- Church: (304) 296-2455
- Website: https://holyprotectionwv.com
Reverend James Fraser IV
2115 Listravia AvenueMorgantown, WV. 26505 Get Directions
At the turn of the century, the steel mills of West Virginia were an attractive enticement to recent European immigrants. They beckoned the newcomers to journey to this part of the country, offering hope for a stable life for the families that would join its forces. It was in this industrial environment that Holy Protection of the Mother of God parish was formed. While the new immigrants began to establish roots and raise families in their new home, they realized that there was one important part of heir lives missing – a church of their own. In 1915 approximately 100 people began to organize under the leadership of Reverend Theophile Zatkovich to form what would become the parish often simply referred to as “St. Marys.” In 1918 this dedicated group of pioneers undertook the project of building a permanent church structure – the same edifice that continues to serve the faithful of the parish to this very day.
The young parish would face many trying times but always emerged strengthened in their dedication to the church. Their founding pastor would remain with them until 1923; he later would become the first chancellor of the newly-created Exarchate of Pittsburgh. In the years that followed, the people would see numerous pastors come and go. To date, 26 pastors, many of whom were non-resident, have served the parish. Despite the numerous transitions and uncertainties, the parish continued to grow and flourish.
In the early 1970s the church would lose a great deal of its property and its rectory to what is presently Interstate 68. In 1972 a rectory was added onto the church structure and a hall was built underneath it. In 1983 the original dome of the church was replaced with an “onion” dome that can be seen from I-68. Between the late 1980s and early 1990s, a ramp was constructed for handicapped accessibility and a vestibule added to the front of the church. Most recently, the parish completed a hall addition that enhances the original facilities and provides more spacious accommodations for social gatherings.