Saint Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church McKeesport, PA

Contact Details

  • Rectory:

    (412) 664-9131
    Pastor: Reverend Donald J. Voss

Address

Saint Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church

410 Sixth Avenue

McKeesport, PA. 15132 Get Directions

History

The new church building served the growing congregation until it was razed in 1963. It was replaced by the present church, built on the same site and dedicated on June 21, 1964.

The original congregation was primarily of Rusyn extraction, but also consisted of faithful of Ukrainian, Hungarian, and Romanian descent. Soon many of these branched off to form their own churches.

On March 29, 1903 a sizable number of parishioners met to form a new fraternal and religious-oriented organization, the “United Societies of America.” This organization continues to serve the faithful of the Byzantine Catholic Church nationwide.

Benedictine monks began serving St. Nicholas parish in the early 1940s, following the ordination of the first two Byzantine Catholic Benedictine priests. In 1948, after Holy Trinity Monastery was founded as a priory, St. Nicholas Church served as its temporary headquarters. For four months the young community led the monastic life in St. Nicholas parish, chanting the monastic office of the Church.

For many years the children of the parish were taught their Catholic religion, Byzantine tradition and Rusyn language during the summer vacation. In 1947 a full-time parochial school for grades 1-5 was opened, utilizing an existing older building. In 1959 a new school building was constructed, and the school expanded to eight grades. The school was staffed by sisters from the Order of St. Basil the Great. For 13 years the teaching apostolate was assumed by the Byzantine Benedictine sisters. In 1996, with a decreasing enrollment the school closed.

St. Nicholas Church played a pioneer role in the newly-established radio apostolate of the Pittsburgh Archeparchy. The Divine Liturgy was broadcast over a local McKeesport radio station, reaching shut-ins in the Tri-State area. Originally, the broadcast was shared by other parishes, but soon the project became the exclusive mission of St. Nicholas. After 13 years, the radio apostolate was moved to Holy Ghost Church in McKees Rocks, Pa., where it continues today.

Throughout its history, a number of organizations were formed for the religious and social enhancement of the parishioners of St. Nicholas Church and the local community. Among them were an altar society, rosary society, sodality, cub scouts, boy scouts, folk dance groups, Holy Name society, church choir and more recently, an active Marian society and the society of SS. Cyril & Methodius.