Saint Boniface, North Side

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North Side

Parish History

St. Boniface was founded in 1884 as a mission church of St. Mary parish, North Side.  A combination chapel and school was built in that year for the congregation.  On October 11, 1888 St. Boniface became an independent parish with the appointment of Rev. Bede Hipelius as its first pastor.  At the same time the church building was expanded and dedicated on January 20, 1889. 

Due to the population growth of the area, work was begun on a new, larger church on July 1, 1925 next to the existing church.  The new church was dedicated on November 25, 1926.

In 1971, the church appeared doomed as the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation used eminent domain to purchase the property from the diocese to make room for a new highway.  Unfortunately for the state, the department underestimated the parishioners' determination to save their church.  They launched a public outcry against the destruction of the church, culminating in the church's being designated a historical landmark in 1977.  After 10 years, the state gave up the effort to pave over the church and sold it back to the diocese.

Although the church survived the wrecking ball, it could not escape demographics.  Due to dwindling population, the parish was merged with other parishes in 1994 to form Holy Wisdom parish.  However, the church is still in existence and is being used as a worship site.

Photos From the Diocesan Archive:

St. Boniface, 1890
Current St. Boniface church at left, original church at right, 1986
St. Boniface, 1988
St. Boniface interior, 1986
St. Boniface interior, 1985
St. Boniface interior, 1985

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