Saint Paulinus, Clairton

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Parish History

St. Paulinus was established on June 22, 1923.  The parish was established to meet the needs of the growing Catholic community in what was then Wilson Boro, which merged with the boro of Clairton and North Clairton in 1921 to form the city of Clairton.  Before the parish was established, local Catholics had to travel to either St. Clare parish in Clairton or St. Cecilia in Glassport.  In 1920, a priest from St. Clare celebrated the first Mass in Wilson in the Knights of Malta building.  This building was used for weekly Masses for three weeks, until permission was granted to use the hall of the Wilson Municipal building.  For a five month period, priests from St. Paul Monastery visited the area to celebrate Mass, but responsibility for the Wilson section was again transferred to St. Clare.  In 1923, St. Paulinus was established as a parish and a resident pastor was assigned.

After a few years, Sunday Mass was moved to rented space in the Walnut School.  Weekday Masses continued to be celebrated in the Municipal building.  During this time, funds were being raised for a new church.  By the mid 1930's land had been purchased for a church.  However, funds were lacking to have the church designed and built by professionals, so the parishioners built it themselves.  Stone for the church came from a local quarry, the roofing came from a sheriff's sale and lumber from old buildings was used throughout the church.  The church was renovated in 1976.

As the rise of population in the area in the first half of the twentieth century led to the creation of the parish, the loss of population in the last half of the century led to its suppression.  In 1994, St. Paulinus was merged with St. Clare of Assisi and St. Joseph to form a new parish, also named St. Clare of Assisi.  St. Paulinus Church remained open at first, but by the turn of the century it became obvious that the new parish could support more than one church building.  On September 8, 2007, the diocese gave the parish permission to close St. Paulinus Church.  The final Mass of the church was celebrated on September 30, 2007.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

St. Paulinus Church, 1938
Interior of church, 1938

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