St. Elias Rectory phone number and mailing address:
4200 Homestead-Duquesne Road
Munhall, Pa. 15120
431 George StreetBraddock, PA. 15104 Get Directions
Prior to 1896, Byzantine Catholic residents of Braddock and surrounding communities did not have a church of their own in which to worship. In May of that year the process of organizing a Byzantine Catholic parish began with the purchase of the First Presbyterian Church on George Street. This new church was chartered on August 29, 1896 as SS. Peter and Paul Greek Catholic Church of Braddock. The church was dedicated on September 26, 1896 and its first pastor was Father Nicholas Szcetovich.
As the congregation grew, a larger church became necessary. The Corey Estate on Jones Avenue in North Braddock was purchased. After purchasing the lot, however, the congregation realized that the additional cost of constructing a new building would put the church into great debt. Carnegie Steel of Bessemer, Pa. offered to buy the lot and to tear down the old church on George Street. The deal was finalized in December 1920.
Construction of the new church was an architecturally challenging task because there was a 28-foot difference between the levels of George and John Streets. The architects and builders met the challenge and produced one of the most impressive churches in the area, modeling it after Holy Cross Cathedral in Užhorod, Transcarpathia. Construction was completed in 1923 and the new church was dedicated on November 2, 1924.
Throughout the years since its inception, SS. Peter and Paul parish experienced prosperity and expansion. In 1900 the parish house was built. In 1914 several lots on John Street were purchased. One year later a school was built on these lots and operated until 1970. In the early 1900s a chapel was built in the Byzantine Catholic section of the Monongahela Cemetery as the final resting place of several priests who had served the parish. A printing shop on John Street – operated by Father Julius Grigassy during his service from 1925 to 1959 – produced prayer books and religious articles which still are in circulation today. On October 6, 1996 SS. Peter and Paul parish celebrated its 100th Anniversary. The Liturgy was celebrated by Metropolitan Judson Procyk, followed by a dinner at the East Pittsburgh VFW.
As parishioners moved from Braddock to surrounding communities over the years, new parishes were built to accommodate the movement. St. Mary in East Pittsburgh and Church of the Resurrection in Monroeville are two prime examples. Despite adverse social and economic factors affecting the area today, the parishioners of SS. Peter and Paul Church continue to flourish and worship in their beautiful holy space.