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Holy Trinity Hungarian Episcopal Church Records

In the History of St. Stephen’s Hungarian Catholic Church in South Bend, Indiana, there is a brief statement about a Schism which occurred in 1911 which divided the congregation in two, one group supported the pastor and the other half stood behind the churches’ trustees who demanded the pastor’s ouster due to some alleged immorality allegations.

When no compromise could be reached with the Bishop, the disenfranchised group invited a dynamic Hungarian Catholic priest from the east coast to serve their spiritual and cultural needs and he soon incorporated the congregation as Sacred Heart Independent Hungarian Catholic Church which would be a branch of the Polish Catholic Church of America. His name was Victor Von Kobinyi, the godson of Franz Joseph, the emperor of the Austrian Hungarian Empire.

This new group was soon excommunicated from the Catholic Church. In the fall of 1912 He abandoned his congregation and headed east to find other disatisfied Hungarian communities only to arrive back in South Bend in the late spring of 1913 demanding his congregation back. The trustees and their new pastor rejected Von Kubinyi’s offer and he took about eighty three loyal families with him in search of a new home.

On Dec 7, 1913 Bishop White of the Episcopal diocese on Northern Indiana welcomed Von Kubinyi and his flock into his fold, thus the founding of Holy Trinity Hungarian Episcopal Church here in South Bend, the first and only Hungarian Episcopal Church in America. Services were faithfully conducted in Hungarian and the Trustees kept records in Hungarian until the early 1950’s. Around that time, they also dropped the word “Hungarian” from the official name.

The currently Holy Trinity community still exists on Olive St. here in South Bend with a congregation reflecting the Diversity of the current neighborhood.

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Records contained in this Database are courtesy of Church of the Holy Trinity

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