Prince of Peace Parish has welcomed many parishioners from Holy Trinity Hungarian Parish, Barberton. Father Robert Jackson plans to have a section of our Prayer Garden dedicated to Holy Trinity Hungarian Parish and it's history. Below is the history of the parish as found in the 1997 Sesquicentennial Celebration book which contained the history of all the parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland.
The pictures below are from the December 13, 1959 Booklet "Dedication of the new Holy Trinity Church" and the August 17, 1986 75th Anniversary Booklet. You can click on the picture to make it bigger.
History of Holy Trinity Parish, Barberton, Ohio, 1911-2007
Around 1900---A decade after O.C. Barber, the founder of the Diamond Match Company, settled in the area, the first Hungarian-Catholic families arrived in Barberton, Ohio. John and Catherine Szemon and their children came to Barberton and opened a tavern on Wolf Street, where area workers came to socialize. When a Hungarian priest was in the area, the community also celebrated Mass there. The fledgling Hungarian community soon established a number of mutual aid societies. In 1907, seven Hungarian women, recognizing the potential disaster brought on by illness or injury, established the Saint Elizabeth Sick Aid Society. Two years later, the community organized the Barberton Branch of the Saint Stephen Society---the predecessor of the American Hungarian Catholic Society. These two societies were joined by a third organization, the Saint Joseph Society, in July 1910. At its January 1, 1911 meeting, the Saint Joseph Society proposed purchasing the former German Lutheran church on First Street NW. With the financial assistance of the Saint Elizabeth and Saint Stephen Societies, a seven member delegation from the Saint Joseph Society made an initial payment on the church on January 21, 1911. Eight days later, Barberton’s Hungarian-Catholics met to elect officers of the new church.
Still too small to support a pastor, the community welcomed a number of visiting priests, including Father Oscar Szilagyi, Father Emil Egner, Father Oscar Solymos, and Father Peter Popovich---a Greek-Catholic priest, Father Francis Denes, and Father Nador Pupinsky. Father Denes later returned to Barberton, this time as the first pastor of the newly formed Holy Trinity parish. His pastorate, however, was short lived, as he soon returned to Hungary. Recognizing the commitment of Barberton’s Hungarian-Catholic community, Bishop Joseph Schrembs searched for a second pastor, finally selecting Father Joseph Toth, OFM. Father Toth ministered to the spiritual needs of the community until the spring of 1924, when fellow Franciscan, Father Lawrence Biro from Erdely, Hungary arrived in Barberton. Recognizing the inadequacies of the first Holy Trinity Church, Father Biro turned to his parishioners with proposal for a new church. The next month, the Saint Stephen Society presented the first Hungarian play in Barberton, the first in a series of performances, the proceeds from which were used to establish a building fund for the new church. Father Biro, however did not see the completion of the project being transferred to South Bend, Indiana in April 1927. His successor, Father Athanasius Kovacs, assured the parish he would complete the work begun by Father Biro.
On July 1, 1928, the parish purchased land for the new church and school on Wooster Road North. With the onset of the Great Depression, however, money became scarce and work on the building was postponed until September 1932. By Passion Sunday 1933, the building had progressed sufficiently to allow the parish to celebrate its first Mass in the basement of the church. On May 30, 1933, Auxiliary Bishop James A. McFadden dedicated the new Holy Trinity Church. It was in the basement church that the community endured the trying times of the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the first of the Cold War’s Iron Curtain. After serving the Holy Trinity community for over 25 years, Father Kovacs died of cancer on December 28, 1952.
The parish’s next pastor, Father Nicholas Dengl, OFM, received permission from Archbishop Edward F. Hoban to complete the church. In August 1959 Father Dengl celebrated Mass for the first time in the upper church. That same year, Holy Trinity School opened with three Sisters of the Divine Redeemer from Elizabeth, Pennsylvania and one lay teacher. On December 13, 1959, the new Holy Trinity Church was dedicated. Upon Father Dengl’s 1964 elevation to Custos of the Franciscan Order in Youngstown, Ohio, the parish welcomed a new pastor, Father Baan Vitez, OFM. During Father Vitez’s pastorate, the parish constructed a new brick convent, remodeled the church sanctuary to comply with the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, and installed new stained-glass windows in the front of the church. In 1973, Father Vitez left the parish.
During the pastorate of this successor, Father George Meszaros, OFM, the parish addressed its growing financial problems. On May 30, 1974, Holy Trinity parish was honored with a visit from Cardinal Joseph Mindszeny, advocate for religious and political rights, who had been imprisoned by Hungary’s Communist government. Departing in June 1976, Father Meszaros left the community in the capable hands of Fathers Nicholas Dengl, OFM and Carl Ciprian, OFM, who together worked towards the retirement of the parish dept. During the early 1980’s, the parish welcomed a number of pastors, including Fathers John Domotor, OFM, Father Charles Reuter, OFM, and Father Kalman Miskolczy, OFM. In 1983, Father Ciprian returned to the parish. With its enrollment, dropping, Holy Trinity School closed in June 1986. The parish continued to uphold the religious and social traditions of its Hungarian-Catholic founders until Father Carl Ciprian retired in July 2007. The parish’s final Mass with Bishop Richard Lennon was celebrated on Sunday, September 2, 2007.
1924-1927 Fr. Laurence Biro
1927-1952 Fr. Anthansius Kovacs
1953-1964 Fr. Nicholas Dengl
1964-1973 Fr. Baan Vitez
1973-1976 Fr. George Meszaros
1976-1978 Fr. Nicholas Dengl
1978-1980 Fr. Carl Ciprian
1980-1980 Fr. Nicholas Dengl
1980-1982 Fr. Charles Reuter
1982-1983 Fr. Kalman Miskolczy
1983-2007 Fr. Carl Ciprian
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