Archpriest John Zdinak and the faithful of Saint Theodosius Cathedral here welcomed His Grace, Bishop Matthias of Chicago and the Midwest, Cleveland area clergy, and faithful from sister parishes at the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the construction of the cathedral during the second weekend of September 2011.
Established in 1896, Saint Theodosius is the oldest Orthodox Christian parish in the state of Ohio. The cathedral was constructed in 1911, and remains on the National Registry of Sacred Landmarks and is listed as one of Cleveland’s Sacred Landmarks. Built in the classic Muscovite style and surmounted by 13 copper cupolas, the cathedral was designed by noted Cleveland architect Frederick C. Baird in consultation with Archpriest Basil Lisenkovsky. It was consecrated in 1912 by Bishop Alexander [Nemolovsky].
Extensive interior renovations, including the cleaning and restoration of the cathedral’s interior frescoes, took place a decade ago. The work of Andrew Vasilievich Bicenko, a noted Russian artist and associate of the well known Russian artist Victor Michailovich Vasnetsov, the frescoes reflect the Neo-Byzantine renaissance that emerged in Russia and Ukraine in the late 19th century, primarily with the construction of Saint Vladimir Cathedral in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. Many of Saint Theodosius’ interior frescoes are modeled after those painted by Vaznetsov in the Kievan cathedral.
The weekend opened on Friday evening, September 9, with the celebration of Great Vespers. The following morning, Bishop Matthias presided at the main Centennial Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, after which high tea was offered in the parish hall. Hundreds of clergy and faithful filled the hall. On Saturday evening, Great Vespers was celebrated.
On Sunday, September 11, Bishop Matthias presided at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, after which the Centennial Banquet was held at Ridge Manor Banquet Center, Brookline, OH.
The weekend was of special significance for Bishop Matthias, a Cleveland native, who was baptized at the cathedral in 1949.
The cathedral has been especially involved in the renaissance of the Tremont neighborhood just south of downtown Cleveland. Once the home to many immigrants — and several other Orthodox Christian parishes, some of which relocated to the suburbs — the neighborhood has undergone a transformation in recent years, with the cathedral as its centerpiece.
May God grant many years to the faithful of Saint Theodosius Cathedral as they recommit themselves to the proclamation of the Gospel.