Saint John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church Lyndora, PA

Contact Details

Address

Saint John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church

105 Kohler Avenue

Lyndora, PA. 16045-1104 Get Directions

History

The founders of St. John the Baptist Church were Rusyns from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. They worked in the steel mills of McKees Rocks and Pittsburgh. In 1902 the Standard Steel Car Company attracted them to its new railcar manufacturing facility in Lyndora, near Butler, Pa. Without a church of their own in Lyndora, these Byzantine Catholics fulfilled their religious needs by attending a local Roman Catholic church and later, a Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic church.

St. John the Baptist Church was founded on May 10, 1910; Father Aleksij Petrasovich was assigned as the first pastor. In less than a year Father Petrasovich returned to Europe, leaving the new parish with only an occasional service. In 1912 a full-time pastor was assigned. Construction of a new church was begun and completed for its dedication on March 9, 1913. In January 1915 a fire caused major damage to the new church, but the congregation was able to make repairs to the building.

A new rectory was built in 1923. During the years of the Depression when it became impossible for the parish to support a full-time priest, financial help was received from a neighboring Byzantine Catholic church.

The 1940s were a period of growth for the parish. Over 200 men and women returned home from World War II with skills that provided them with better paying jobs than their parents had. The new prosperity of the parish members was channeled toward the purchase of neighboring properties. The congregation had outgrown the small church and initiated plans for a new facility.

The old church was razed and in 1955, a new church was dedicated on the same site. During construction, services were held in the main office cafeteria of the Pullman Standard Car Company. With the generosity of the Butler Works of Armco Steel Corporation, which donated the stainless steel used in the construction, this beautiful church was built and furnished for $250,000.