Sacred Heart Worship Site ~ Closing Mass on June 30, 2019

Sacred Heart Church

Before Mass was offered in Rices Landing, the parishioners attended services in Brownsville and later in Fredericktown. In 1926 Father John Angel from Marianna began attending to the parishioners.

Soon afterwards, Father John Greshner of St. Michael’s in Fredericktown, ministered to the faithful. He was assisted by the priests from the Confraternity in Pittsburgh. Various men of the parish would take turns in going to Fredericktown for the priest.

The present church was built by Father Greshner and on Sun-day, June 29, 1929, a solemn, unofficial dedication, took place.

At the 9:00 am Mass, Father Julius Lechandro administered the sacrament of First Holy Communion to a class of 14, and at 7:00 pm a large crowd assembled for the procession preceding the blessing of the statue of the Sacred Heart. Among the priests present for the event were Father John Angel, St. Martin’s in Pittsburgh; Father George Hurley, St. John’s, Uniontown; Father Leo Buza, St. Thomas, Footedale; Father Joseph Forysiak, Our Lady of Czestochowa, Cardale, Father John Martin, Our Lady of Consolation, Nemacolin, Father John Greshner, St. Michael’s Fredericktown.

Father Angel, a former pas-tor, blessed the statue of the Sacred Heart and dedicated the parish. The statue was donated by Mr. And Mrs. Charles Chunderlick. Father Hurley administered the Holy Name Society pledge to the first group of Holy Name men organized in this parish which numbered 17, and he gave a short talk on the good work done by the Society. Father Greshenr, who was pastor during the erection of the church delivered a sermon in Slovak and in English. Then followed the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament by Father Buza and assisted by Father Martin.

The first organist was Gertrude Popovich and next Barbara Stemnock. Religious instructions were taught by Mary Ellen Braden. The first Church Committee men were John Popovich, Bill Cutler, Sr., Andrew Matyk, & Charles Chunderlick. Property for the new church was purchased from Mack Hill and later additional lots were donated by Joseph Journic. When Father Lachendro was appointed pastor, he resided in Palmer. The normal way of travel was by Ferry across the Monongahela River. In addition to St. Albert Parish in Palmer, Father Lachendro ministered to Sacred Heart and St. Mary’s in Crucible. The need for additional facilities was apparent from the time the present church was constructed. Because of sand and water beneath the church, only a small furnace room existed below the edifice. This room, two small sacristies and the church were used for religious instructions and parish meetings.

While various attempts were made to increase the facilities, including a merger with St. Mary’s in Crucible, none was successful. Plans to build on top of the present church were abandoned because the foundation was not constructed to sup-port another story.

On April 28, 1968 the church Committee discussed with Father Nazimek the construction of a new building for CCD Classes and parish socials. Various parishes were visited to survey facilities elsewhere and to obtain an estimate of cost for a pro-posed building. Two local parishes had just completed a building program similar to the needs of Sacred Heart for about $35,000. On the basis of this cost, it was decided that the parish could afford a similar building.

Over the years, the church has been renovated and remodeled and the construction of the Sacred Heart Social Hall was an added edition under the tenure of Father Francis Nazimek.

The church itself remains open and continues to serve the local Catholic community as a Worship Site of Our Lady of Consolation.

Pastors of Sacred Heart

+ Rev. Julius Lachendro 1929

+ Rev. Paul J. Simko .... 1937-52

+ Rev. John A. Hruska .. 1952-62

+ Rev. Michael Kubacky 1962-66

+ Rev. Francis Nazimek 1966-91

   Rev. Michael Suslowicz 1991-98

   Rev. Thomas Wilson .. 1998-99

   Rev. John Bauer ......... 1999 to 2018