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For many years prior to the organization of St. Vitus Parish, there were approximately 250 Croatian Catholic families living in Lorain, Ohio. As early as 1908, they petitioned Bishop Ignatius F. Horstmann for their own parish and began raising funds for the church. Fourteen years elapsed before the long anticipated parish was established. In 1922, Bishop Joseph Schrembs appointed Father Joseph Medin first pastor of St. Vitus Parish. Father Medin and his parishioners celebrated their first Mass together on November 1, 1922 at St. John Church.


Statue Pedestal

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For some time, Masses continued to be celebrated there. On October 17, 1924, Bishop Schrembs dedicated the current St. Vitus Church, a red brick, Romanesque-style building with a bell tower. Father Medin lived in an apartment on Oakdale Avenue until he purchased a home next to the church. He served the community until 1931, when he was succeeded by Father V. J. Vukonic. Four years after joining St. Vitus Parish, Father Vukonic turned over its administration to Father Joseph P. Matun, who served as pastor until May 1, 1952. On that date, the community welcomed its current pastor, Father Simon J. Nekic. During the next four decades, the parish population dropped from 735 to approximately 300 members. While its numbers are small, the faith and pride of St. Vitus Parish remain strong. As the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary, Lorain's Croatian Catholic community honors the sacrifice and strength of its founding families.

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