Saint Mary, Beaver Falls

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Beaver Falls

Parish History

St. Mary was founded in 1871 as a German ethnic parish.  The origin of the parish can be traced to the arrival of German Catholics in Beaver Falls (then called Brighton) in the 1860's.  These Catholics had to travel to New Brighton to attend Mass.  Due to the difficulty of traveling to New Brighton and to a desire to hear the Gospel in their native language, a group of local Catholics purchased two lots of land for a church.  Construction of a church began in 1871 and the completed church was dedicated on July 4, 1872.

For the first decade the parish did not have a resident pastor and was visited monthly by priests from St. James, Sewickley and Holy Trinity, Pittsburgh.  In the spring of 1886 the first resident pastor was assigned to St. Mary.  In 1895 construction of a new church began.  The completed church was dedicated on May 16, 1897.  The old church was converted to classrooms for the expanding parish school.  This was later replaced by a new school in 1924.

In the early 1920's, the parish was designated a territorial parish.  The church was renovated in 1947, including the installation of new altars.  Seven years later, new stained glass windows were installed in the church.

By the early 1990's, the drop in industry and population in the Beaver Valley meant that Beaver Falls could no longer support two independent parishes.  In 1994, St. Mary and Holy Trinity merged to form the new Divine Mercy parish.  St. Mary church remains open and serves the new parish.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

St. Mary Church, 1939
Rear view of church, 1939
Main altar, 1939
St. Mary Church, 2002

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