St. Patrick - St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish

Rev. Harry E. Nichols

Parish Office
57 21st Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15222
In the Strip District


Office Hours
Monday – Friday
9AM to 4PM

In Residence
Rev. Albert Schempp, MI

Parish History


Parish Beginnings
The first Poles of Pittsburgh, most coming from the West Prussia region, tended to cluster in Allegheny City, now the North Side of Pittsburgh and worshiping at Saint Wenceslas -a
Bohemian ethnic parish. Poles also settled in Birmingham, now the South Side of Pittsburgh, worshiping at Saint Michael, a German ethnic parish. In 1873, some 200 Polish families joined to form the Saint Stanislaus Beneficial Society to preserve the Polish traditions and customs and to form a Polish ethnic parish.
The Colonial Wars

In November of 1875 a former Presbyterian church on Penn Avenue between 15th and 16th streets was purchased. The building was consecrated and became Saint Stanislaus Kostka church. The first ethnic Polish Catholic church in Pittsburgh.  The first pastor was a Passionist priest, Father Anthony Klawiter. A school was established in the church basement with lay parishioners serving as teachers. In 1877 Father Klawiter left the parish. For the next nine years the parish was served by a number of priests ­primarily Passionists and Benedictines. In 1886 the Holy Ghost fathers were assigned to the parish. The Spiritan Fathers served the parish until 1997.

In 1887 the original church building was sold and a school, church and rectory were built at 22nd and Smallman Streets.  In 1888 five Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo came from Silesia in Poland to Pittsburgh to take charge of the school. In 1891, 13 acres were purchased in Millvale for the parish cemetery and the property at the corner of 21st and Smallman was purchased for the new church.  Under the Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo, the school enrollment grew from 300 to 700 students within four years. At the same time, so many young women of the parish became interested in joining the sisters that the community soon established its first American novitiate and began accepting postulants.

The Colonial Wars

With unrest in Poland and Silesia under German control, the sisters were recalled to Poland in 1895.  The youngest of the five original Borromean nuns, Sister Collette Hilbert, was granted permission to remain in the United States.  Along with four American postulants, they settled in Trenton, New Jersey. Sister Collette, became Mother Collette, foundress of the

Franciscan Sisters of Saint Joseph, a religious community that flourishes to this day.  The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth, replaced the Borromean nuns. Among their numbers was the order's foundress, Blessed Mother Frances Siedliska. The Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth served the parish school until it was closed in 1958.

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21st Street & Smallman

1711 Liberty Avenue