Dormition of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church Clarence, PA

Contact Details

Address

Dormition of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church

104 Byzantine Lane

Clarence, PA. 16829-0304 Get Directions

History

Dormition of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church was founded and built in 1906 by a group of people who migrated from Užhorod, Prešov, Budapest, Muka?evo, and Ukraine in Central/Eastern Europe. These immigrants built and named Dormition of the Mother of God Greek Catholic Church without the guidance of a pastor or mother church; at that time they were authorized by the Greek Catholic Eparchy of Philadelphia, Pa. The various families of the parish purchased altars, pews, gospel books, vestments, chalices, chandeliers and the heating coal stove that stood in the center of the church. Because there was not a local pastor, priests would come once or twice a month by train from Byzantine Catholic churches in Patton, Barnesboro (now Northern Cambria), Sykesville and Ramey, Pa. They would stay for a week or so at the homes of various parish families. The visiting priest, with the cantor, would teach the young people. More permanent services were not provided until 1923 when a delegation went to St. John Byzantine Catholic Church in Hawk Run and made arrangements with Father Zavalidroga. To this day, the administrator for Dormition Church comes from the Hawk Run church. Renovations to the church were made a number of times. In 1922, stucco replaced the designed sheet metal siding and windows were replaced. However, during this time many parishioners moved away because of a substantial coal strike. Then again in 1939 through 1943 (World War II), they moved because of better working opportunities in the larger cities. In 1947 a partial basement was excavated and a coal furnace replaced the large coal stove. In 1954, the stucco on the exterior of the church was replaced with a stone finish and the entrance was enlarged. In 1958, the inside of the church was renovated with large icons installed in front and on each side and new pews were placed. The basement was completed and a new oil furnace was added. It was then that Dormition Church had its first visit by a bishop, Most Rev. Stephen Kocisko of Pittsburgh. After the new look and the blessing of the icons, an enjoyable banquet was held at the St. Mary’s Skating Rink in Snowshoe.