OUR LADY OF MERCY CHURCH, 2425 W. 11th St., began as an offshoot of ST. WENDELIN PARISH. The SLOVAKS living in TREMONT objected to traveling through the industrial valley to St. Wendelin and wanted to establish their own parish. Though Bp. JOHN P. FARRELLY refused them permission, the Slovaks persisted. The Polish Nationalist pastor of Sacred Heart Church on W. 14th promised them a priest if they affiliated with the POLISH NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHURCH. They then organized the parish of St. John Baptist, which opened in 1915. The Polish Nationalist link drove many back to St. Wendelin's. Mounting problems finally forced the St. John parish to approach the Roman Catholic diocese for assistance. Bp. JOSEPH SCHREMBS agreed to accept the repentant congregation in 1922. Rev. Francis Dubosh was named pastor of the church, renamed Our Lady of Mercy. By 1927, when Fr. John W. Krispinsky became pastor, the congregation had grown from 60 to 326 families. It continued to grow, and, in 1942, the parish began a door-to-door collection to build a new church. By 1945 they had realized $50,000 toward their goal; construction began in 1948. The Romanesque-style church was dedicated on 23 Oct. 1949. The church's interior incorporates much of the Slovak peasant heritage, with a large mosaic featuring Mary, Our Sorrowful Mother, the patron of Slovakia.

Archives, Diocese of Cleveland.


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