In October of 1935, Father John Stim was appointed pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Church. From the day of its founding until Father Stim was appointed, priests from Youngstown celebrated the Divine Services. During Father Stim’s 10-year pastorate, the church debt was liquidated, a rectory was purchased and land to be used for a parish cemetery was obtained.
Father Sylvester Hladky succeeded Father Stim in September 1945. At that time, the Mahoning Valley developed into a thriving industrial metropolis and SS. Peter and Paul Parish grew as well. Many young families settled in the area and the need for a larger temple for worship became apparent. Prime land was purchased on the corner of East Market Street and Belvedere Avenue, NE. In addition, a two-acre tract of land was purchased across the street on Belvedere Avenue to be used as the proposed site for constructing a school at some later date. Ground was broken on 1 May 1950 for the new church and rectory. On 18 December 1951 the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated and the church was blessed on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, 29 June 1952.
In 1953 a home located on the corner of Willard Avenue and East Market Street was purchased for use as a convent for Sisters. In the fall of 1955, classes for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades were held at the Convent. Classes in the newly constructed SS. Peter and Paul School began in September 1957. The Byzantine Benedictine Sisters staffed the school. The school was in operation until its closing in June 2005 due to declining enrollment.
In 1990 the parishioners and the City of Warren saw another building phase with the construction of Infant of Prague Manor adjacent to SS. Peter and Paul Church. The Manor is a three-story, 46-unit apartment building for independent living for the elderly. The atmosphere makes for a quiet and peaceful home in which the residents are genuinely happy.
In April 2004, Father Robert J. Karl was appointed pastor of SS. Peter and Paul Church. Upon his arrival, he found all of the buildings in the church complex in need of major repairs. Remodeling began after the sale of the school in 2006. First, the old bus garage was converted into a Parish Social Hall, complete with a functional kitchen and restroom facilities. Second, in conformity with the Vatican II documents and explicit directives from the “Instruction for Applying the Liturgical Prescriptions of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches” issued in 1996 by the Vatican Congregation for the Eastern Churches to return to their authentic spiritual, liturgical and theological roots, renovations to the church were undertaken, transforming it into the present beautiful Byzantine place of worship. Third, work began to improve the dreadful condition of the rectory.·
But more importantly than the physical construction, a spiritual transformation began to develop among the faithful into a solid faith community. Religious education for youth was revamped; adult faith formation was started; parishioner involvement increased.
A new chapter in the life of the parish began on 28 January 2010. Due to health reasons, Father Bob Karl requested a transfer from this very active parish. His Eminence, Metropolitan Basil M. Schott subsequently appointed Father Andrew J. Deskevich as pastor. Building on the foundation laid by Father Bob, Father Andrew contributes his unique gifts and talents and continues to encourage the faithful to live out the Gospel message and to develop their relationship with God.
Additional Byzantine Liturgical services are celebrated to enhance the spiritual life of the faithful. Eastern Christian Formation (ECF) classes continue to be offered for youth and adults. A group of dedicated parishioners prepare food at the St. Vincent de Paul Meals Program at least two and sometime three times a month, serving over one hundred meals each time. The annual Parish Feast Day celebration, the summer Parish Family Picnic, the St. Nicholas Day Dinner and the monthly socials enrich the relationships of this Community of Faith.
Certainly God has and continues to bless this faithful Byzantine family!