Saint Michael, Pitcairn

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Parish History

St. Michael was established in 1895 as a mission church of St. Aloysius, Wilmerding, which was also established that year.  Before 1895, local Catholics had to travel to Turtle Creek to attend Mass.  In that same year, the local congregation began work on a frame church.  The church was not completed until 1900 and was dedicated on October 14, 1900.  While the church was under construction, Mass was celebrated in a local public school.  In 1905, the parish became independent with the assignment of a resident pastor.

The church served the congregation for a number of years.  The church was extensively renovated in the late 1940's.  In October 1950 was seriously damaged in a fire.  While the church was being repaired, the parish celebrated Mass in either a local theater or Pitcairn High School.  After repairs were made to the church, it was reopened.

The parish began raising funds for a new church/school building.  On October 19, 1955, ground was broken for the new building.  The second floor of the building was divided into classrooms and the first floor was used as a temporary church.  The church was dedicated on November 19, 1956.  The old church was converted to classrooms and a school cafeteria.

The school closed in 1969.  In the 1970's the church was renovated, including the replacement of glass windows with stained glass windows.  In 1986, the original church building was torn down and the church was remodeled.  The second floor of the church/school building was renovated.  The classrooms were removed and the space made into a social hall.

Beginning in 2007, the pastors of North American Martyrs Parish and St. Michael Parish, Pitcairn began discussions on a possible merger.  In early 2009, the formal merger process began with the parishes meeting with diocesan officials, holding parish town hall meetings, and seeking parishioner feedback.  The study recommended that the two parishes merge, that the parish retain the name of North American Martyrs and that both churches remain open to serve the parish.  The recommendations were accepted and the merger took place on September 4, 2010.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

Original St. Michael Church, 1933
Interior of church, 1933
Interior of church, 1933
St. Michael Church, 2002
Interior of second church, 1985
Altar of church, 2002

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