Saint Elias Byzantine Catholic Church Munhall, PA

Contact Details

Address

Saint Elias Byzantine Catholic Church

4200 Homestead-Duquesne Road

Munhall, PA. 15120 Get Directions

History

On May 4, 1905 a convention of Mon (Monongahela) Valley Hungarians met to establish a Hungarian Byzantine Catholic Church in Homestead to be named St. Anthony Hungarian Greek Catholic Church. Ecclesiastical approval was granted in April, 1907. At the request of Bishop Regis Canevin, Roman Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh, the name was changed to St. Elias to avoid confusion with the existing St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church in Homestead.

Father Julius Orosz was assigned as the first pastor. The Markovics Hall on Eighth Avenue was rented for church services. During that year, a rectory and church located at Ninth Avenue and McClure Street were purchased from St. Matthew Episcopal Church.

The parish took formal occupancy on December 29, 1907, and the first Liturgy was celebrated in January of 1908.

In 1917 the church interior was liturgically decorated by well-known artists. A cemetery on Jane Street in Homeville was purchased in 1920.

In March 1928, the church was destroyed by an early morning fire. Through the efforts of the community, businesses, and friends – as well as the congregation – the edifice was reconstructed in the same year.

In the mid 1940s three missions by noted clergy from Europe and the United States were sponsored. A Holy Name Society and Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary were formed. On September 21, 1958, the congregation celebrated its 50th Anniversary.

In 1962 a 13-acre parcel on Homestead-Duquesne Road was purchased for a new church and rectory. A Building Fund committee was formed and a Loyalty Day Dinner was held in November 1962, generating parishioner pledges. New fundraising organizations were formed, among them the Boosters Club, which helped with construction and decoration of the church.

Groundbreaking for the new church was held May 19, 1963, and the first Liturgy was celebrated October 24, 1964, in the partially completed building. By July 24, 1966 the church was dedicated and in full use. A Mortgage-Burning Ceremony was held July 22, 1973. During his American visit, Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty, Primate of Hungary, visited St. Elias Church on July 27, 1974 and blessed the Mindszenty Garden on the church grounds. In 1980 the church interior decoration commenced and continued until 1984. The icon screen was blessed during the celebration of the 75th Anniversary. On Sunday, June 24, 2007, the parish celebrated its 100th Anniversary.

In addition to the church, the present facilities of St. Elias include a chapel to the Mother of Perpetual Help, a library, four ECF (Eastern Christian Formation) classrooms and an office for the ECF coordinator. A spacious social hall also is housed on the lower level of the facility.