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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

POLISH NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHURCH

POLISH NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHURCH

The POLISH NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHURCH supported 5 parishes in Cleveland, founded between 1910-60. The denomination began in Scranton, PA, in Mar. 1897, when Fr. Francis Hodur (1866-1953) led his new church out of the Roman Catholic church in a dispute over control of local church property. The Polish National Catholic church was established formally in Sept. 1904 at its first synod; by then it had 20,000 members in 5 states. In the Polish National Catholic church, local congregations owned church property and the mass was said in Polish rather than Latin. In 1921 it abolished the rules of celibacy for priests.

The first Polish National Catholic parish in Cleveland was the Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2310 W. 14th St., established in 1913. The second, Our Lady of Czestochowa, established in 1915, later became St. Mary's. It had 660 members in 1955, when it moved from 3510 Broadview Rd. to a new $300,000 church at Wexford and Broadview Rd. in PARMA. The Church of the Good Shepherd, 7301 St. Clair Ave., was established in 1931, and Holy Trinity, 7460 Broadway, in 1940. All Saints Polish National Catholic Church, 3736 E. 59th St., was established ca. 1954. In 1962 Bp. John Misiaszek announced that the main masses in Polish National Catholic parishes in northeastern Ohio would be said in English rather than Polish. By 1970 these parishes had a total membership of 4,000. In 1995 only St. Mary's and Trinity remained active.


See also POLES.