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 The Former All Saints Parish

Erected: 1908
Partnered: Oct. 30, 2008, with former Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Mary Parish, Leckrone
Merged: June 25, 2013, to form St. Francis of Assisi Parish

 

In 100 years at the former All Saints Parish, there was:

Baptisms: 5,026 baptisms, the first being Gwendolene Callaghan, born October 18, 1908 to Patrick and Isabel (Trodden) Callaghan. She was baptized November 8, 1908, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Mary Parish in Leckrone.

Marriages: 1,326 marriages, the first being Amos Helmick and Elizabeth Riley, both of Grays Landing, who were married January 3, 1909.

Funerals: 2,745 deaths, the first being Catherine Edith Reilly who died December 29, 1908, at the age of eight months, 10 days. She was buried in Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Mary Cemetery in Leckrone.

Burial: The first burial at St. Agnes Cemetery was that of Agnes Morgan, age two days, who died August 7, 1909, and was buried August 8, 1909. The cemetery was named "St. Agnes" in her honor.

 ​Building of the church and grounds

Shortly after the turn of the nineteenth century, a vast influx of immigrants seeking out a living in the heart of the bituminous coal and coke region, settled in the Masontown area.

In October of 1908, Bishop J.F. Canevin, bishop of Pittsburgh, recognizing the need for the continuing spiritual development for these immigrants, assigned Father Francis J. Kolb, V.F., a young, energetic German priest from Delmont, to establish a parish in Masontown. Father Kolb had previously served for six years as an assistant pastor at St. Xavier's Church on the north side of Pittsburgh.

The first church committee consisted primarily of coal operators who worked tirelessly with Father Kolb to establish the new parish. The committee consisted of Father Kolb, president and treasurer; Thomas Connell, secretary; John Payton, J.W. Campbell, Patrick Mullen, Francis Rocks, P. Callaghan, John Smith, L.B. Callaghan, Patrick Walsh, Bryan McGinty, James McKenna and John Walsh.

The first Mass celebrated by Father Kolb was offered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St. Mary Church in Leckrone, October 25, 1908. The second Mass was celebrated at sunrise in a company house owned by George Bartley. Services were then held in Sterling Hall in the Leroy Hotel on North Main Street in Masontown.

In the meantime, plans for the church and rectory were prepared by John T. Comes, a noted architect of national reputation in church building and one who had made a special study of religious architecture here and abroad.

A Gothic Mission style was chosen for the new church that resulted in a structure of the grace and beauty of All Saints Church.

On May 10, 1909, an acre of ground on the corner of Church Street and Neff Avenue (now South Washington Street) was purchased from the Neff heirs.

The cornerstone of the church was laid September 26, 1909, by the Msgr. M.A. Lambing of Scottdale. Father Francis P. Ward of St. Francis Xavier's Church in Pittsburgh delivered the sermon. The church and the rectory were completed in March 1910 and were dedicated April 24, 1910, by Bishop J.F. Regis Canevin.

All Saints Church and the Father Ward delivered the homily at this Mass of Dedication. That same afternoon Bishop Canevin confirmed a class of 66 students. Father Aurelius of Saint Vincent Archabbey was master of ceremonies with Father Graham as deacon and Father Kolb as sub-deacon.

 ​Establishing a Mission Church

Since there was little or no transportation in the surrounding areas for parishioners to attend All Saints Church, a mission church was proposed and built in McClellandtown.

St. Francis de Sales was completed in August 1909. Bishop Canevin dedicated the Mission and delivered the homily on the occasion. Msgr. Lambing sang the High Mass.

On January 1, 2008, the Diocese of Greensburg closed all the mission churches (chapels of convenience). The building was sold June 13, 2008.

The statue of St. Francis de Sales and other artifacts may now be seen around All Saints.

Read the full history of the former All Saints Parish.