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  • 18.09.15

    Attachments:FileDescriptionRELIGIOUS ED FACT SHEET.doc ...
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    Attachments:FileDescriptionPastoral Plan 2015-2018.pdf  Year One.pdf ...
  • 20.12.14
    What is the Parish Pastoral Council?  Prior to 1999 parishes in our diocese functioned with a group of men and women, elected by the parish members under the heading of Parish Council.  There were four major committees that assisted the Pastor in managing the day-to-day tasks of running a parish.In the year 2000, the Bishop asked all the parishes to adopt a new model of operation call...
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    Patte Grey - FacilitatorIvan HofmannMarty McDanielJeff MinarekJean BleyDonna PavlisAnna VillellaLinda SoldressenDonna Best...
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  • 03.03.12
    We are excited to inform you that we now offer Online Giving! As a church that seeks to serve, we wanted to provide you the convenience of being able to give the way you want, whenever you want. Online Giving offers you the opportunity to make secure, automatic contributions from your bank [or credit card] account to our church.As we begin this new program, you may notice your neighbors placin...
  • 02.08.11
      Please join the Saturday morning Men’s Bible Study in a journey through the history of the Catholic Church. Learn about the major people, places and events of two thousand years of church history. A DVD by Professor Steve Weidenkopf will be used, followed by a discussion of the material presented. Join us every Saturday morning at 7:30am in Meeting Room #1.  ...


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Home Home History Sewickley after the Civil War
Sewickley after the Civil War

The earliest original records for the parish list the names of Rev. Joseph Branstetter and Rev. Martin Kink, probably from Allegheny City, as the attending priests.

Among these records are the following:

  • First Baptism: John Gilroy, December 21, 1865, who later became an engineer for the Pennsylvania Railroad.

  • First Marriage: Joseph Muller of Reichberhausen, Wurtenberg, and Maria Anna Eichenlaub of Scheid, Bavaria, on November 4, 1868.
Original Church
Dedicated November 24, 1870.

It was during this time that the shrill call of a steamboat whistle echoed daily throughout the valley. Large floats of logs from northern forests making their way south were an easy source of timber for boat builders and carpenters in Sewickley. These were times for optimism and growth, and delighted children could watch the mighty steam engines puffing their way along the tracks in an amazing display of speed and power.

On May 19, 1866, Bishop Michael Domenec, the second Bishop of the Pittsburgh Diocese, delivered a lecture for the benefit of Saint James Parish. The Pittsburgh Catholic reported that the lecture was given at the Methodist Church in Sewickley, "use of which has been kindly tendered for the occasion by the congregation." On June 2nd of the same year, Bishop Domenec administered the Sacrament of Confirmation in Saint James Church to 52 persons.

In the fall of 1867, Father John Dominic Zwickert began a ten year residency as pastor of Saint James Church which would set the course of the parish until this day. Early writers do not agree on the type of man Father Zwickert was. Some call him strong and venturesome; and optimist. Others have said that he was shy and unsociable. Judging by his achievements and the setbacks he encountered, there may have been good reason for both views.

After his arrival, Father Zwickert wasted no time beginning plans for the construction of the church which was to serve his people and their descendants for 98 years. On June 4, 1868, the cornerstone was laid. Only a man of vision would have built a church with a seating capacity for 350 persons when the congregation numbered less than 100. Father Zwickert firmly believed that the Sewickley Valley would someday become a populous center. He knew that his one Mass on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. would someday be inadequate.