An Apostle to the Slovak Immigrants

Between 1870 and 1920 some 650,000 Slovak immigrants came to the United States. A largely Catholic population, they had 241 parishes by 1930. Today marks the death of an early leader of the Slovak community, Father Stephen Furdek (1855-1915), the first Slovak priest in America. Born in Slovakia, he volunteered for the Diocese of Cleveland, which had a growing Slovak and Czech population. When he was ordained in 1882, Cleveland had a few Czech parishes, but no Slovak. In 1885 he started Cleveland’s first Slovak parish, St. Ladislas. He started the St. Stephen Society, a fraternal benefits society that provided for accidents, sickness, and life insurance. In 1890 he organized the First Catholic Slovak Union to promote the community’s interests on a nationwide level. He founded and edited its journal, Jednota. In 1892 he helped organize another benefits society, the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association. A prolific author, Father Furdek wrote many books and pamphlets in Slovak, and created a textbook for Slovak students.
"This made my day! I am researching my family history - my Grandmother was one ..."

Old Catholic Stuff
"Another interesting bio, Pat! Did the same grandmother who had him baptized also teach him ..."

Louis Armstrong’s Catholic Roots
"Young women who became nurses, nuns or both continued to emigrate from all parts of ..."

“Angel of the Battlefield”: Sister Anthony ..."
"I lived at 175 MacDougal St. just past Hopkinson Ave."

Extreme Parish Makeover: Lourdes Edition
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment