Lithuanian-American history program

Staff report


The Ethnic Heritage Society will host a program exploring the history of the local Lithuanian-American community at 10 a.m. Saturday at Kravitz Delicatessen, 3135 Belmont Ave.

Speaker Ruth Bundza Reedy will discuss the Lithuanian enclave that once flourished on Youngstown’s East Side in the vicinity of St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church.

Reedy, who grew up on the East Side and belonged to the church, will share some of her memories and also discuss some of the Lithuanian community’s holiday traditions.

Lithuanian-Americans arrived in the Youngstown area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, drawn by the community’s burgeoning iron and steel industries.

Efforts to establish a Lithuanian church began in the early 1900s, and by June 1918, the parish of St. Francis of Assisi was organized on the East Side. The parish, in an effort to meet the needs of immigrants, conducted weekly services in English and Lithuanian.

The event is free. Coffee and bagels will be provided.

For information, contact EHS co-directors Tom Welsh at 330-792-7936 or Sandra Cika at 202-297-0362.

The EHS is an organization dedicated to preserving the social, cultural, and religious heritage of the Mahoning Valley’s ethnic groups.

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