Sunday, October 4, 2009


I'm not sure where or how to begin this post. There was a death of sorts today in Lorain, Ohio. Ss. Cyril and Methodius Slovenian Roman Catholic Church celebrated its last mass today. The parish had its start back in 1905 and the current church was built in 1952. In its 104 years there were only 11 pastors, and since 1934, only three. Father Krajnik , the current pastor, has served for 34 years. Last week he celebrated his 87th birthday.

I guess I need to give a little background on our city. We are known as the international city because of our diverse ethnic background. In the late 1800’s and into the 1900’s, people flocked to Lorain to work in the steel mill. Many people from eastern Europe, including Slovenians, Slovaks, Hungarians, Croatians, the Polish and others settled here by the thousands, each group eventually starting their own church.

Recently the Cleveland Catholic Diocese has begun closing and consolidating these churches. Yes, some of these churches were small, with dwindling membership, but they were still viable parishes. Even parishes with hundreds of members have closed or are closing. Did the Diocese really need to hire police to be at the church today? There was one officer standing outside and I was told 2 plain clothes officers were inside. Was that necessary? What did they think these loyal parishioners would do?

Now I must admit, I was not a member of St. Cyril’s and as my 89 year old mother would tell you, I am a lousy Catholic, but there is a great sadness in my heart today. I cannot even begin to imagine what longtime church members are feeling. My heart aches for them. Within days, everything will be stripped from the church, including the stained glass windows.

Did you even know there was a St. Cyril and a St. Methodius? They were 9th century brothers and great missionaries, known as the Apostles of the Slavs.

I have many pictures to share. I hope you will enjoy them.

Parishioners from other closed churches offering their support. Thank you!

The front of the church. Sorry I forgot to walk across the street to get a better picture. The stained glass window is in the choir loft.
Is it still called a cornerstone when it's not in the corner?
The altar. Note the eastern European influence.
The largest and most detailed stained glass window in the church is in the choir loft and depicts Ss. Cyril and Methodius.
There are six stained glass windows in the nave of the church which portray our religious mysteries. Here is a detail of one of the windows.
The lower portion of each window depicts readings from the Old Testament.
Statues in the church.
I always joked that midnight mass was held at 9pm on Christmas eve. I was especially fond of the manger.
A young lady dressed in typical Slovenian attire.
Father Krajnik, pastor for 34 years.
This is Uncle Ray, the uncle of my dear significant other. I always joke that he's the world's oldest altar boy at age 82.
My mom leaving the church for the last time.
These old books were in the choir loft and we were allowed to take them. The one on the left is from Holy Week and was printed in 1913. The song book "Cantate" was published in 1920.
In the old church hall, people gathered one last time after mass for coffee and donuts. I was so happy we were allowed to take dishes for remembrance.
To all those who have made it to the end, THANK YOU!

Pug hugs :)


Linda said...

Lauren ~ It is sad when any church closes and the members must then find a new place to worship. I hope all those who have been displaced soon find a new place to serve the Lord.

Alice ~ Folk Art Primitives said...

I made it to the end, Lauren and I think it was a very thoughtful gesture on your part. I am not Catholic but when I hear this on the news, I think it is so sad. The current parishoners must feel lost knowing that they don't have their old familiar church to attend. Such a nice tribute ~ and great photos ~ thanks for sharing.

Doris said...

I am not catholic but I cannot imagine dismantling such a beautiful place in which to praise our Lord. Blessings upon all of you who stuck it out to the end. Thank you for these beautiful pictures of rememberance.

Anonymous said...

This is very sad. I am a catholic and I think that is heartbreaking that these old churches are being shut down. To hear that they will be stripped makes me feel ill...these are beautiful holy places. They are so rich in history, heritage and family. I feel so sad for your town and for our country that they'd even think of taking this beautiful church down....scary to think how many more will be gone.

WoolenSails said...

It is truly sad how many churches are closing down around here too.
Ours are mostly in the city, which are the old churches. One in town, has become too small, so they are building a brand new one with more parking. I grew up in an old church myself, it is still there as are most of our colonial churches in this area.


woolwoman said...

It was a very sad post Lauren - I feel for all the people around the US who are losing their church homes - these are horrific and difficult times we are living in. Church is so important for the support of the family unit, the elderly - everyone really. Thanks for the sharing the photos and memories. Mel

Rugs and Pugs said...

Thank you all for your beautiful comments. They are appreciated more than you can ever imagine!

weaverpat said...

I made it to the end. It made me cry. For the people who have worshipped there for so many years and loved their church and the beautiful piece of history which will be lost.

katie said...

This was a sad post as the others have mentioned. But it brought back some sweet memories to me. I am not Catholic, but lived in a community in Sugar Creek,Missouri that was mostly Catholic. What a great community it was and most residents were Polish, Romanian, Slovenian. What a great community it was, great people,great food, great music. I still have relatives there today.