Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church
Prince of Peace Parish has welcomed many parishioners from Ss. Cyril & Methodius Parish, Barberton since its closing in June 2009. Father Robert Jackson plans to have a section of our Prayer Garden dedicated to Ss. Cyril and Methodius Slovak Parish and it's history. A number of artifacts will also be at Prince of Peace(e.g. Stations of the Cross, vestments, statues, war memorial, etc.) Below is the history of the parish as found in the Diocese of Cleveland's 1997 Sesquicentennial Celebration book which contained the history of all the parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland. The pictures are from Ss. Cyril & Methodius's 2006 Centennial Booklet and a recent Akron Beacon Journal article.
Ss. Cyril and Methodius was founded at the request of Slovak immigrants who came from Cleveland to Barberton seeking employment in the expanding industries of the Barberton area. At that time there was no Catholic Church in the area which served those of Slovak heritage. Bishop Ignatius Horstmann honored the request of these poor immigrants and the Reverend Augustine Tomasek became the first pastor. The first Mass of the parish was held in a dwelling on Melvin Street now known as 16th Street NW. Despite their small numbers and relative poverty, the people made tremendous sacrifices to maintain their parish. Later, three new parishes grew from this nucleus of Slovaks: St. Nicholas Greek Catholic Church, St. Mary Church(Polish), and Sacred Heart Church(Slovenian), all in Barberton.
In 1924, under the pastorate of the Reverend Edward Stanko, a parish school was build and staffed by the Ursuline Sister of Cleveland until 1938. The Vincentian Sisters of Charity of Bedford, Ohio assumed the responsibility for the school until it closed in 1976 due to dwindling enrollment. In 1931 the present church building was erected after much saving and sacrificing on the part of the parishioners despite the fact that it was the height of the Depression which hit industrial communities especially hard. A new school was built in 1955 by Father Stanko as well as a rectory. The Reverend James Yavorsky was pastor from 1957 until 1972. It was under his pastorate that a convent was built for the Sisters and it is presently serving as the parish rectory.
In 1979 a major flood devastated the parish property. As part of the rebuilding process, the Reverend Edward Lajack and the workers of the parish Social Club from 1980-1996 raised funds to completely renovate the church as well. The family spirit which has characterized this small parish community has allowed it to accomplish more than it size or its material resources would warrant.
The parish continued to uphold the religious and social traditions of its Slovak-Catholic founders until closed in June 2009 as a result of the Diocese of Cleveland's clustering process. The parish’s final Mass with Bishop Richard Lennon was celebrated on Sunday, June 14, 2009.
1906-1907: Fr. Augustine Tomasek
1908-1919: Mission Church
1919-1922: Fr. Stephen Kocis
1922-1923: Fr. John Gerenda
1923-1957: Fr. Edward Stanko
1957-1972: Fr. James Yavorsky
1972-1978: Fr. Paul Gencur
1979-2009: Fr. Edward Lajack
Click on picture to make it larger
1263 Shannon Ave. Norton, Ohio 44203
Phone: 330-825-9543; Fax: 330-706-1437; e-mail: email@example.com
Last updated: Friday May 17, 2013