Saint Mary Czestochowa
Religious Education:573 Palm St
Mckeesport , PA 15132
Administrative Center:2515 Versailles Ave
McKeesport, PA 15132
St. Mary Czestochowa was a Polish parish founded in 1893. As with many other ethnic parishes, this parish was an outgrowth of the rise of heavy industry in the area and the influx of immigrants to work in the mills. Enough Poles had moved into McKeesport by 1893 to support a parish. For the first few years of the parish, Masses were celebrated in a rented hall. In 1895 work began on a combined church and school, located on Versailles Avenue, which was dedicated on July 11, 1895.
This church served for two decades, but as the size of the congregation grew, it became necessary to build a new church. In 1917, construction of a new church began. However, due to rising costs and the war, work stopped after the ground was excavated and the basement was completed. The basement was roofed over and converted to a church. The first Mass in the new church-basement was celebrated on August 25, 1918. While the parish planned to complete the church building after the war, various economic problems involving the congregation prevented this from happening for years.
In 1934, the parish decided to build a school and convent over the basement church. The new combined school and convent was dedicated on March 3, 1935. Not until 1951 was construction begun on a new church for the parish. Groundbreaking took place on March 16, 1952 and the completed church was dedicated on May 2, 1954.
By 2010, the congregation of the parish had dwindled to about 550 families. Even with the addition of about 450 families from St. Pius V Parish after their church closed due to storm damage in February of 2010, the parish was not large enough to remain independent. On November 14, 2010, St. Mary Czestochowa Parish merged with St. Martin de Porres Parish and St. Pius V Parish (although the church officially closed earlier, the parish was not suppressed) to form the new Corpus Christi Parish. Only St. Mary Czestochowa Parish remained open after the merger and was renamed Corpus Christi.