Father Pitt

Why should the beautiful die?

St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, South Side

It is impossible to get a picture of the front of this church without ugly and intrusive utility cables, and old Pa Pitt is not quite obsessive enough to edit out the cables.

This is a Ruthenian church. Back in 1900, the congregation split from the other St. John the Baptist Byzantine congregation a few blocks away at 7th and Carson Streets so as not to have to put up with those Ukrainians. You will search a map of Europe in vain for the nation of Ruthenia, but the Ruthenians or Rusyns in America have an ethnic pride perhaps all the stronger for never having had a nation of their own. The present building was dedicated in 1958, and the modernist-influenced Byzantine style bears a strong family resemblance to the style of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Oakland.


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