Saint Mary (46th St), Lawrenceville

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Parish History

St. Mary was founded in 1853.  The origin of the parish can be traced to the population growth of the then village of Lawrenceville (which was absorbed by the city of Pittsburgh in 1867).  Until St. Mary was established, local Catholics traveled to either St. Patrick in the Strip District or St. Joseph in Sharpsburg.  On September 1, 1853, a meeting was held by local Catholics to request the establishment of a parish.  The bishop agreed and on November 14, land was purchased for a church.  On January 23, 1854, the new church was dedicated.

At first the church also doubled as a school, but within a year a separate school was built.  The continuing growth of the congregation required an expansion of the church building in 1863.  The building was rededicated on August 16, 1863.  Even enlarging the church soon proved inadequate  Work on a new, larger church began in 1873.  The cornerstone of the church was laid on June 23, 1873 and the completed church was dedicated on April 19, 1874.

In 1906 the church was renovated and new stained glass windows installed.  In 1920, the shrine to St. Anne was added to the church.  The building was reconditioned in 1946 and again in the period from November 1969 to December 1971.

As the rise of population in the nineteenth century led to the creation of the parish, the loss of population near the end of the twentieth century led to its suppression.  In 1993, St. Mary was merged with three other parishes to form the new Our Lady of the Angels parish.  At first, St. Mary church remained open and served the new parish.  However, it soon became obvious that the new parish could not support three church buildings.  St. Mary church closed in November of 2004.  In 2007 the Catholic Cemeteries Association purchased the church building and in 2010 began work to convert the building to a combined cemetery chapel and mausoleum.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

St. Mary church, 1933
Main altar of St. Mary church, 1933
St. Anne shrine altar, 1933

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