Infant Jesus of Prague Byzantine Catholic Church Boardman, OH

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Infant Jesus of Prague Byzantine Catholic Church

7754 South Avenue

Boardman, OH. 44512 Get Directions
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History

Originally dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul,·Infant Jesus of Prague Church began in 1907 when a group of Struthers, Ohio residents purchased property there for a future church at 111 Frank Street.· These Byzantine Catholics attended St. Mary Church and later, St. Nicholas Church in Youngstown until their own church finally was erected in 1917.· Father Anthony Mhley was the first itinerant pastor of this new church.· The first resident pastor was Father Peter Racz, and it was under his administration that a rectory was built.

In 1946, Father Emil J. Mihalik was appointed pastor.· During his administration the church was remodeled.· Father Mihalik was responsible for promoting the establishment of the Byzantine Catholic Central School, which would serve five parishes of the Youngstown area.· Father Mihalik also was instrumental in employing the talents of the Sister Servants of Mary to staff the school, which was built in 1954 on Youngstown-Poland Road.

Father George B. Petro was assigned to SS. Peter and Paul Church in 1958.·· Because many parishioners were moving to the suburbs, Father Petro recognized the necessity of moving the church to a more favorable location.· Under his guidance, a 115-acre site was purchased on South Avenue in Boardman, and a new church was built in 1970.· Along with a new physical church came a new parish name: Infant Jesus of Prague.

In 1982, a new 30-foot high dome was built above the original roof.· This dome was topped by a 20-foot high drum and “onion” dome.

In 1990, Monsignor Alexis Mihalik was appointed pastor.· Under his guidance, the interior of the church was remodeled to effect conformity with the liturgical prescriptions of the Byzantine Catholic Church.· Along with a chandelier and iconography adorning church walls, a one-tiered red oak icon screen was installed and a matching tetrapod was purchased, both of which were carved in Greece.

Former pastor Father Christopher R. Burke, with guidance from now-retired Monsignor Mihalik, oversaw restorative work to the church in 2010. In August 2011, a mosaic icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was transferred from the Byzantine Catholic Central School (which closed in 2009) in nearby Poland, Ohio to Infant Jesus of Prague Church. The mosaic was moved and restored by Eikona Studios of Cleveland, and funded by generous donations from parishioners and parish organizations.