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Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church - Ellwood City PA

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Before getting their own parish in 1916 the Italian Catholics in Ellwood had attended St. Agatha Church and were also served by a mission from St. Vitus Church in New Castle. The new Italian ethnic Catholic Church, named the Purification of the BVM and led by the Rev. Salvatore Marino, opened in March 1918. The congregation quickly grew and a new church (shown above) was opened on 4th Street in March 1930. (1932) Full Size


Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Purification of BVM Church took place on Sunday, May 12, 1968. The Reverend Dominic DeBlasio is seen at center. (May 1968) Full Size


Another photo of the groundbreaking ceremonies held on May 12, 1968. Major construction efforts began in early 1969 as the massive prefabricated pieces of the new church were trucked in from Ohio and assembled on site. The new church was later dedicated in April 1970. (May 1968) Full Size


The old church served the community until it was replaced with a modern building (on left), which was built across the street and dedicated on Sunday, April 20, 1970. The Most Reverend Vincent M. Leonard, the Bishop of Pittsburgh, attended the dedication ceremony. The older church was later razed. The parish was merged with that of St. Agatha in February 2000 to form the new Holy Redeemer Parish. When St. Agatha was closed in September 2007 the Purification of the BVM Church was renamed as the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. (1970) Full Size


These photos depict the Reverend Vincent Galliano, who took over as pastor of the church in 1929. On left he is pictured with Elizabeth Skender (on left), his longtime housekeeper. Elizabeth’s brother Louis Skender and a young Peggy Skender are also pictured. The other two photos show the Reverend Galliano on the Smiley Farm north of Ellwood City. (All photos c1941) (Photos courtesy of Kate Young)


The Reverend Galliano is pictured on the Smiley Farm with John Ricci. (c1941) (Photo courtesy of Kate Young)


These photos reveal of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church. From left photo is c1933, the middle is c1947, and the right is Easter Day, April 16, 1933. (Photos courtesy of Kate Young)


On left, Elizabeth Skender hanging laundry outside the rectory. (c1950). On right, the day that Lawrence County native Anthony Teolis (1921-1996) was ordained in the church. (Mar 27, 1949) (Photos courtesy of Kate Young)


The first photos appear to show renovations taking place, while the right photo depicts the Reverend Galliano addressing a crowd outside the church. (May 1941) (Photos courtesy of Kate Young)


Elizabeth Skender, and a faithful companion, in front of the church’s parochial school. (Jun 27, 1949) (Photos courtesy of Kate Young)


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