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ST. LADISLAS CHURCH

ST. LADISLAS CHURCH, the first church for Slovak Catholics in Cleveland, dates from 1885 when Fr. STEPHAN FURDEK began holding services at St. Joseph's Church on Woodland Ave. SLOVAKS living in the area bounded by Berg, Commercial, and Hill streets attended. In 1889 Fr. Furdek bought property on Corwin St. and Holton Ave. and began constructing a church. Bp. RICHARD GILMOUR consecrated St. Ladislas in December of that year. By 1890 Fr. John Martvon was the first pastor of the new parish, composed of both Slovaks and HUNGARIANS. In 1892 the Hungarians withdrew to establish ST. ELIZABETH CATHOLIC CHURCH. St. Ladislas parish grew so large that in 1894 Bp. IGNATIUS F. HORSTMANN established ST. MARTIN OF TOURS PARISH to serve Slovaks living downtown. Fr. W. Panuska, Fr. Martvon's successor, was its founding pastor. After a series of four clergy at St. Ladislas, Fr. John Svozil was named pastor in 1904. He began planning a new church, designed by Emile Uhlrich and dedicated by Bp. Horstmann on 7 Oct. 1906. In 1907 the SISTERS OF THE NOTRE DAME replaced the URSULINE SISTERS OF CLEVELAND as teachers in the parish school. The next pastor of St. Ladislas was Fr. Ladislas Necid (190742). The school had become crowded, and many parishioners now lived farther east in BUCKEYE-WOODLAND. Fr. Necid built a new school at Lamontier and East Blvd. for them, the nucleus of the new St. Benedict parish in 1928. The original St. Ladislas School closed in 1928 but reopened in 1931 under the direction of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity. Shifts in population caused it to close for good in 1967. After a fire on 8 Aug. 1970 destroyed the church building, a decision was made to relocate. The new parish of St. Ladislas was established at 2345 Basset Rd. in WESTLAKE in 1973. Rev. Thomas Cullen served as pastor in 1995. Membership stood at 1,400 families.


Papers of St. Ladislas, Archives, Diocese of Cleveland.

See also RELIGION; CATHOLICS, ROMAN.