Saints Peter and Paul, East End

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Neighborhoods Served:

East End

Parish History

Ss. Peter and Paul was established in 1857 as a German parish.  At the time, East Liberty was a small village.  Before the founding of the parish, local German Catholics had to travel to St. Philomena Church in the Strip District to attend Mass.  To better meet the needs of the local Catholics, the Redemptorists from St. Philomena began work on a church on donated land in 1857 in what is now Pittsburgh's East End.  The cornerstone of the church was laid on November 26, 1857.  Construction continued for two years and the completed church was dedicated on November 26, 1859.

At first the parish was a mission of St. Philomena, but in 1860 a resident pastor was assigned to the parish.  In the 1880's, work on Larimar Avenue caused damage to the church.  While temporary repairs were made, by 1887 the church was in poor condition.  As the congregation had outgrown the original church, the pastor decided to build a new church.  The original church was torn down and work began on the new building in the late 1880's.  The cornerstone of the new church was laid on August 10, 1890, and the completed church was dedicated on December 20, 1891.

On August 5, 1909, a bolt of lightning struck the church and started a fire.  By the time the fire was extinguished, the interior of the church was gutted and the roof was gone.  However, the twin towers remained intact as did the walls and altar.  The parish rebuilt a new church that incorporated the remains of the old church.  Construction of the church was completed in late 1910.

Over the years, the church saw many renovations.  In 1916, the exterior of the church was remodeled.  The interior was renovated in the mid 1960's.  In 1982, the bell towers were repaired.

Beginning after World War II, the population of the city of Pittsburgh began a steady decline.  By the end of the twentieth century, the population had dropped to the point that the city could no longer support the number of independent parishes in existence.  In 1992, Ss. Peter and Paul merged with five other parishes to form the new St. Charles Lwanga parish.  Ss. Peter and Paul Church closed after the merger and was sold in 1997.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

Exterior of church, 1933
Side altar of church, 1933

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