Hungarian Americans of Cleveland

Cleveland Press Articles

St. Elizabeth's Church Given Papal Blessing

Plain Dealer, Dec 14 1942

The special blessing of Pope Pius XII was bestowed on the priests and parishioners of St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, E. 90th Street and Buckeye Road S. E., yesterday's they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the parish.

A telegram from Archbishop Amleto Giovannia Cicognani, apostolic delegate to the United States, read to the congregation by Auxiliary Bishop James A. McFadden, said:

"The Holy Father is deeply grateful for expressions of loyalty and attachment of the priests and people of St. Elizabeth's Hungarian Parish on the occasion of its golden jubilee. With paternal interest in their spiritual welfare, he gladly imparts special apostolic benediction, as a reward for past and encouragement for the future.

"To these wishes of his holiness I gladly join my personal felicitations and good wishes."

Bishop McFadden was the celebrant of solemn pontifical mass in the church at 10 a.m. He was assisted by two natives of the parish-Rev. Joseph Toth of Cleveland, as deacon, and Rev. Peter Bartko of Oak Forest, Ill., as sub-deacon. Msgr. Vincent B. Balmat, vice chancellor of the Diocese of Cleveland, was master of ceremonies.

Msgr. Andrew Koller, pastor of St. Margaret's Church, preached the golden jubilee sermon, in which he paid tribute to the loyalty of Hungarians to the Catholic Church.

Bishop McFadden, in a brief talk, said the parish had a record of which it could be proud. He said that in the 50 years of its existence the parish had had but three pastors-Msgr. Charles Boehm, a native of Hungary, founder of the parish; Rev. Julius Szepessy, and Msgr. Emory Tanos, who has been serving there since 1927. The present Romanesque Baroque edifice was built in the pastorate of Father Szepessy.

Msgr. Tanos was toastmaster at a banquet in the parish hall yesterday afternoon. Among the speakers were Msgr. Elmer Eordogh, pastor of St. Stephen's Church, Toledo; Mayor Frank J. Lausche and Bishop McFadden.

Msgr. Eordogh said Msgr. Boehm came to the United States from Hungary 50 years ago after Msgr. Felix M. Boff, then administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland, had appealed to church officials in Hungary to send a priest to minister to the large Hungarian population of Cleveland. From the parish founded by Msgr. Boehm 19 other parishes over the country have stemmed, Msgr. Eordogh said.

Mayor Lausche paid tribute to the patriotism of the Clevelanders pf Hungarian ancestry. He said there was a symbol of that spirit in Mrs. Elizabeth Hegedus, 2662 E. 87th Street, who has seven sons in the armed services of the United States. The parish has an enrollment of more than 500 in the fighting forces.

Bishop McFadden spoke of the history of the parish. He said that in his younger days as an assistant pastor of St. Agnes' Church he had known Msgr. Boehm. He said they had met frequently as they visited the sick in old St. Luke's Hospital, now Polyclinic Hospital.