OLPH History

Sixty-six years ago several Byzantine catholic families wanting to carry forward the Divine Liturgy and religious traditions of their Carpatho-Rusyn ancestors founded this church in Levittown, Pa. In reverence to Mary, Our Blessed Mother, they named the church Our Lady of Perpetual Help. These local families were directed by the then Exarch of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Most Reverend Bishop Nicholas T. Elko to celebrate the first Divine Liturgy at the Fairless Hills Community Center on May 22, 1954. The first celebrant Monsignor John Bilock, who had family ties in this area, was instrumental in petitioning the bishop for the first Byzantine Catholic Church.

On July 4, 1956, the auditorium/all purpose building was dedicated by the Most Reverend Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York City. This building is still used today for parish functions and is available for rental.

On June 19, 1959 the second and current pastor of the parish the Reverend Myron M. Badnerosky was appointed to the new parish. He went to work immediately securing new families for the small parish and in paying off the existing debt. Four years later on April 28, 1963 a mortgage burning, marking freedom from debt of the original properties and building took place with the ground breaking for the new church. In 1963, the Byzantine Diocese of Passaic was created and the newly Consecrated Bishop for the Diocese of Passaic, the Most Reverend Stephen J. Kocisko on December 23, 1964 dedicated Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church with over 300 people in attendance.

The church building was designed by our pastor, Fr. Myron and has been one of the premier landmarks in the Levittown and Middletown area. Many know of the church with the gold domes on Woodbourne Rd. and those fortunate enough to see the inside are taken aback with the breathtaking stained glasses windows, that depict each of the seven sacraments and the icons that grace the walls and are representative of our faith. There are two large stain glass windows one in the front of the building depicting OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL HELP and then behind the main altar, there is a window of God the Pantakrator, Ruler of Heaven and Earth. In 1986 the mortgage on the church was satisfied and the following year a small parcel was purchased for the rectory to adjoin the existing property.

On July 1, 2011, Reverend Edward J. Higgins was appointed administrator of OLPH to be the diocesan liaison between the church and the Diocese of Passaic. He is the pastor of two Philadelphia Byzantine churches, Holy Trinity in South Philadelphia and Holy Ghost in Cheltenham.

Over the years, many Byzantine and Latin Rite Catholics have taken joy and solace in celebrating and chanting the Divine Liturgy at OLPH. Many worldly changes have occurred but the Liturgy of their faith has remained a constant in their lives. Celebrating 60 Years in 2014, honoring Our Lady the Theotokos, church founders, past and current parishioners, cantors, spiritual leaders and the Reverend Myron M. Badnerosky, our pastor for 57 years. Fr Myron retired in 2016. Fr. Edward Cimbala served the parish with energy and spirit from 2016 until July of 2018. Fr. Vasyl Sokolovych served from 2018 until July of 2020.