Sunday, March 14, 2010

SS. Cyril & Methodius must be Remembered

baptismal font. SS. Cyril and Methodius. Lakewood, Ohio.

On the bronze cover of the baptismal font, supra, there are statues of the two sainted brothers of Thessalonica. A scallop shell cascades four rivers of baptismal water. There are four circles, each with three of the lands north and east of Greece, representing where the two baptised lands and nations:
The two brothers, the monk Cyril †869 (also known as Constantine the Theologian), and the bishop Metod †885/9 first came to Moravia, roughly the center of the slavonic nations, in 863. They had previously been called by the khazars to be missionaries. Cyril was the first to capture slavonic words with gilded letters, and this work, and his brother's, made a literate and christian people of the slavs. In this they were hindered, accused, and imprisoned by germans, a king and bishops. Repeatedly, Rome and a series of popes approved the brothers. John Paul II, in 1980, made them co-patrons of Europe, for they are symbolic of the unity of east and west.

Now, across the ocean sea in the english speaking land of America, in the Diocese of Cleveland, there had been three parishes, of the name — Saints Cyril and Methodius. That was true a year ago to-day (when Lennon announced his list), at this very hour — there are none.

Before the arrival of Dickie the Destroyer of Parishes Lennon there were, amongst others, seven hungarian (magyar) parishes, there will be one left according to his plan; there were seven slovak parishes, there will be only one remaining slovak church. It was SS. Cyril and Methodius (the Apostles to the Slavs, or as our eastern brothers say — the Equals of the Apostles) in Lakewood, it shall be called ‘Transfiguration’ parish, now. There had been another ‘Transfiguration’ parish in Cleveland. It burned down after George H.W. Bush had campaigned there.

‘Transfiguration’ is a feast within the church, it was an epiphany of the true glory of Jesus before the apostles, and in the company of the prophets. But, it is a sardonic sarcasm employed by Lennon as he transfigures parishes according to his wont. Much of the hierarchy of this country has been of this prejudice to homogenise parishes to their ‘model’. It is of great visibility here. It is a campaign of suppression, a cleansing of ethnicity, the eventual complete eradication of ethnic parishes. The majority of Lennons parish reductions are nationality parishes. Many, if not most, having liquid assets, valuable properties, and no debt.

Cyril and Methodius is not being suppressed, it is being merged with Saint Rose of Lima. St. Rose has debt, now that debt will be Transfigurations to pay off. There are several parishes that have debt, and are remaining open. Some of that debt is made up of diocesan assessments, payable to the bishop. The latest pastor of Saint Rose is to be the pastor of ‘Transfiguration’. He shares much ideology with Lennon.

The pastor of Cyril and Methodius wants the slovak members of ‘Transfiguration’ to cling to their slovak heritage, and fly their flag on the pole next to the american flag. Across the street, the polish parish, Saint Hedwig, was suppressed and its monies, and patrimony reverted to the chancery. Some members of Hedwigs parish took welcome refuge at Cyril and Methodius. The pastor of Cyril and Methodius wants the polish members of ‘Transfiguration’ to cling to their polish heritage, and fly their flag on the new pole, which he bought, next to the pole with the american flag.

Saint Hedwig had monies in the low seven digits, to the left of the decimal. Lennon said at Sacred Heart, Akron, “the money follows the people”.* He was also reminded of this.
Supra: a mural (by Jozef Cincík) of the Scriptures in slavonic, a translation by Saints Cyril and Methodius. One of many murals on the lives of the sainted brothers on the church walls in Lakewood, Ohio. It is a nightmare and a thought in the minds of many, that these artworks, that tell of the faith and history of this christian people, might one day be whitewashed into oblivion. May all help preserve the story of Cyril and Methodius and their charges.
*in the youtube clip between 6.53 and 7.16
addendum 10 May 2010: of course, those who loved St. Rose of Lima parish suffered a greater loss than those of Cyril and Methodius in Lakewood. That does need to be recognised. The primary thesis of the essay is that which is represented by SS.
Cyril and Methodius is being purposely and systematically suppressed.


  1. Everyone that I know at St Cyril & Methodius was so sad to see Fr Duke transferred. He only has 2 yrs to go until retirement, so why transfer him now? Makes no sense...and of course the bishop offers no explanation. He just gives his decision and we are to follow. Same with the name of the parish. The bishop asked us for 3 name choices...Transfiguration was NOT one of the top 3 voted on by the 2 parishes that were forced to merge. It was the bishop's choice. More proof that he really doesn't care what the people want. And now we get to take on St Rose's debt, which I have heard rumored is around $2 million. Interesting that he didn't merge us with St Hedwigs even though they are right across the street...and they have money in the bank. All about the money.

  2. How about a little bit of remembrance for St. Rose as well? It had it's own history and will be missed by many.

  3. I agree with everything the first person posted. I had been a member of Sts. Cyril & Methodius my entire life (over 50 years). This whole situation has made me leave the parish permanently and possibly the Catholic religion.

    To the second poster, I believe that all of the members of the former Sts. Cyril & Methodius Parish understand how much St Roses is missed by those who loved it and it's history and wish that you did not have to go through your parish closing.

  4. Thank you for posting these photos. I'm afraid that by the next time I get to visit the church all these special things are going to be gone. I just don't understand the point of taking away all the things that make Ss. C&M special.

  5. Pam Gaurich, Russellton PAFebruary 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM

    I have many fond memories of St. Cyril & Methodius Parish. My mom's cousin Susan Hudak, her brother George and their sister, Sister Mary Rock (Sisters of Notre Dame from Chardon) from Halstead Avenue was a long time member. As a child growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, we often visited them and attended your church. Although I was just a child, I thought that it was the most beautiful church that I had ever been in. I haven't been in the Lakewood area since Susan passed away and attended the funeral mass there but I wanted you to know that I feel your loss. I was working at our corporate office in Bedford Heights and thought that I woukd look up where I might find Sister Rock and I was very fortunate to call the parish and find out where she was located. I was very blessed that they were able to help me out.