Phillips StreetJerome, PA. 15937 Get Directions
In 1910 Father Stephen Polyansky was assigned pastor of St. Mary Church in Windber, Pa. He assumed the entire county of Somerset as a parish, serving many surrounding communities including Jenners, Central City and Jerome, which was built as a coal mining community in the early 1900s. The people who established the Byzantine Catholic parish there emigrated from the Carpatho-Rusyn area of Eastern Europe in search of a better livelihood.
Under the leadership of Father Polyansky, a mission parish was established in Jerome on July 4, 1913. A church and rectory were built, and the only resident pastor was Father Michael Krivonak, who served from February 1928 to June 1929. On January 1, 1935, a fire destroyed the church and the records. While their church was being rebuilt the congregation was invited to celebrate Byzantine services at nearby Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church. A year after the fire, the church was rebuilt on the same site. This task was accomplished through the financial support and volunteerism of the parishioners as well as help from other area Christian denominations. All records since were kept at St. Mary Church in Windber, from where this mission is presently served. Before today’s highways, the 11-mile drive to Jerome from Windber would take 35 minutes in good weather over the back roads. Today, the trip takes less than 15 minutes. Priests from Portage and Beaverdale (24 and 20 miles northeast, respectively) assisted many times to celebrate Divine Services.
In 1985, renovations were undertaken which included the installation of an icon screen and other Byzantine decor within the church. A new square altar was installed in 1996. A parish cemetery is located close to the church and provides a well-maintained resting place for the faithful departed.