It’s about a 15 minute diversion to visit this Byzantium-influenced church. To skip this detour, jump to #16 in this narrative. Otherwise, turn right on Pius and walk to the stop light at Pius & S. 18th streets. Cross S. 18th and continue east on Mission St. across the two bridges to Sterling St. Dedicated in 1916, the church was built to serve a Polish parish that was established in 1901. The building is Romanesque with a Byzantium influence evident in the arches, pillars and bell tower. The consolidation of Catholic churches a few years ago had limited its usage to weddings and funerals. The church closed permanently after a section of ceiling collapsed about the casket of the last caretaker during his funeral mass. The main altar held relics of St. Josaphat. In the rear, beneath the choir balcony, hung a picture of the Black Madonna. The church is slated to be converted into multiple living units by a Slopes resident. Many Polish descendents continue to inhabit this section of the Slopes. The names of relations and former residents who served in World Wars I & II are seen on the memorial tucked into the hillside across Mission St. from the church. When finished, retrace your steps to S. 18th St. and cross to Pius St. Continue west just before 107 Pius St. are the S. 18th St. steps.
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