Saint Titus, Aliquippa

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Parish History

St. Titus was founded in 1911.  At that time, present day Aliquippa was divided into two boroughs, Woodlawn and Aliquippa.  The parish was an outgrowth of the building of a steel mill in Woodlawn beginning in 1906.  As people moved to the area to work in the new mill, the Catholic population grew too large to be accommodated by the existing parish, St. Joseph in Aliquippa.  In 1910, the pastor of St. Joseph began making plans for a mission in Woodlawn.  On Christmas Day, 1910, he celebrated Mass in a commercial building in Woodlawn.  On February 6, 1911, Bishop Canevin gave his permission for the establishment of St. Titus parish.

On March 27, 1911, the parish purchased a closed Nickelodeon and converted it into a church.  The first Mass was celebrated in this church on Easter Sunday, 1911.  Until October 1914, the parish was a mission of St. Joseph.  In that month the parish received its first resident pastor.  On July 24, 1914, land was purchased for a new church.  In January of 1919, a church committee was formed to begin plans for a new church.  The committee decided to build a temporary church that would be part of a new school as well.

Work on the new church began in 1919 and the building was dedicated on June 13, 1920.  In 1924, work began on the school addition to the church building.  During construction, Mass was celebrated in the parish hall.  On September 5, 1926, the new school was dedicated.  From June 1950 to March 1951, a third floor was added to the building for additional classrooms.

Not until November 28, 1954, was ground broken for the replacement of the temporary church built in 1920.  On August 27, 1955, the cornerstone of the church was laid and on November 17, 1956, the new church was dedicated.  The old church was converted to use by the school.

As the rise of the steel industry in the area led to the creation of the parish, the demise of that industry led to its suppression.  By the early 1990's, the population of the area had dropped to the point that Aliquippa could not support two independent parishes.  In 1994, St. Titus and St. Joseph merged to form a new parish.  The new parish retained the name of St. Titus.  The St. Titus church building remains open and serves the new parish.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

Combined church and school, 1933
Altar of St. Titus, 1933
Interior of church, 1933
St. Titus Church, 2002
St. Joseph Church, 2002

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