Saint Patrick, Canonsburg

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Parish History

St. Patrick was founded in 1891.  The origin of the parish can be traced to the founding of Immaculate Conception parish in Washington in 1855.  The pastor of Immaculate Conception was also given responsibility for the small Catholic community in Canonsburg.  Beginning in 1855, the pastor of Immaculate Conception made monthly visits to Canonsburg to celebrate Mass.  For many years, Mass was celebrated in private homes.  However, as industry grew in the area the increased Catholic population required a larger facility.  Beginning in 1884, Mass was celebrated in rented commercial facilities.

In 1886 a chaplain was assigned to the Morganza Reform School.  This chaplain also had responsibility for the Canonsburg community.  By 1890, the number of Catholics in Canonsburg had grown to the point that a church was practical.  Fund raising took place in 1890 and the next year the community purchased the First Methodist Episcopal Meeting House.  The new church was dedicated on April 12, 1891.  From 1891 to 1894, St. Patrick remained a mission of the Morganza chaplain.  In 1894, it became a mission of St. Agatha, Bridgeville.  On July 15, 1903, St. Patrick was made an independent parish with the assignment of a resident pastor.

The continuing growth of the congregation soon made the building of a larger church necessary.  Ground for the church was broken on August 16, 1905.  The cornerstone was laid on Memorial Day, 1906, and the completed church was dedicated on April 7, 1907. 

This church served the community for over four decades.  By the early 1950's, the congregation outgrew the church.  On May 22,1953, ground was broken for a combination church and school building.  This church was only intended to be a temporary expedient.  The cornerstone was laid on July 26, 1953 and the completed building was dedicated on March 21, 1954.

Work on the permanent church followed soon after.  Ground for the church was broken on September 18, 1955.  The cornerstone was laid on December 28, 1955 and the church was dedicated on August 25, 1956.  The interior of the church was renovated in the mid 1960's in response to the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council.

Due to the loss of population in Canonsburg by the end of the century, the city could no longer support two independent parishes.  In 1993, St. Patrick and St. Genevieve were merged to form a new parish.  This new parish retained the name of St. Patrick.  St. Patrick church remains open for use by the new parish.  The church was again renovated in 2004.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

Second St. Patrick church, 1933
Interior second St. Patrick church, 1933

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