a new altar and stained glass windows.   Structural improvements included a new roof and entire indoor heating system.  The parishioners were heartbroken in 1951.  A terrible fire broke out and inflicted major damage to the church.  Services continued to be celebrated and parishioners once again worked quickly to repair their beloved house of worship.  During the early 1950’s the number of members of Assumption church expanded to over 500 members. 

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Over the course of the next few years the parish sponsored many popular events such as a Live Passion of Christ play every Palm Sunday.  Members of other Catholic churches (St. Paul and St. Joseph) in Weirton also participated to make this a very popular event with residents.  Every set for this production were hand made by Assumption’s parishioners.  It is to their credit and their pastor, Father George Billy; this important spiritual play ran for over 25 years!  For the Golden Anniversary of the parish, more improvements were implemented in 1974.  During 1989, a new iconostasis was installed along with new carpeting and other minor improvements to the interior of the church. 

 

The exterior of the church has one tower which is graced by a large cupola and a three bar cross.  One mass is held on Sunday and it is well attended by devoted parishioners.  A very important social function of the church is the coffee hour held after mass.  This social time gives parishioners a chance to meet, talk and enjoy each other’s company.  The interior of the church is painted in welcoming light brown colors and beautifully carved Stations of the Cross grace each side of the church.  In front of the altar is a beautifully painted icon of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary and is a focal point of worship.  For the past 89 years, Dormition of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic church has been a vibrant house of worship.  The church has seen a very exciting past and all parishioners and their pastor look ahead to a promising and spiritually fruitful future. 

 

 

Saint Mary’s Holy Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church

Morgantown, Monongalia County, West Virginia

At the turn of the century numerous immigrants from Eastern Europe began arriving in West Virginia due to an abundance of work in factories and steel mills.  Morgantown was well situated on the Monongahela River which was utilized for the shipment of coal and other products. The population of Catholics in this town expanded to the point where a Roman Catholic Parochial School, Saint Francis de Sales, was opened prior to 1915. The Ursuline nuns from Louisville Kentucky came to Morgantown to oversee Catholic education.  In 1918 under the direction of Sister Mary Isadore, a new enlarged school was constructed alongside Saint Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church.  Greek Catholics who settled in Morgantown longed for a church of their own rite.  In 1915, approximately 100 of the faithful founded St. Mary’s Holy Protection Byzantine Catholic Church.


At this time, Father Theophile Zatkovich served the Greek Catholic faithful and he worked with them to construct a church.  After much hard work, fundraising and dedication, in 1918 Saint Mary’s became a reality and is the same church that stands to this day.  As the church grew, the faithful who were devoted to their Byzantine Catholic faith worked tirelessly. Father Zatkovich, who was their first pastor, stayed with the church until 1923 when he was appointed the first chancellor of the newly formed Exarchate of Pittsburgh.  The church saw many trying times but also happy ones.  During the early 1920’s there were disagreements and a few individuals of the membership broke away to join Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Orthodox Church. 


While these were trying times, the faithful who did not want to change their religion and remain Catholics stood firm.  Saint Mary’s continued its rapid expansion and saw many pastors appointed during this period.  The parishioners continued to upgrade and maintain their house of worship. The exterior was constructed of brick with one tower and a dome.  Originally, there were stairs that went straight up to the door of the church.  Later, this would be replaced with a more accessible staircase which closed off the front of the church and two of the original stained glass windows were covered with bricks. A newer golden dome was added and a rectory with attached walkway to the church was constructed.  The Church is tucked away within a mountain area with a backdrop of the beautiful West Virginia landscape. 


During the 1970’s West Virginia expanded it’s a highway system in Morgantown and the church was forced to give up a large amount of their property.  However, the church continued to work on their building and added a social hall.  This social hall is utilized for various functions and events.  The church interior is decorated in colors of light and dark brown.  The iconostasis, a later addition, is of an open design and a small chandelier hangs in front of it.  A white and gold tetrapod is placed in front of the altar. There are no stained glass in the windows that are on each side of the church walls.  While Saint Mary’s has seen its numbers decrease, the parishioners that attend have an abundance of faith.  Currently, Mass is said each Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and is served by their pastor, Father Michael Huszti.  Saint Mary’s has seen many things throughout the years but the faithful look to the future knowing their house of worship will remain for future generations.  

 

 

Orthodox

 

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