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St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church

Monongahela

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church

St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church

Location Details

PHONE: 724-785-7781
ADDRESS: 18 church Street
Brownsville, PA 15417
HOURS: Phone Ahead

Description

Not surprisingly, Church Street is home to several houses of worship, among them St. Peter’s Church. Now on the National Register of Historic Places and the Pennsylvania Landmark Register, the church was built by Irish masons using locally quarried stone. Dedicated in 1845, it is the oldest continuously operating church in western Pennsylvania and the first Catholic parish in Fayette County.

The early congregants believed that Brownsville would be the headquarters for the soon-to-be-established Western Pennsylvania Diocese and that St. Peter’s would become a cathedral. Thus, the church was equipped with a burial crypt (the final resting place for higher-ranking members of the clergy) and configured with a pulpit and sedile, or bishop’s seat, on the right side of the altar. However, both Brownsville and the church were passed over.

The church at one time boasted the only heated cemetery in the world. It seems heating ducts used to run under the church graveyard — a distinction that landed it in Ripley's Believe It or Not. From its vantage point atop Church Street, St. Peter’s Church offers an impressive view of the bend in the Monongahela River. And inside, its stained-glass windows offer a view of local history.

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