Our Lady of Hungary Parish was founded in the late 1920s to serve the many Hungarians who worked in the steel mills near the Steel Street area, on Youngstown's west side.
Beginning in 1926, the newly arrived Catholics first attended Mass at Holy Name (Slovak) Parish. After two years, a delegation of west side Hungarians visited Cleveland Bishop Joseph Schrembs to ask that a neighborhood parish be established.
Father Sandy Varlaky, pastor of St. Stephen of Hungary Parish, suggested the name "Our Lady of Hungary" for the new parish. Bishop Schrembs appointed the Father Stephen Nyiri, who held licensure in theology, as the first pastor.
Sixty families were present for the first organizational meeting on December 2, 1928. For the next year, services were conducted at St. Mary Parish on South Prospect Street. Early in 1929, Father Nyiri purchased property on N. Belle Vista Avenue and construction began.
Because of hard economic times, only a basement church was constructed at first, dedicated in December 1929. A wooden building that served as a school, staffed by the Ursuline Sisters, was standing long with a parish house one year later.
Father John Mundweil was named pastor in 1934. The Altar Society, Rosary Society, a Scout Troop, the Holy Name Society, the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the Sodality of Mary were organized. High Mass was celebrated in Hungarian, and the low Mass in English.
Father Edward Franko became pastor in 1943 and Franciscan Father Peter Hegyi in 1948. A brick, mission-style structure was built over the basement church the following year by parish volunteers during their off hours from shifts at the steel plants.
Bishop Emmet Walsh blessed the new church on April 23, 1950. A shrine of the patroness was dedicated in 1960.
Father Emery Idranyi was appointed pastor in 1961. He was followed by Franciscan Fathers Joseph Vadas in 1963, Nicholas Dengl in 1965, and Joseph Kecshes in 1970. Father Baan Vitex became pastor in 1973.
Honored by a 1974 visit from Hungarian Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty, famously imprisoned for speaking out against communist oppression and religious persecution in his homeland, the parish named its hall after him.
Franciscan Father John Reiss became pastor in 1993. Father Joseph Rudjak was appointed administrator in 2005 and named pastor in 2008. The St. Ann Ministry continued its work visiting the nursing homes and hospitals.
The parish youth ministry program reached out to the neighborhood with creative efforts such as a series on “Wrestling with God”, in which youth ministry teamed up with wrestlers in the parish to present programs on Biblical stories. The youth wrote the scripts and the wrestlers did the acting.