Parish Staff


Rev. John C. Retar
Pastor, St. Vitus, July 1, 2021 – Present
Ordained on May 17, 2003, Diocese of Cleveland (by Bishop Anthony Pilla)

About Fr. Retar

Rev. John C. Retar was appointed as the seventh pastor of St. Vitus Parish, effective July 1, 2021.

His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Mary’s Parish, Berea, Ohio from 2003-2007 and associate pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, Mentor, Ohio, 2007-2010. In August 2010, he was installed as pastor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Lorain, Oh., a merged parish of three former Lorain Catholic parishes: Ss. Cyril & Methodius (Slovenian), St. Vitus (Croatian) and St. John Baptist (Spanish). For the past two years or so he was also the parish administrator of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Elyria Township, Ohio.

Fr. Retar is the son of the late John A. Sr. and Laura (nee Fox). His father was a WWII US Army Veteran who served in the 13th Armored Division. He is the brother of Jeffery (Kimberlee) and the late Brian (Kristen) and nephew of Mary Yuhas (late John). Fr. Retar was employed in private industry as a purchasing agent prior to deciding to enter the seminary. Fr. Retar is also a member of St. Anne Lodge #4 AMLA.

Pastoral Minister

Sister Mary Avsec, S.N.D.

Previously a teacher at various schools in the diocese of Cleveland, Sister Avsec is a Pastoral Minister at St. Vitus, serving parish needs such as seniors, liturgical, and outreach. She is also part of The Sisters of Notre Dame (Chardon, OH), a religious women’s order with ministry in education.

Parish Secretary

Marge Kuhar

Marge has been the full-time secretary of the parish since 1993, responding to parishioner inquiries, helping organize and contribute to parish events, and consistently producing the weekly bulletin in that time. Prior to her work at St.Vitus, Marge was the secretary at a local doctor's office.

Evening Secretary

Betty Svekric

Betty is the parish's evening & Saturday secretary, and is actively involved in our food bank program as lead coordinator. Previously, Betty was a member and officer of the Mother's Club, a member of the Summer and Fall Parish Committees, and has served on the pastoral council. Betty has also worked in the insurance and banking industries.

Parish Finance Director

Stane Kuhar

As Finance Director, Stane oversees fundraising for St. Vitus Parish, including the Mihevc Grant Program (scholarship). He graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication and a minor in Business, and holds a para-financial planning certificate from the College of Financial Planning. For several years, Stane previously worked for Key Bank.

Business Manager

Joseph V. Hocevar

Joe graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from John Carroll University, and served as a Cost Accountant at various manufacturing companies in northeast Ohio. He is actively involved in parish organizations and fraternal benefit societies, primarily the American Slovenian Catholic Union (KSKJ) as a National Board of Director.

Manager, St. Vitus Village

Rudy Sterk

A graduate from John Carroll University, Rudy became a teacher and also worked with young individuals with behavioral problems. Since its opening in 2000, Rudy has served as the manager of St. Vitus Village, an independent seniors living facility operated by St. Vitus Development Corp. Visit our Parish Grounds page to learn more about the village.

Ministry to Seniors

Mario Perčič

Upon his retirement at a local firm, Mario has served as a volunteer at St. Vitus Parish, primarily responding to the needs of seniors and also for the parish's St. Vincent de Paul Society. Mario graduated from John Carroll University.

Choral Director, Youth Choir

John Srsen

Mr. Srsen has lead the music of St. Vitus as choir master for the 9AM Choir since 1977. He is also music director for the Saturday Slovenian School and is the music director for two choral groups in Cleveland, Ohio.

Choral Director, LIRA Choir

R. Frank Coffelt

Mr. Coffelt performs as the organist and choral director for LIRA, the parish choir at the weekly 10:30AM Sunday Mass. Individuals interested in joining LIRA should contact the parish rectory at (216) 361-1444.