Saint James, Wilkinsburg

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Diocese of Pittsburgh Shield

Mass Schedule:

Saturday Vigil: 5:30 p.m.; Sunday: 10:00 a.m.

Weekdays: M-W-F 12:00 noon; Holy Days: 12:00 noon; 7:00 p.m.

Communion Service Tuesday & Thursday 12 :00 noon


Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Before 12:00 noon Mass

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Religious Education:

721 Rebecca Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Phone: 412-242-2246

Administrative Center:

718 Franklin Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Phone: 412-241-1392
Fax: 412-241-6625

Parish Ministry Center:

723 Rebecca Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15221

School: Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy:

721 Rebecca Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15221
Phone: 412-242-3515
Fax: 412-241-3199


Rev. David Taylor, Administrator

Additional Information:

Parish ID:


Open Date:


Neighborhoods Served:


Saint James Parish

Mission Statement

We, the members of St. James Parish, are an active Roman Catholic Christian believing community nestled in the urban setting of Wilkinsburg Pennsylvania, while drawing members from throughout the eastern suburbs.  We, individually and collectively, proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in worship, word and service.  Our strength resides in our sense and experience of community and in the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.

As a parish, we affirm the church’s teaching on the sacredness of every human life and allow ourselves to be transformed by Jesus Christ and the Gospel.  Our mission includes participating in, respecting, transforming and bringing hope to the vast and diverse area we serve.  We invite all members of our parish, our sister faith communities and our urban community to dialogue with us on the issues of mutual concern especially those that hinder our understanding of each other.

We commit to discern current issues of church and society through personal and communal sharing of faith.  Our goal is to be an evangelizing parish that invites, is hospitable and is faith filled.  Utilizing our God given gifts and talents, it is our duty to search out injustices, quell hatred, build hope and bring comfort to those who are hurting and in pain.

By working together we will fulfill God’s instruction to preach the Good News to all.

Parish History

St. James was founded in 1869.  Before that time, Catholic residents of Wilkinsburg attended Ss. Peter and Paul in the East End.  However, most of the residents spoke English and Ss. Peter and Paul was a German parish.  As a result, the pastor of Ss. Peter and Paul encouraged them to build their own church.  Land for the church was purchased on May 8, 1868.  Work on the church began soon afterwards and the completed church was dedicated on November 18, 1869.  In August of 1870, a resident pastor was assigned to St. James.

This church lasted until the night of December 23, 1888, when a fire broke out in the church basement.  As Wilkinsburg had neither a fire department nor water supply at the time, the church burned to the ground.  The school was utilized as a temporary church while the new church was being constructed.  The cornerstone of the new church was laid on May 12, 1889, and the completed building was dedicated on December 22, 1889.

This church served the congregation for forty years.  By the late 1920's, it became obvious that a new church was needed.  Construction of a new building began in February of 1928 and the completed church was dedicated on August 14, 1930.  The old church was converted to a gymnasium and classroom space.  The old church was eventually torn down in 1961.

St. James church continues to serve the congregation today.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

Second St. James Church, 1931
Current St. James Church, 1931
St. James Church, 2002
Interior of church, 2002

File Attachments:

St. James Parish Map, Wilkinsburg.pdf109.47 KB