*** ONLINE AS OF AUGUST 5, 2011 ***
    



St. Lawrence Catholic Church & Cemetery - Hillsville PA

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At the turn of the century many Italians in Hillsville traveled to distant churches for Catholic services. In early 1906 the Reverend Nicholas DeMita, pastor of the St. Vitus Catholic Church in New Castle, helped establish a mission in Hillsville that became St. Lawrence Catholic Church. The Carbon Limestone Company donated land and a small wooden church (shown above) was opened north of the village of Hillsville in late 1906. DeMita served as pastor until late 1909, when the church was granted full church status under the Reverend Rocco Maturo. A small cemetery had also been established as well. (c1910) (Photo courtesy of Chris Gregg) Full Size


A ceremony of some sort in front of the original St. Lawrence Church in Hillsville. (c1910) (Photo courtesy of Chris Gregg) Full Size


The original St. Lawrence Catholic Church was lost to a fire on July 18, 1930. A new brick church (shown above) was soon erected at the same location. It was dedicated on Sunday, March 22, 1931. In this photo worshippers from St. Lawrence Catholic Church (seen in background) march to the nearby society hall in Hillsville. (c1950) (Photo courtesy of Chris Gregg) Full Size


The altar area of the second St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Hillsville. (c1940) (Photo courtesy of Chris Gregg) Full Size


After the fire of July 1930 the Reverend Nunzio Pirulli, pastor from about 1929 until 1939, rallied his congregation. A new brick church (shown above) was dedicated on Sunday, March 22, 1931. As many as seventy priests were on hand for the lavish ceremony, in which sermons were provided in both Italian and English. Due to overcrowding several hundred people had to wait outside during the ceremony inside the church. (Mar 2012) Full Size


The original church was established to serve the influx of Italian immigrants who worked the local limestone quarries. (Mar 2012)


This brick church replaced an earlier wooden building that was destroyed by fire on July 18, 1930. (Mar 2012)


The old church is located on Churchill Road, overlooking the main highway of Route 422. When a newer church was opened in 1967 this older building continued in service for the parish as a CCD and Recreation Center. It was later sold – sometime in the 1990’s – and is now in use as a private residence. (Mar 2012) Full Size


In March 1967 a new St. Lawrence Church was dedicated at a new location a short distance away on Martin Kelly Spear Road. In June 2000 the parish, facing a dwindling membership, merged with St. Anthony’s Catholic Church/Parish in Bessemer to form the new Christ the King Parish. The churches share a pastor and both remain open to this day. (Mar 2012) Full Size


The sign on Churchill Road marking the location of the newer church. (Mar 2012)


The new church was dedicated by the distinguished Bishop John J. Wright of Pittsburgh on March 5, 1967. (Mar 2012)


The new church along Martin Kelly Spear Road. (Mar 2012)


A sculpture at the new church. (Mar 2012)


The sign marking the entrance to the cemetery on the old church grounds. (Mar 2012)


The old church, now a private residence, overlooks the cemetery. (Mar 2012)


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The gravesite of my uncle Steve Capan, who worked at Metro Brick and also served as a city bus driver in Washington D.C. Steve was a good friend of my dad’s and died after a struggle with stomach cancer. (Mar 2012)


Steve’s youngest son and my cousin Bobby, who was tragically killed in a car accident. His mother was my aunt Dorothy “Dottie” (Bales) Capan/Sawyer. (Mar 2012)


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Comment

  1. The new church has been closed as well and the congregation has been moved to Bessemer.

    Eric H · 08/28/2013 08:39 PM · #

  2. every other mass is at St. Lawrence It is still used my grandson was Baptized there in July 2013 and the hall is still being rented

    Carrie Cade · 09/24/2013 09:31 PM · #

  3. I am searching for the graves of Creature or Creatura. Can you help me to locate these.Names -Michele-Lucia-Rocco

    Glenda Creatore · 05/05/2014 12:16 PM · #

  4. This is a wonderful site on St. Lawrence. My Late Uncle was the Pastor there in the early 60s’. He had the new St. Lawrence build and I may even have photos of it under construction. I used to stay at both churches with him while visiting from N.Y. I enjoyed my days in Hillsville very much. It is sad to see above that the new church has been closed.

    Al Margiotta · 10/24/2014 10:09 PM · #