Sacred Heart, Tarentum

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Parish History

Sacred Heart parish was established in 1896 as a German parish.  Before Sacred Heart was founded, local Germans attended St. Peter, Tarentum.  In 1889, St. Peter parish began fund raising for a school.  Most, if not all, of the subscriptions for the new school came from the German members of the congregation.  Construction of the school began in May of 1890 and the cornerstone was laid on August 17, 1890.  The completed building was dedicated on August 22, 1891.  The basement of the building was occupied by the Sisters teaching in the school.  The first floor was devoted to classrooms and the second floor contained a large hall.

In May of 1896, the pastor invited two missionary priests from Germany to give German sermons in the school hall, while sermons in English were given in the church.  This made the Germans aware how numerous they were and inspired them to seek their own parish.  A delegation went to the bishop requesting permission for the Germans to separate from St. Peter.  Permission was given and the separation took place on June 14, 1896.  The new parish received the school building.  The second floor of the building was converted to a church.

By 1969, Tarentum had three churches within two blocks of each other.  The population of the town, however, could no longer support this many parishes.  On June 8, 1969, Sacred Heart was merged with St. Peter to form a new parish named Sacred Heart-St. Peter.  As neither church was large enough to serve the combined congregation, a new church was built.  This church was dedicated on May 14, 1972.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

Sacred Heart Church, 1933
Interior of church, 1933

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