Saint Philomena, Squirrel Hill
This parish is presently located at:
St. Philomena was established in 1921. The origin of the parish can be traced to 1839 with the founding of St. Philomena parish in the Strip District by the Redemptorists. When the parish was originally established, the Strip District was primarily a residential area. As the century progressed, the residents were increasingly being squeezed out of the area by the expanding industrial and commercial area. By 1917, the congregation had dropped to the point that the Redemptorists began looking for a new location. On June 21, 1917, they bought a 7 acre estate in Squirrel Hill. In 1921, they also purchased a house to serve as a temporary church and rectory. The first Mass in the new parish was celebrated on November 5, 1921.
While Mass was being celebrated in the temporary church, work began on a school which would include a temporary church. The new school was ready for occupancy in the summer of 1922. The basement gym was fitted out as the church. On August 13, 1922, the church/school building was dedicated. At that time, the parish intended to build a separate church. However, that church was never built and the temporary church in the school served the parish throughout its existence.
On April 6, 1928, work began on an extension of the church/school building. Two additional stories were added and the church facilities were renovated. The church served the community for over 60 years. Unfortunately, this St. Philomena suffered from the same problem as the original -- the congregation began moving away, this time to the suburbs. By the early 1990's, it was no longer financially feasible for the parish to remain open. The final Mass of the parish was celebrated on June 27, 1993. The building was later sold to the Community Day School, a division of the Jewish Education Institute to be used as a school.