In loving memory of Albert Charles Cybulski

Fund Type: Memorial Donations

St. Clairsville, OH

Fundraiser ends on January 13, 2023

Any donation is greatly appreciated in Albert's name. He was a member of this church and it meant a lot to them.

Please consider a donation in Albert's memory. The church was so important to him and his late wife, Lu. 

The following is the history of St. Mary in St. Clairsville:

St. Mary’s is most of all its people. Their story is its story. In the early 1900’s, St. Clairsville was a small county seat and a few shops along National Road (the old Zane Trace or Cumberland Trail), on the hilltop ten miles west of the Ohio River. There were few Catholics in St. Clairsville in those days, although many lived in the small coal mining communities nearby, such as Provident—whose small church served the Catholics of St. Clairsville.

It was quite a leap of faith when, in 1922, Bishop James J. Hartley assigned to Father Joseph Kloss the task of buying property in St. Clairsville and planning a church. Father Kloss purchased a house on West Main Street and it served as rectory and a temporary place for the few Catholics to attend Mass. In 1929 Father Kloss was transferred to Wolfhurst, and the building of a church in St. Clairsville was accomplished during the pastorate of Father Stephen Gassman. It was dedicated in 1930 to Our Lady of Peace, signifying the hope for cordial relationships between this new parish of some 50 families and the community.
Father Gassman died in 1939 and was succeeded by Father William Byrne. In 1944 the Diocese of Steubenville was established—to include St. Clairsville. Father Byrne resigned in 1954 due to poor health and was succeeded by Father Gregory Palma. It was he who acquired the present rectory and had it renovated to include offices and upstairs living quarters. It was also Father Palma who, in the fifties, founded St. Mary’s School, in the Troll home, which stood directly behind the present main building. The new building was constructed and dedicated in 1958, with an enrollment of about 130 pupils. The Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, Carrollton were teachers at the St. Mary School. The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky staffed the school from 1960 until 1977. The Felician Sisters also taught at the school from 1971 until the early 1980s.
In 1960 there were 200 families registered in the parish. By 1967 it had become evident that the little church built in 1930 was no longer large enough to hold the growing congregation. In 1970 Father Robert Krauter became pastor. During his brief tenure, a fund drive was started for a new church. But it was Father Krauter’s successor, Msgr. George Coyne and his building committee who had the task of planning and building the new church, dedicated in 1981.  Under Msgr. Coyne, the parish continued to increase in membership. In 1987 Msgr. Robert Punke became pastor and served the parish until his death on September 24, 2002. During Msgr. Punke’s time as pastor, the parish census continued to increase and a variety of ministries were established to meet the needs of the parish. The parish hired a full-time Director of Religious Education as well as a coordinator of ministry to the sick and shut-in. 
In the late 1980s the St. Mary’s Central School began to experience a period of growth. The enrollment had grown to around 240 children, K-8. In 1990 the four-classroom Riesbeck Addition modular building was added to the school. In 1995 the Junior High Addition was constructed, and in 1997 the new gymnasium was completed. With the beginning of the 2004 school year St. Mary’s Central School added a new pre-school program to its educational offerings. The current principal of St. Mary’s is Mrs. Nannette Kennedy. 
Father Thomas Chillog was appointed administrator of the parish following Msgr. Punke’s death, and was named pastor in April 2003. The parish offices were relocated from the rectory at 230 West Main Street to the former church building (212 West Main Street), which housed the Parish Religious Education offices. The consolidation of offices has provided more space to meet the needs of the busy parish. 
Parish religious education programs have grown and flourished, including offerings for all age groups, from the Sunday Liturgy of the Word for Pre-school and Kindergarten children, to the Parish Religious Education programs, pre-sacramental programs, Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), adult education classes, weekly Bible study, and seasonal faith sharing programs. Currently Mr. Michal Zabrecky serves as the Director of Religious Education and Director of the Youth Ministry programs.
As part of the Presentation Deanery Pastoral Plan that was promulgated by Bishop R. Daniel Conlon in 2009, St. Mary’s has now become the parish home for the parishioners from the closed churches of St. Joseph, Fairpoint, St. Paul, Flushing, St. Mary, Lafferty, and St. Stanislaus, Maynard. It is important that the life of faith that was served for over 100 years in these four communities is not lost. The histories of these closed parishes has been added now to St. Mary’s history. About 1150 registered families now call St. Mary’s their parish home. Deacon Chuck Schneider serves as a permanent Deacon.

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This fundraiser has been created in partnership with
CARE Funeral & Cremation Specialists
204 West Main St., St. Clairsville, OH 43950

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