1973 - Sacred Heart RC Church - Youngstown, Pennsylvania
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member outdoorboy34
N 40° 16.780 W 079° 21.790
17T E 639150 N 4460083
Quick Description: The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church is located at 421 East Main Street in Youngstown Borough, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 4/10/2018 7:48:41 PM
Waymark Code: WMY30M
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 0

Long Description:
Source: (visit link)

In the years before Latrobe was established, at the site where the Forbes Road Trail came down the ridge, the pioneer settlement of Youngstown, Pennsylvania, was budding into a bustling community. When the Benedictines arrived from Bavaria to found Saint Vincent in 1845, they described their location at Sportsman’s Hall as “near Youngstown.” Early in the 1860s, immigrants from Slovakia, Italy, Ireland, Spain and England settled around Youngstown. These early settlers worked in the neighboring coal mines and factories of southwestern Pennsylvania. Saint Vincent Abbey welcomed them for Holy Mass, sacraments and other spiritual needs, but traveling, particularly in the winter, posed a problem. Under these circumstances, a mission church led by a Benedictine Priest was thought to be the best solution.

On June 26, 1875, Archabbot Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., held a meeting with Fr. Mauritius Kaeder, O.S.B., presiding pastor of Saint Vincent Mother Church and the citizens of Youngstown in the home of Philip McAtee, the local Justice of the Peace, to discuss the church and school problems of the area. It was decided that a church and school would be built on the tract of land in Youngstown willed to Saint Vincent Archabbey by Moses Gillespie. The plans for both were formulated by the building committee during its first meeting on July 15, 1875. The group resolved to erect a brick building (30 by 40 feet), and the cost of which was not to exceed $2,000. The contractors finished their work on December 4, 1875.

The Rt. Rev. Abbott Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., of Saint Vincent Abbey dedicated the building to the service of God under the patronage of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on December 26, 1875.

Subscriptions for a school, separate from Sacred Heart Church, were announced on April 22, 1917. The two-story, two-room building was constructed at a cost of $2,000. The school opened for classes on October 8, 1917, with 34 children registered from 23 families.

For the next 28 years, laypeople constituted the school’s teaching staff. The students were divided in two rooms: grades 1-4 and 5-8. In 1945, Fr. Adrian Krakowski, O.S.B., contacted the Felician Sisters of Coraopolis, and two sisters residing at Saint John’s Convent commuted to Youngstown by trolley to teach. When Sacred Heart School opened in September of 1945, its enrollment grew to 76, the largest in its history.

When enrollment expanded to 109 students, two more sisters were added to the staff on August 26, 1947, and a new convent was also completed at that time. The school’s two large rooms were divided again, which resulted in four rooms with two grades per room.

When Fr. Flavian Yelinko, O.S.B., was assigned to the parish on September 6, 1951, he focused on building a new, larger school, and in 1956, the most modern school building in the area opened. At that time, there were 167 students enrolled.

Sacred Heart School continued to serve the Youngstown area with an exceptional elementary education program under the direction of the Diocese of Greensburg, the Felician Sisters and the laypeople who served as teachers...but falling enrollments and rising staff expenditures in recent years forced its closing at the end of the 2006-2007 school year.

Today, our Catholic school children attend one of our regional Catholic school, Christ the Divine Teacher School, in Latrobe or Aquinas Academy in Greensburg.

The Tewes name is a prominent one in the history of Sacred Heart Church. The church bell was donated by Frank and Elizabeth Tewes in 1920, and the couple’s son, Francis, rang it for the first time. It is one of a few mementos kept from the 1875 church. The bell remains in use to this day, mounted in the bell tower above the entrance of the present church.

Over the years, the local Christian community continued to grow rapidly. New housing developments and industrial growth brought more families to the Roman Catholic community of Sacred Heart. As a result, the pioneers’ small, brick church situated in the center of Main Street, Youngstown, was unsuitable to meet the needs of its members. The dream of a new church finally became a reality through the diligent efforts of Fr. Matthew Benko, O.S.B., and the parish council. On April 22, 1973, Easter Sunday Mass was the last to be celebrated in the old church. Demolition of the old church began on May 1, 1973, and Masses were held in the school cafeteria until the new church was completed.

On January 19, 1974, the dream was fulfilled when the first Mass was celebrated in the new church by Fr. Matthew Benko, O.S.B.

In addition to the Benedictines who served during the times of the various milestones mentioned above (while Sacred Heart was still a “mission parish under the authority of the pastor of St. Vincent Basilica Parish”) others who served at Sacred Heart were: Fr. Aiden Pfeister, O.S.B.; Fr. Boniface Buerkle, O.S.B.; Fr. John Haag, O.S.B.; and Fr. Aelred Beck, O.S.B.

On March 10, 2001, Sacred Heart was established by the Diocese of Greensburg as a freestanding parish with Fr. Chad Ficorilli, O.S.B. as pastor [with Fr. Ralph Tajak, O.S.B. a parochial vicar]; then, Fr Aaron Buzzelli, O.S.B. [with Fr. Bill Beaver, O.S.B. as senior priest in residence]; then, Fr. Peter Augustine Pierjok, O.S.B. as pastor; AND effective July 17, 2017 Fr. James F. Podlesney, O.S.B. was named pastor."
Year of construction: 1973

Cross-listed waymark: [Web Link]

Full inscription:
Sacred Heart 1973

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