OUR LADY OF LEVOČA
A Slovak American shrine in Bedford, near Cleveland, Ohio.
In 1928, when Archbishop Joseph Schrembs of the Cleveland Diocese dedicated the Motherhouse grounds of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity, the Slovak people raised a fund to construct a Shrine of Our Lady of Levoča at the Motherhouse in Bedford, Ohio.
The religious community was under the direction of its newly appointed Provincial Superior, Mother Mary John Berchmans Fialko, when it assumed guardianship of the shrine in 1928. Later, these Sisters were to become a separate comnunity for the Cleveland diocese with Mother Berchmans as the General Superior.
Encouraged through a strong devotion to Our Lady of Lovocha (a 700 year old shrine in Slovak) and the willingness of the Vincentian Sisters, a group of women from St. Wendelin Slovak parish set about the task of securing a statue similar to the one in their beloved homeland.
Bishop Vojtāssak was contacted in Slovakia and directed to supervise a carving of a statue out of solid apple tree wood which was to be the exact replica of the original Levoča statue.