ST. HELENA ROMANIAN BYZANTINE CATHOLIC CHURCH, established on 19 Nov. 1905, is one of 16 Romanian Byzantine Rite (Uniate) parishes in the U.S. The parish was founded through the efforts of Fr. Epaminonda Lucaciu, the first Romanian priest sent to the U.S. by the bishop of Transylvania. He served St. Helena's until 1907. The congregation met at ST. MALACHI'S CHURCH until their own church was completed at 1367 W. 65th St. Dedicated in Oct. 1906, the building cost $6,500. The frame structure was remodeled in 1939, resurfaced in brick, and rebuilt in 1965 at a cost of $72,000. A church hall was erected in 1942 and replaced in 1975 by a new social center, expanded in 1981. Fr. Aurelius Hatiegan, the third parish priest, established an east-side Romanian parish, Most Holy Trinity, on E. 93rd St. in 1916. Long-term pastors at St. Helena have included Rev. Dr. George Babutiu (193450), Rev. Mircea M. Toderich (195084), and Rev. Gregory Duma (198490). Rev. Andrei Matei has served the congregation's 135 members since 1990.
1906-1981, 75th Anniversary of Saint Helena Church in Cleveland (1981).
See also RELIGION; BYZANTINE RITE CATHOLICS; ROMANIANS.