Saint Joseph, Clairton

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Additional Information:

Open Date:

1911

Close Date:

1994

Ethnicity:

Slovak

Neighborhoods Served:

Clairton

Parish History

St. Joseph was founded in 1911 as a Slovak parish.  The origin of the parish can be traced to the opening of the St. Clair Steel Company in 1902.  The new mill attracted a number of Slovaks and Croatians to the area.  At first, local Slovaks attended Mass at either St. Clare of Assisi in Clairton, Holy Trinity in Duquesne or the Byzantine Catholic Church in Clairton.  Reacting to a petition from the Slovaks in Clairton, the bishop established the new parish on March 26, 1911.  Initially the parish was a mission of Holy Trinity, Duquesne until 1916 when a resident pastor was assigned.

Until the parish could built a church of its own, the congregation celebrated Mass in the local Byzantine Catholic church.  Work on the church began in 1915.  The cornerstone was laid in August of 1915 and the completed church was dedicated on July 2, 1916.

This church served the community until the 1960's.  On September 11, 1968, ground was broken for a new church.  The cornerstone was laid on August 27, 1967, and the new church was dedicated on July 14, 1968.  The original church was torn down to make room for parking.

By the end of the century, the population of Clairton had dropped to the point that the city could no longer support three parishes.  In 1994, St. Joseph was merged with St. Paulinus and St. Clare of Assisi to form a new parish also named St. Clare of Assisi.  St. Joseph Church remained open and served the new parish.  However, shortly after the turn of the century, it became obvious that the parish could not support two church buildings.  On September 8, 2007, the diocese gave the parish permission to close to St. Paulinus Church and rename St. Joseph Church to St. Clare of Assisi.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

First St. Joseph Church, 1941
Interior of first church, 1941
Second St. Joseph Church, 2002

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