Serving the Roman Catholic Croatian Community


Our History

Meet our Parish Administrator

Attend Mass at St Nicholas

See the Murals
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Father Romildo Hrboka
Requiescat in Pace

Ecumenism at St. Nicholas

Who was St. Nicholas

Sretan Božic
Merry Christmas

Maxo Vanka's Masterpiece:
The Murals at St. Nicholas Church

The Murals at St. Nicholas Parish
A Brief History

The walls and ceiling of St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church are decorated with elaborate tempera paintings by artist Maxo Vanka (1890-1963). The murals tell the story of the Croatian peasants who left their native farm lands at the turn of the 20th century to seek a better life in the post-industrial United States of America. The evocative murals also capture Vanka's strong belief about the futilty of war and his sadness about the destruction of the motherland.

Maxo Vanka emigrated to the United Sates from Zagreb in Croatia in the mid 1930s. He was well known as a professional artist throughout all of Europe. In 1937, Father Albert Zagar commissioned him to begin a series of murlas at St. Nicholas Church. In eights weeks during the spring of 1937, Vanka completed eleven paintings.

By 1941, Vanka had become a US citizen and a resident of Bucks County in Pennsylvania. He returned to Millvale in the summer of 1941 to complete his second cycle of murals, a series dominated by his anguish over the war in Europe and the brutal factionalism brought by it to the Yugoslav states.

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