506 Saline StreetPittsburgh, PA. 15207 Get Directions
They came from the Carpathian Mountains and found a new home in Rus’ska Dolina, the “Rusyn Valley.” Men of faith and courage left their homes and found work in the Pittsburgh steel mills; wives and children followed. They found the trek to St. John the Baptist Church in the South Side difficult, so they undertook the task of founding a new parish in the vicinity of their homes. Thus was the birth of St. John Chrysostom Church.
The first church was a modest hall on Saline Street. Its first pastor, Father Aleksij Petrasovich assumed duties in August 1910. In the same year, five lots were purchased on Saline Street and construction of a frame structure began. The generosity of the people together with assistance from the Greek Catholic Union provided liturgical appointments for this new church.
In 1916 the first portion of the icon screen was built and icons were written. In 1917 the parish built and furnished the rectory; the church and parish house were dedicated on October 28, 1917. The second portion of the iconostasis was completed in 1919, and the icon screen was dedicated on October 12, 1919. Two years later it became necessary to purchase two additional lots, because it was evident that a larger church building was needed to satisfy the needs of the rapidly growing congregation.
In 1931 the decision was made to move the existing church building and to build the new and present church on the corner of Saline and Anthony Streets. The cornerstone was blessed on December 11, 1932, and the church was dedicated on May 26, 1935. The old church served as a social hall until the 1960s.
The Archieparchial Radio Apostolate had its origin at St. John Chrysostom Church. Radio broadcasts of Sunday Liturgies began on October 8, 1956, with Father John Bilock as the celebrant. Initially aired by radio station WLOA in Braddock, the broadcasts continued over WEDO 810-AM in McKeesport, Pa. from several other area churches.
In 1994 planning began for yet another renovation project. Work began with painting, new lighting, a new sound system and new icons throughout the church. New Guild Studios in Braddock served as artists and supervisors of the project. The blessing ceremony was held on February 9, 1997.
St. John Chrysostom Church has been the scene of many priestly, diaconal, and lectorate ordinations over the years. As it faces the heavily traveled Parkway East, it stands as a visible sign of the faith and generosity of its people to the many travelers who pass by and look upon its domes and crosses. Brilliant illumination of the church façade was installed in 2010 in observance of the parish’s 100th anniversary, a year-long event which culminated in a grand homecoming celebration.