Saint John the Baptist
Byzantine Catholic Church

Our History


The first Greek Catholics, latter called Byzantine Catholics, arrive from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Minneapolis. 


The first Divine Liturgy is celebrated in private home in Northeast Minneapolis by Fr. Ivan Wolansky


Fr. Wolansky Visits and Celebrated the Divine Liturgy numerous times.



The first church is built. the Church is dedicated to the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, commonly called St. Mary's.

 Archbishop John Ireland writes Rome informing the Pope of the presence of Byzantine Catholic in the United States.



Bishop Nyiarady of Presov sends Fr. Alxis Toth as the first resident pastor.



St. Mary's is blessed by Fr. John Wolanski.



Fr. Toth and most of the members of St. Mary's enter into communion with the Russian Orthodox Church.



New waves of immigrants begin moving to Northeast Minneapolis either directly from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Empire and via New Jersey and Pennsylvania.



Greek Catholics who remained in the Catholic Communion and new arrivals begin worshiping at St Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church and other local Roman Catholic Churches.



The Brotherhood of St. John the Baptist is established. This group quickly evolves into the St. Johnís Greek Catholic Union Lodge No. 300. 

At the request of the Astro-Hungarian Empire, St Pius X, Pope of Rome sends Fr. Alexander Hodobey from the Eparchy of Presov to visit the Greek Catholic communities in the United Sates



Fr. Eugenij Volkay Celebrates Divine Liturgy and hears confessions at St Cyrilís Slovak Roman Catholic Church.

Fr. Hodobey visits the Archbishop of St Paul, Minneapolis concerning the Byzantine Catholics of the region.

At the recommendation of Fr. Hodobey, the support by Archbishop John Ireland, and the financial support of the Austro-Hungarian Empire for three years it is agreed to establish a Greek Catholic parish in Minneapolis.

Members of the St Johnís Loge purchased 5 lots and a house on 3rd street NE.

 The first Divine Liturgy is celebrated in the house.

A wooden Church is purchased from Holy Cross Polish Catholic Church and moved to 3rd Street.

November 28, Thanksgiving Day, St John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church is established with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. The community consists of 23 households.



Fr. Sotor Ortinsky is named bishop for the Byzantine Catholics in the United States.

Bishop Soter Ortinsky OSBM assigns Fr. Ivan Zaklynsky as the first Pastor.



Fr. Volodymyr Stech is assigned pastor.

May, Bishop Soter Ortinsky blesses the first church.

June, the articles of incorporation are signed by Bishop Soter, Fr. Volodymyr and the Archbishop of St. Paul, Minneapolis. 

The parish grows to 93 households.



St. Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church is established by 20 families from St Johnís.



The present rectory is built.



The Byzantine Catholic Exarchate of Pittsburgh is established assuming complete jurisdiction of all Greek Catholics in the United States. Fr. Basil Takach is ordained as the first bishop.

St Johns is transferred from protection of the local Roman Catholic Diocese to the Greek Catholic Exarchate of Pittsburgh. 

The parish begins building current church.



Parish completes the new church building.

The first Divine Liturgy in the new church is celebrated in May.



English begins to be used in worship services.



Sviatoslav Hordinsky is commissioned to write the icons in the sanctuary and the icons that will become the main icons in the icon screen.



The Holy See establishes the Eparchy of Pittsburgh as an Archeparchy with complete and full jurisdiction in the United States.



Archbishop Nicholas Elko promulgates an English translation of the Divine Liturgy for use in all parishes in the United States.



June 23, the Holy see erects the Eparchy of Parma Ohio, St. Johnís becomes a member the new eparchy. Fr. Elmil Mihalik is ordained the first Bishop.



Following the directives of the Second Vatican Council the interior of the church is remodeled to the conform to the spiritual and theological tradition of the Byzantine Church.