Saint Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church Toronto, OH

Contact Details

  • Rectory:

    Pastor: Reverend John Kapitan Jr. OFM


Saint Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church

814 Fifth Street

Toronto, OH. 43964 Get Directions
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At its inception, St. Joseph Church was composed primarily of Rusyn immigrants. Their desire to have their own church in their newly adopted country was realized with plans initiated by St. Joseph Lodge No. 194 of the Greek Catholic Union. Under the leadership of three men – John Demko, Joseph Feczko and Michael Tulencik – the new parish officially was organized on May 27, 1901. Property was purchased (which is still its present site), and work on the building progressed rapidly, concluding in January 1902. A new altar was installed a few months later. The installation of three new bells in the tower completed the edifice. Although the parish was administered by various priests from the tri-state area until 1905, a rectory and a small school building already were in the process of construction. Over the next twenty years, 14 priests served at St. Joseph Church. In 1935, Father John C. Muraida was appointed as pastor. Substantial repairs and renovations were made to the interior and exterior of the church. A solemn blessing of the redecorated church took place on July 12, 1942. A few days later, a service flag in honor of the more than 150 young men of the parish who served in World War II was dedicated. In 1952, the parish again honored their own who had served in the Armed Forces by erecting and dedicating an outdoor statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven, as a memorial. In the 60th anniversary year, a drive to build a new church was initiated. The cornerstone was placed on July 2, 1961, and the dedication took place on June 3, 1962. A small parish social center was built on the church grounds in 1963. The architecture is in the traditional Byzantine style; the icon screen is designed in a more contemporary style. Completion of the interior decoration was delayed until funds were available. In 1974, the long awaited interior decoration of the church was completed. The overall theme presented Byzantine styles of art as expressed by our people in America. The main altar is made entirely of white marble with green veining, and is nearly square in character. The tabernacle is satin-finished bronze, as are the other appointments. The baldacchino was designed with arching lines and depictions of the choirs of angels. Above that, the icon of Christ Pantocrator dominates the center of the sanctuary wall. The main arch above the sanctuary shows the symbols of the twelve apostles and is dominated by the words, “GOD IS WITH US.” This theme is appropriate, as St. Joseph is the patron of the church and a prominent and intimate figure in the Nativity of Christ. “God is With Us” is the sentiment of this prayer community which strives to uphold their Byzantine Catholic traditions and continues to offer their testimony of faith in God. Alternate Contact: Joseph Brem 604 N. River Avenue Toronto, OH 43964 740-537-4578