Prince of Peace parish came into existence with the merging of St. Mary(Polish) and Sacred Heart(Slovenian) parish communities in Barberton after several years of prayerful discussions. Both faith communities recognized that times and circumstances had changed since their founding as ethnic communities, that both shared much in common, and that each would be enriched by the other's faith, traditions, customs, and gifts.
On July 1, 2002, the two parishes became Prince of Peace Parish Community of Faith and a new era and a new witness to the workings of Divine Providence began.
Father Richard Arko, administrator of both parishes, was appointed pastor by Bishop Anthony Pilla on March 25, 2003 and installed on May 30, 2003 by Bishop Martin Amos.
Father Robert H. Jackson was installed as pastor on Sunday, August 22, 2004 by Bishop Martin Amos.
Below follows each individual parish's history:
Other Parishes: Prince of Peace has also welcomed people from other nearby parishes that have closed recently: Holy Trinity, St. George-Clinton, and Ss. Cyril & Methodius. Below are pictures of the area in our Prince of Peace church vestibule that remembers these churches and their special heritage:
The Hungarian Parish in Barberton, Holy Trinity, celebrated their last Mass on Sunday, September 2, 2007 with Bishop Richard Lennon. A number of their parishioners joined Prince of Peace. A brief history of Holy Trinity can be found at this link: Holy Trinity(1911-2007)
Stained Glass Window St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Prince of Peace's new addition
The Slovak Parish in Barberton, Ss. Cyril and Methodius, celebrated their last Mass on Sunday, June 14, 2009 with Bishop Richard Lennon. A number of their parishioners joined Prince of Peace. A brief history of Ss. Cyril and Methodius can be found at this link: Ss. Cyril and Methodius(1906-2009)
Stained Glass Window in Prince of Peace's new addition from Ss. Cyril & Methodius
Sacred Heart began with Slovenian Catholics from Barberton and Kenmore forming a committee to establish their own parish. On January 7, 1917, Bishop John Farrelly had given his approval and the parish was named Sacred Heart of Jesus. The first Mass was held on March 21 at Saints Cyril and Methodius Church and then at a rented hall on 15th Street at W. Tuscarawas Avenue.
In February 1922, architectural work began for a church located on the North side of Hopocan Avenue between 15th and 16th Street, N.W. The first Mass, in the new wooden church, was at Midnight on Christmas of 1922. The depression was a trying time as many were unemployed. The church helped by providing food, coal and transportation for children to attend religion classes.
On October 19, 1941, ground breaking began on the new, second, brick church located at the North East corner of Hopocan Avenue and 16th Street(next to the old church). The new church was dedicated on August 9, 1942 and the old church was converted into a hall.
Old Sacred Heart Churches: 1922 and 1941:
Pictures of the Interior of the 1942 Church taken in 1975
Click on Picture to Make it Larger
In 1951, eleven acres of land was purchased on Shannon Ave. at 29th St. N.W. A school building was started here in 1959. The school opened in September of 1960, remained open until June, 1971, when it closed. Parishioners volunteered to help in the building of a new rector on Shannon Avenue which began in 1970. Construction began on the third church on June 6, 1975 and was finished in December. The first Mass was at Midnight on Christmas, 53 years after the first Mass in the first church. The new church was dedicated on June 13, 1976. In the spring of 1979, a picnic pavilion was added to the parish grounds.
Sacred Heart had two native sons of the parish become ordained as priests. Fr. John Kumse was ordained in June of 1979 and Fr. John Valencheck in May of 1998.
Sacred Heart was officially closed on June 30, 2002.
Sacred Heart's Pastor's:
Saint Mary's, a Polish church was originally named the Church of Immaculate Conception, however, it was literally translated to St. Mary's. A group of 30 families were willing to start the church. A small wooden church was erected on the east side of 21st Street, N.W. at Columbus Avenue. The first Mass was celebrated on Christmas Day, 1913. A priest was available only on Sunday and for many years the Church was more or less considered a mission church. This was a hard time for the church.
Two lots and a house were purchased in 1921 at the South West corner of 21st Street and Tuscarawas Avenue. Priests were short term, money was short and the hard times continued. In March of 1933, Father Joseph Napierkowski was assigned as pastor. Through his efforts and cooperation on the part of parishioners, the Bishop granted permission to relocate the church to the two lots on the corner at Tuscarawas Avenue. Due to the depression, many of the parishioners were unemployed. They started the relocation task on July 26, 1933. The new church was dedicated in November 1933. This was the site of the church until it's closing. Work continued on the hall, in the basement and also enlarging of the main altar. In 1935, the debt was paid off.
Saint Mary's was always a small parish., However, the love of God and the cooperation between various organizations and parishioners shows the dedication of the church and the interest in keeping the parish alive. The hard working parishioners are an example of the power of love and perseverance.
St. Mary's Church was officially closed on June 30, 2002.
Stained Glass Window in Prince of Peace's new addition from St. Mary, Barberton.
Saint Mary's Pastors:
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