Our Lady of Hungary
Our Church History
Our Church History…
Our Lady of Hungary Parish, began as a mission church of St. Stephen’s Parish in 1916 when St. Stephen’s Pastor, Reverend Lawrence Horvath, built a church for Our Lady at Catalpa Street near Prairie Avenue.
The spiritual needs of the people were administered by Reverend Paul Miller, a Notre Dame priest who came on Sundays to conduct services and administer the Sacraments. All records until December 1921 were kept at St. Stephen’s.
In December of 1921, the Right Reverend Herman Alerding, Bishop of Fort Wayne, appointed Reverend Geza Gyorfy as Pastor at the mission and gave him the task of establishing a parish. Our Lady was an independent parish from that time. The new parish was not to be a national parish so a non Hungarian priest was appointed to assist. This was the Reverend Charles Scholl.
In 1923 when the Studebaker Corporation purchased the church grounds, the church building was moved to its present location on West Calvert Street. The rectory was built in 1924 and the new offices were added in 1968. In 1927 the school and the Sisters’ home were built. The Daughters of Divine Charity (F.D.C.) taught at our school for many years. To view a list of all the Sisters who spent many years working with the good priests, wonderful people and fine students at Our Lady of Hungary Parish from 1927 – 1993, click here.
Father John Sabo, who had been as assistant since 1930, succeeded Father Gyorfy as Pastor when Father Gyorfy retired because of ill health in 1935 and was assigned to a small parish in Gary, Indiana. Father Sabo was ordained on June 14th, 1930 and officially became Pastor on January 26, 1935. Later Father Sabo became Monsignor John S. Sabo and continued to be Our Lady of Hungary’s pastor until he retired in 1980. Monsignor Sabo was born on January 21, 1905 and was called back to heaven on April 8, 1991.
Ground was broken for the present church in 1948, and it was dedicated on December 18, 1949. First services were held on Christmas 1949, though the church was not complete.
The newly-formed choir of Our Lady, under the direction of its founder Professor Carl Matthes, sang an original mass written by the Professor for the occasion: “The Mass of the Our Lady of Hungary.”
Stations of the Cross painted especially for the church were done by Mrs. Elizabeth Kormendi and donated by the artist of the church, as was a statue of Christ the Light of the World, the model for the one in Washington D.C. This was sculptured by the late Eugene Kormendi, St. Michael was placed on the Purple Heart Memorial Tower on the south side of the church.
In the Tower, we have a stained glass window in memory of our men in service in World War 1. The insignia of all the units are in this window.
The Rose window is of Christ the King. One of the panels in one of the lights is a parishioner.
The windows in the sacristy represent our pastors and two of the assistants who served our parish for many years. Father Geza Gyorfy, Pastor from 1921 to 1935; Father Martin Horvath, an assistant at Our Lady from 1943 to 1962; Monsignor John S. Sabo, Pastor who served from 1935 to ; and Father Anthony Molnar, assistant from 1958 to 1967.
In 1961 a priest from Rome, Father Peter Prokop, was brought to the parish and painted the frescoes which now dominate the front of the church. the altar piece is a Triptych – of Our Patroness – with scenes of Her life on the wings. The large frescoes around the altar represent the 150th psalm. The pilasters, the four evangelists, the two flat surfaces are, one St. Emeric to show that the Americas have the name of a saint. St. Emeric, St. Amerigo or Americus. The other, the Sacred Heart, showing Our Lord’s love, is a masterpiece. The windows are the saints of the Canon of the mass. All 39 are included, plus a few because of local interest, these are St. Stephen, St. Emeric, St. Elizabeth and St. Anthony, the Patron of a large segment of the parish from Burgenland in Austria.
Our Lady of Hungary Parish has three rooms available for hire . . .
which can accommodate receptions, reunions and other ceremonies. The School Auditorium (below) has a seating capacity of 270.
A smaller room located in the school can seat 50 people. Bar and Kitchen facilities are available. Catering services will also be available soon. Please contact the Rectory for more information.
The church also has a mid-sized community room (below), ‘The Monsignor Sabo Room’, which can seat 80 people. This room also has kitchen facilities available. Plenty of parking is available to the halls, and a handicap ramp is available in the school.
A wedding is a divine, worship service. In planning a church wedding you are wisely choosing to ask our Lord’s blessings on your marriage and to have it sanctified by his Word and prayer. He alone has instituted marriage and is able to bless and preserve it. By asking Jesus to be present at your wedding you are beginning a marriage centered in Christ and his Word.
Father will be pleased to assist you in planning your wedding service and preparing you through Christ’s Word for this important event in your lives.
You must make arrangements at least 6 months in advance.
Parish Ministries and Organizations
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist the celebrant in distributing the precious Body and Blood of the Lord. Ministers’ responsibilities also include cleaning the vessels and maintaining the sacristy after Mass. Training is provided for all new ministers.
Lectors proclaim the Sacred Scripture at Mass. They aresponsible for ensuring they are familiar with the scripture readings they are proclaiming. Lectors will be scheduled regularly according to the Mass they attend. Training is provided for all new ministers. All returning ministers are responsible for attending a yearly retreat or spiritual day of reflection.
Altar Servers assist the priest with sincere respect, reverence, and attention throughout the liturgy. Training is provided for all new servers.
The music ministry at Our Lady of Hungary Parish is an extremely versatile one. Traditional hymns, contemporary songs, mariachi and todos los cantos de la iglesia en español form the vibrant musical tapestry that is Our Lady of Hungary. Read below to find out more about this exciting ministry!
Music for the Sunday morning Mass is provided by the Our Lady of Hungary Choir under the direction of Sharon Priemer & Jim Bankowski . The adult choir sings every Sunday throughout the liturgical year. We are always seeking new members to join our group. If interested, feel free to stop upstairs after Mass with inquiries or simply come to our rehearsal Wednesday evenings from 6PM-7:30PM in the loft.
We are blessed to have a plethora of Spanish musicians who are called to serve Our Lady in song. Led by Cristian Gonzalez, all groups meet once a week in the church to practice. To be a part of this group, please join us on Thursday evenings from 6:00PM-8:00PM to pray and prepare music for Mass.
Our Lady of Hungary Parish and School has many fine organizations that have brought parishioners together for many years and have also raised needed funds to keep our Parish alive. Please contact the rectory if you would be interested in learning more about these wonderful organizations: