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


The Saints Among Us

The Strip District was a fertile field for God's sons and daughters to labor in. Serving God meant caring for His people on earth. We are all called to sainthood and the tireless love of the following holy men and women is a reminder to all of us that with God, all things are possible.

Blessed Francis Seelos At Saint Philomena Church

His Holiness Pope John Paul II, proclaimed Father Seelos "Blessed" in Saint Peter's Square on April 9th of the Solemn Jubilee Year 2000.  Francis Xavier Seelos was born on January 11, 1819 in Fűssen, Bavaria, Germany. He was baptized on the same day in the parish church of St. Mang. Having expressed a desire for the priesthood since childhood, he entered the diocesan seminary in 1842 after having completed his studies in philosophy. Soon after meeting the missionaries of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (The Redemptorists), founded for the evangelization of the most abandoned, he decided to enter the Congregation and to minister to the German-speaking immigrants in the United States.  He was accepted by the Congregation on November 22, 1842, and sailed the following year from Le Havre, France arriving in New York on April 20, 1843. On December 22, 1844, after having completed his novitiate and theological studies, Seelos was ordained a priest in the Redemptorist Church of St. James in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

The Colonial Wars

After being ordained, he worked for nine years in the parish of St. Philomena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, first as assistant pastor with St. John Neumann, the superior of the religious community; He later was superior himself and was pastor for the last three years. During this time, he was also the Redemptorist novice master. With Neumann he also dedicated himself to preaching missions. Regarding their relationship, Seelos said: "He has introduced me to the active life" and "he has guided me as a spiritual director and confessor."

His availability and innate kindness in understanding and responding to the needs of the faithful, quickly made him well-known as an expert confessor and spiritual director, so much so that people came to him even from neighboring towns.

Faithful to the Redemptorist chrism, he practiced a simple lifestyle and a simple manner of expressing himself. The themes of his preaching, rich in biblical content, were always heard and understood by everyone, regardless of education, culture or

background. A constant endeavor in his pastoral activity was instructing the little children in the faith. He not only favored this ministry but also held it as fundamental for the growth of the Christian community in the parish.

In 1854, he was transferred from Pittsburgh to Baltimore, then Cumberland (1857), and then Annapolis (1862), all the while engaged in parish ministry and serving in the formation of future Redemptorists as prefect of students. He was true to his character in this post, remaining always the kind and happy pastor, prudently attentive to the needs of his students and conscientious of their doctrinal formation. Above all, he strove to instill in these future Redemptorist missionaries the enthusiasm, the spirit of sacrifice and apostolic zeal for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the people.

In 1860, he was proposed as a candidate for the office of Bishop of Pittsburgh. Having been excused from this responsibility by Pope Pius IX, from 1863 until 1866 he dedicated himself to the life of an itinerant missionary preacher in English and German in the states of Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

After a brief period of parish ministry in Detroit, Michigan, he was assigned in 1866 as pastor to the Redemptorist Church of St. Mary of the Assumption in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was known as a pastor who was joyously available to his faithful and singularly concerned for the poorest and the most abandoned. In God's plan, however, his ministry in New Orleans was destined to be brief. In the month of September, exhausted from visiting and caring for the victims of yellow fever, he contracted the dreaded disease. After several weeks of patiently enduring his illness, he passed on to eternal life on October 4, 1867, at the age of 48 years and 9 months.

To learn more about the life of Blessed Francis Seelos visit the web site: http://www.seelos.org/

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21st Street & Smallman

1711 Liberty Avenue