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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

SS. PETER AND PAUL CHURCH

SS. PETER AND PAUL CHURCH

The congregation of SS. PETER AND PAUL CHURCH was formed when Ukrainian Byzantine Rite Catholics from Galicia withdrew from ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH over nationality differences. The parish was founded in 1902 and a church built in 1910 at W. 7th and College streets in TREMONT near a large Ukrainian settlement. Rev. Wolodymyr Dowhowycz was the first pastor. The church, on a sloping site, was built in the Byzantine style of yellow brick and featured a single central tower topped by an onion dome. The architect was Stephen Paliwoda.

The church took an active role in the community, sponsoring drama productions, organizing literacy drives for adults, and conducting Ukrainian language classes. In 1943 the church was renovated and redecorated, including the addition of a set of murals depicting scenes in the life of Christ. Rapid growth took place after World War II, under the pastorage of Rev. Dmytro Gresko. In 1947 an all-day parish school was started on State Rd. in Parma, the first parish school for Ukrainian Catholics in the Diocese. A new convent was built in 1953. In 195657 major renovations to the interior and exterior of the church took place. On the exterior, the onion dome was converted to a bell tower and the steps were reworked. SS. Peter and Paul is considered the mother church of 3 parishes: St. Mary's in Solon (originally on Kinsman), St. Josaphat's in Parma, and St. Andrews in Parma. The church retained its Ukrainian identiry in the 1990s, and in 1995 had a membership of 150 families.