ST. MARTIN OF TOURS PARISH was one of Cleveland's nonterritorial ethnic Catholic parishes, serving SLOVAKS on the city's east side. St. Martin was established in 1893 by Bp. IGNATIUS F. HORSTMANN to permit a large number of members of ST. LADISLAS parish (E. 92nd St. and Holton Ave.) to worship nearer their homes. It was attended as a mission until 1894, when the first pastor, Rev. Wenceslas Panuska, was appointed, and a building was purchased from the Second Church of German Evangelical Reformed congregation on Henry (E. 23rd) St. near Scovill Ave. This church, enlarged in 1896, served until 1907, when a stone building of French Gothic style was built at Scovill Ave. and E. 23rd St. In 1894 a frame building on the church property was remodeled into a school, and a convent was provided for the Sisters of St. Joseph, who taught there. The school was enlarged in 1896.
By the mid-1950s, membership had dropped from a high of 2,500 families at the turn of the century to 55 families. The parish school closed in 1950, and the church itself closed in 1958. Furnishings and appointments were sent to the new St. Martin's parish at 14600 Turney Rd. in MAPLE HTS. The final mass was said 11 Sept. 1960, with the Te Deum sung in Slovak. The building was razed the same week. Three parishes were formed out of St. Martin of Tours Parish: St. Andrew's (1906), SS. CYRIL & METHODIUS (1902), and OUR LADY OF MERCY (1922).
See also CATHOLICS, ROMAN; RELIGION.