2336 Brownsville RoadPittsburgh, PA. 15210 Get Directions
The community of St. Pius X Byzantine Catholic Church has demonstrated its faith in many forms for nearly six decades. Bishop Daniel Ivancho’s June 17, 1954 Episcopal Proclamation to form a new parish resulted in the Byzantine Catholic Exarchate of Pittsburgh’s purchase of the John M. Phillips mansion and five acres of property on Brownsville Road. Parishioners are drawn from a wide region of the Central South Hills of Greater Pittsburgh.
Liturgies were held in the former Philips mansion for the first four years. During this period, three priests organized and led St. Pius’ efforts: Father Andrew Pataki (June 27, 1954), Father Michael A. Kushner (February 1, 1955) and Father Thomas V. Dolinay (February 1, 1956). On October 19, 1958 the first Liturgy was celebrated in the newly constructed all-purpose auditorium.
Responsibility for the parish’s development transferred in 1961 to Father Andrew D. Bachkovsky. Since September14, 1964 Father Nicholas X. Smiciklas fostered its growth as pastor until his retirement on April 1, 2006, having served the parish for nearly42 years. He fell asleep in the Lord on September 13 of that year.
On December 6, 1973, nineteen years after the parish’s birth and on the Feast of Nicholas, the first Liturgy in the new church building was celebrated. The new church provides seating for four hundred and eleven people. It is graced by a sixty-five foot bell tower with carillon bells.
Ancient and modern historical references are created throughout the church to bolster faith and to enhance worship. Mindful that people learn and express themselves differently, these references are presented in multiple forms to include cultural artifacts, national flags, icons and written leaflets. Significant events and personalities in the history of the Archeparchy and parish are pictorially displayed in the Corridor of Memories.
In the foyer, The Word of God Shrine honors Saints Cyril and Methodius and depicts the parish’s ancestral roots with the national emblems of Subcarpathian-Rus’, Hungary and Croatia; the 1913 appointment of Father Soter Ortinsky as the first Byzantine Catholic Bishop in the United States; and the canonization of Pope Pius X in 1954, the year St. Pius X Church was canonically established.
The Chapel of Remembrance is a shrine to the modern day martyrs, confessors and witnesses of the Byzantine (Greek) Catholic Church, namely, Bishops Theodore Romzha, Alexander Chira, Paul Gojdi? and Basil Hopko.
As one leaves the church, The Tree of Life sculpture, a wood and metal relief entitled “Sermon on the Mount” presents itself. It commemorates some of the Church’s more recent events, such as Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras mutually lifting the 1054 excommunication; Blessed John Paul II’s ecumenical endeavors; and “firsts” for the Byzantine Catholic Church in America — appointments of Bishop Takach and Metropolitan Archbishop Kocisko. As a mature community, St. Pius parish reviews its past with thanksgiving for all that has been accomplished and prays that it serves as an encouragement to build on these many blessings.