Saint Michael Byzantine Catholic Church Canonsburg, PA

Contact Details

  • Church: (724) 745-3097
  • Rectory:

    (724) 745-7117
    Priest: Very Reverend R. Joseph Raptosh
    Deacon: Deacon Lance D. Weakland

Address

Saint Michael Byzantine Catholic Church

166 East College Street

Canonsburg, PA. 15317 Get Directions
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History

The beginning of the 20th Century marked the arrival of the first Rusyn immigrants to Canonsburg. These people traveled about 40 miles round-trip to Byzantine Catholic churches in Pittsburgh and Carnegie for over a decade, until they were able to build a church of their own. Twelve men signed their names to the charter that established the new church in 1912. The first church of St. Michael’s was established and built in East Canonsburg, complete with a church bell, cast in brass, especially made for the building. Father Alexander Medveczky was the first resident pastor.

By 1926, the congregation had outgrown the small church. They sold the church property and made plans to rebuild on College Street in Canonsburg. Father Andrew Dzmura, pastor during the $40,000 project, received wholehearted support from the people. Many parishioners offered their property as collateral to build the foundation, signing $1,000 notes on their homes. During construction, Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St. Genevieve’s, the Polish Catholic Church also on College Street.

The basement of the church was built in 1928, but the Great Depression delayed the completion of the structure for decades. A shortage of priests resulted in the administering of St. Michael’s from the Pittsburgh Chancery Office from 1932 to 1935. The pastors in residence between 1935 and 1948 ministered to an active congregation in a still incomplete church building. A rectory finally was purchased in 1948.

On February 20, 1949 ground was broken for a new church next to the incomplete structure. The cornerstone was solemnly blessed by Bishop Daniel Ivancho on July 31, 1949. In the years that followed, each pastor worked diligently to attend to both the spiritual and temporal needs of the parish. Many of the parochial activities during this period focused on liquidating the mortgage incurred for the new church. This goal was accomplished in 1957, and the parish celebrated with a solemn rededication of the newly painted and decorated church.

In 1960, the church began to purchase surrounding property for additional parking areas. By 1962, when the parish celebrated its 50th Anniversary, St. Michael’s had fostered seven religious vocations.

In 1968, Father Joseph Jugan was assigned to the parish, and continued to build upon the accomplishments of the congregation. In 1970, the church basement was remodeled. Adjustable partitions provided for eight classrooms for the ECF (Eastern Christian Formation) classes. In 1982 a new rectory was built on the site of the former church. Father Joseph retired from active ministry on May 1, 2016. Succeeding him is Very Rev. R. Joseph Raptosh.

St. Michael’s is still recognized in the Canonsburg area for its beautiful church building, well-planned and executed social functions, delicious traditional food sales held to benefit the church, and for the involvement of the parishioners in the community.