Saint Joseph, New Brighton

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New Brighton

Parish History

St. Joseph was founded in 1862.  In that year, a priest from Ss. Peter and Paul, Beaver visited New Brighton and celebrated Mass in a private home.  In 1863, Bishop Domenec visited New Brighton and, while there, purchased an old United Presbyterian church.  The building was renovated and on September 13, 1863, Mass was first celebrated in the new church.  The church was dedicated on December 6, 1863. From December 1863 until about February 1865, a pastor was assigned to St. Joseph with responsibility also for St. Rose, Cannelton.  When he left, the parish was visited once a month from St. Mary in Pittsburgh's North Side (then Allegheny City).  Finally, on February 1, 1866, a new resident pastor was assigned to St. Joseph.

By 1870 the existing church could no longer handle the growing congregation.  In that year a plot of ground was purchased for a new church.  The cornerstone of the church was laid on November 12, 1871.  Before long, an economic depression struck the country and it was not until 1875 that the basement of the church was completed.  On October 17, 1875, the basement church was dedicated.  On June 26, 1876, the first church, which was then being used as a parish hall, was destroyed by a fire.

After ten years, the parish managed to complete the church.  On May 1, 1885, the completed church was dedicated.  On October 25, 1911, fire struck the church.  This fire destroyed the roof and steeple, leaving only the four walls and the base of the tower.  Enough of the church remained to allow the parish to rebuild it.  The church was renovated in 1961.

By the 1990's, the population of New Brighton dropped to the point that it was no longer practical to keep two parishes open in New Brighton.  In 1994 St. Joseph merged with Ss. Cyril and Methodius to form Holy Family parish.  St. Joseph church remains open and serves the new parish.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

St. Joseph church, 1932
Interior St. Joseph, 1932
Altar, St. Joseph, 1932

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