Saint Mary of Mount Carmel, Braddock

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Parish History

St. Mary of Mt. Carmel was established in 1901 as an Italian parish.  The origin of the parish can be traced to the rise of industry in the area, particularly the steel industry, and its need for workers.  This need fueled the immigration from a number of European countries, including Italy.  In 1901, the assistant pastor of St. Aloysius, Wilmerding began celebrating a weekly Mass for the Italian community in St. Joseph Church.  Before the end of the year, that priest was named the pastor of a new Italian parish in Braddock.  In 1904, the congregation purchased a Methodist church, renovated it and dedicated the new church on October 16, 1904.

The church was remodeled in the the early 1960's and the mid 1970's.  Of greater import to the parish, however, were the events that were taking place in the larger Braddock community.  Since World War II, the population of Braddock began a steady decline as the people of the community started moving to the suburbs.  This trend was accelerated by the closing of the mills in the area.  Then in 1983, St. Thomas Church burned down.

Normally, another parish losing its church would not affect neighboring parishes.  Because of the devastating population loss in the area, the diocese decided against automatically rebuilding the church.  Instead, a study was commissioned to determine the future structure of parish life in the Braddock area.  This study began in January of 1984.  A year later, on January 19, 1985, the results of the study were announced.  Based on this study, the diocese decided to merge all of the existing parishes in Braddock into one parish called Good Shepherd.  As part of this consolidation, St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church was scheduled to be closed.  The final Mass in the parish was celebrated on April 26, 1985.  After the merger, the church was closed and eventually sold.

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