Saint Perpetua, McKeesport

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Parish History

St. Perpetua was established in June of 1910 as an Italian parish.  The origin of the parish can be traced to the rise of industry in McKeesport at the turn of the century and the subsequent immigration of workers.  Among these workers were a number of Italians.  At the suggestion of the pastor of St. Stephen, a Hungarian parish, the bishop sent an Italian priest to organize an Italian parish in 1910.  Until the parish could build a new church, the congregation used St. Stephen Church to celebrate Mass.  Work on the church began in 1911.  The cornerstone was laid on December 10, 1911, and the completed church was dedicated on March 24, 1912.

The congregation continued to grow.  In the late 1920's the church was enlarged and was rededicated on May 12, 1929.  The church served the parish for another 30 years.  By the early 1960's, the congregation had clearly outgrown the existing church.  On March 6, 1961, ground was broken for a new church.  Although the church was unfinished, the first Mass in the new building was celebrated on Christmas Day of 1961.  The church was finished on June 3, 1962, and it was formally dedicated on September 20, 1962.  The old church was sold in 1964.

As the rise of population at the beginning of the century led to the creation of the parish, the loss of population at the end of the century led to its suppression.  In 1993 St. Perpetua was merged with St. Patrick, Alpsville and St. Denis, Versailles to form a new parish named St. Patrick.  St. Perpetua Church remains open and serves the new parish.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

First St. Perpetua Church, 1932
Interior of first church, 1932
Second St. Perpetua Church, 2002
Interior of church, 2002

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