Saint John the Baptist
Byzantine Catholic Church

Our History

1877

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


1884

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


1884-1888

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

 

1887

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.

 

1888

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

 

1889

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

 

1891

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

 

1891-1900

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.

 

1891

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.

 

1902

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

 

1906

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.

 

1907

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.

 

1908

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.

 

1912

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

 

1917

The present rectory is built.

 

1923

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.

 

1927

Parish completes the new church building.

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

 

1940ís

English begins to be used in worship services.

 

1958

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

 

1963

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

 

1966

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

 

1969

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.

 

1992

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.