1100 Creedmoor Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15226
* Phone 412-563-4400
♦ Resurrection Church/School Photo Gallery ♦
* Click on images for
larger pictures *
The Church of the Resurrection has served
the spiritual needs of the Brookline community for over a century.
This photo is from the wedding of Patricia F. McGibbeny and Gerald L. Burton on
November 19, 1960.
St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish Website:
St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish Facebook Page
The Resurrection 100th Anniversary
Book is available for purchase at the Rectory office for $5 per copy. The
compilation is a revealing look into the history of the parish, from the
early days of the 1900s to the dawn of the 21st century, as well as a yearbook
documenting the 100th anniversary celebration. We Remember, We Celebrate,
The Growth of the South Hills
At the turn of the century, several
years before Father James Quinn arrived to establish a new parish, Brookline
was in the first stages of transition from sprawling pastures and farmland to
the urban neighborhood we know today.
The first settlers to clear the land
in Brookline arrived over one hundred years earlier, in the 1780s. Many of
them were veterans of the American Revolution who had been granted parcels
of land in lieu of payment for their services during the war.
<Colonial Survey Maps of Land Grants
in the South Hills>
These hardy souls transformed the
idle soil into a prosperous agricultural complex. Boggs Grist Mill ground
their grain and Espy's Tanyards supplied their boots and riding gear. These
early settlers and their wagon trails helped to shape the road network we
know today as Pioneer Avenue, McNeilly Road, Whited Street and Brookline
Coal mining was the first major
enterprise in the South Hills.
The South Hills was also a busy
center for mining, and by the mid-1800s the Brookline area along the Saw
Mill Run Corridor was well-known for the abundance of coal that came
from beneath the surface. Small-guage railroad spur lines and several mine
shafts were located in the surrounding valleys.
Despite the close proximity to the
City of Pittsburgh, the South Hills area, then known as West Liberty Borough,
was still considered a remote rural outpost. Because of the natural barrier
we know today as Mount Washington, travel to and from the city was a rigorous
journey that took hours.
The Mount Washington Transit
All that changed in 1904 with the
construction of the Pittsburgh Railways Mount Washington Transit Tunnel from
the South Hills Junction to Carson Street. Using the new streetcar service,
a journey that once took hours now took minutes. With Pittsburgh's population
exploding to meet the labor demand that fed the city's growing industrial base,
investors began looking to Brookline for residential development.
The West Liberty Development Corporation
was among the first to plan streets and lots. From 1905 through 1908 more than
two hundred new houses were built. The growing Catholic population in the
Brookline area was in need of a place to worship.
In 1907, the Freehold Real Estate
Company, responsible for the sale of lots throughout the developing community,
announced in the Brookline Herald that it had reserved several prime lots between
Creedmoor and Chelsea (Chelton) Avenues for the establishment of a Roman Catholic
church. The offer was accepted by the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and the seed planted
for the formation of a new parish.
The Parish Begins
Resurrection Roman Catholic Parish
was established by Bishop J.F. Regis Canevin D.D. in 1909. It was carved out
of territories which had been a part of St. Canice Parish, Knoxville (1892),
to the north; St. Anne Parish, Castle Shannon (1889), to the south; St.
Wendelin Parish, Carrick (1874), to the east; and St. Catherine Parish,
Banksville (1902) - later moved to Beechview, to the west. At this time,
the community of Brookline was growing exponentially, and the resident
Catholic population was growing with it.
Bishop Canevin and his aides recognized
the need for a new parish. As Catholics continued to build homes in Brookline,
it became evident that a new parish was needed to help meet their spiritual
needs. May 3, 1909, the diocese bought 12 lots from the West Liberty
Development Company. The old school building and the current rectory now stand
on that property.
Bishop John Francis
Sixteen days later, Father James L.
Quinn received his assignment from Bishop Canevin. By May 25, 1909, the boundary
lines had been drawn and the parish had been named. The new pastor used
his own birthday as inspiration for naming the Church of the Resurrection.
Father Quinn had been born Easter Sunday, 1869.
As Father Quinn made his rounds,
introducing himself to members of his flock and making arrangements for
liturgical services and other activities, he met a would-be tavern owner
who wanted to open a new business in the storeroom of a building at 1057
Brookline Boulevard. Father Quinn was looking for a place to celebrate
the first Mass in Resurrection Parish. The businessman had difficulty
obtaining a license to open the tavern.
The Reed Building at 1057 Brookline
Boulevard in 1995.
The chance meeting solved the
problems for both men. Father Quinn offered to pay for the use of the storeroom
as a temporary church, and on May 30, 1909, Memorial Day and Pentecost Sunday,
a handful of parishioners crowded into the room for the Eucharistic
At that time it was called the Reed
Building. That building has since been demolished, and the property now serves
as a parking lot for DeBor Funeral Home.
Congregation Goes To Work
The Reed Building remained Resurrection's
"church" for a full year. It also served as Father Quinn's living quarters, the
parish office, and classroom for religious instructions. During that first year
a church committee was elected and the parish established the St. Vincent
DePaul Society, the Holy Name Society and the Sodality.
It was also a year of feverish
construction up the street on Creedmoor Avenue. Toward the end of June, 1909,
Father Quinn hired a contractor to build two stories of the front portion of
the school building (see Growth Diagram).
While workingmen poured concrete and stacked
bricks, parishioners went about the difficult task of raising $22,000 to cover the
construction costs. At the time, Resurrection had $350 on hand and a debt of
During the next few months neighbors
organized a host of fund-raising activities. There was a euchre card party and
a dance; a piece of property and a gold watch were raffled. These efforts netted
a total of $3,682.86.
A Parish fundraiser on July 4, 1911. These
have always been a major source of capital to expand on church activities.
The hard work and vision of Father Quinn
and the parishioners quickly bore fruit. On September 19, 1909, the cornerstone
of the church was laid in a ceremony conducted by Bishop J. F. Regis Canevin.
Father Hugh C. Boyle, who was to later succeed Bishop Canevin as the Bishop
of Pittsburgh, was the master of ceremonies.
Parish records preserve the memory of a
fascinating footnote to Resurrection's history:
"A Tea Party held early in 1910.
Various sections of the neighborhood were represented by the tables at the
event. There was the "Woodward Table" seating people living west of Pioneer
Avenue, the "Fleming Table" named for the Fleming stop on the streetcar line,
the "Sherwood Table" for families south of Brookline Boulevard (Sherwood Avenue
later became Stebbins), the "Edgebrook Table" for parishioners in northeast
Brookline, and the "Fair Haven Table" which is the old name for the Overbrook
area. The Tea Party and related activities raised an additional
The Saint Vincent DePaul Society gathers
outside the Resurrection Church entrance in 1915.
Easter Sunday, May 27, 1910, the first
in Resurrection's history, Father Quinn celebrated the first Mass in the new
building with an overflow congregation standing on the sidewalk outside,
unable to squeeze in.
The body of the church occupied the
ground floor of the new building. Many years later, as the parish expanded,
the same space became a gymnasium, then was divided into four
classrooms (1953), and finally became the site of the grade school learning
center, the pre-first grade and a first grade classroom.
The original Resurrection Church building,
shown here shortly after the dedication in May 1910.
The second floor of the building served
as a large hall for meetings and social events.
Within the space of a year,
Resurrection Parish was able to create a home of its own and the Reed Building
was returned to its place on the local commercial scene.
The parish added another building to its
acquisitions almost immediately. Father Quinn needed office space and a
place to live. He rented a house across the street from the new church at 1115
Creedmoor Avenue. His new rectory stood on the site that would one day be
occupied by the new Convent.
From 1910 to 1939, Mass was held in this
sanctuary, located on the ground floor of the school building.
As busy as he was with his duties at
Resurrection, Father Quinn took on other responsibilities as chaplain when DePaul
Institute moved to Brookline from Troy Hill in the latter months of 1909.
About two years later the bishop sent help in the form of Father Denis N.
Murphy. He became the parish's first assistant pastor October 19,
Another interesting footnote in the
history of Father Quinn and Resurrection Church is the pouring of the
cement floor in the church. After the church was built, it was noted that the
wood flooring would buckle when their was too much rain. This caused mild
consternation among the congregation.
Brookline Boulevard in 1910 (left) and 1912.
Both views show Resurrection Church standing along Creedmoor Avenue.
Soon, a solution was proposed. The
parishioners raised funding, and along with donated time and labor, the
old wooden floor was removed and a new cement floor was laid. Parishioners
never forgot the sight of Father Quinn, working alongside the laborers,
hauling in one load of cement after another with a wheelbarrow.
A Catholic education for the children
of the parishioners became Father Quinn's next priority. In the spring of 1912
construction began on an addition to the church building. It was to be the
first of three additions that would form the old school building that we knew
in later years.
The construction added a third floor
to the existing structure, plus a short wing along side of the driveway into the
courtyard. The second floor was partitioned into classrooms and the parish
hall moved to the new third floor.
Some of the first group of students
to attend Resurrection School in 1912-1913. Click on the photo
to see the entire school enrollment of that first school year.
Work went swiftly, and Resurrection
School was ready to accept new students September 9, 1912. Classes were held
in the church until November, when construction was completed. Enrollment was
There were five Sisters of Charity on
the faculty. Sister Mary Helena Degnan was the first Principal. Sisters Maurice
McDermott, Esperance Walsh, Columba Brennan and Florian DeTemple taught academics.
Sister Regina Kirwan was the music teacher. Each were paid $20 a month.
This home at 1201 Creedmoor Avenue was built
in 1912 to serve as church rectory and home
to Father Quinn and the other priests. It served in that capacity until
While the new addition was under
construction during the summer months of 1912, another contractor was building
a new rectory at 1201 Creedmoor at the corner of Oakridge Avenue. The house,
which still stands, served as the parish office and home to the priests for
the next 27 years.
The old rented rectory at 1115 Creedmoor
was turned over to the Sisters, who had been commuting back and forth from
The homes to the left are 1113 and 1115
Creedmoor Avenue, shown here in 1919.
These two homes served as the Convent for the Sisters of Charity until
1115 Creedmoor was the rectory and home of Father Quinn
With expansion continuing, living quarters
for the Sisters underwent two major changes over the next 14 years. School
enrollment swelled to 330 children by 1918, and in February of that year the
parish bought a brick house at 1113 Creedmoor, next to the soon-to-be-vacated
convent and former rectory.
Men of the parish donated their time,
skill and money to enlarge and remodel the building, creating additional living
space for the Sisters. It was ready for occupancy by September.
In 1926, September enrollment was
nearly 600, and still more sisters were assigned to teach them. Two lots next
to 1113 Creedmoor were purchased and a new wing on the Clippert Avenue side of the
convent was built, connecting it to the main building by a passageway.
The Sisters' house remained that way
Toward the end of 1914, December 2,
a new parish, St. Norbert's was established in Fairhaven (Overbrook). This was
midway between Resurrection and St. Gwendelin Parish and cut off property
approximately two miles long and .3 miles deep.
It is interesting to note that
at this time Resurrection Parish had only one family on Milan Avenue, and only
one on Whited Street. There were just two families each on Hobson and Seaton;
and three each on Mayville and Wareman.
Hand-painted watercolor cloth sold by
the Sisters of Charity
as a fundraiser in 1939, purchased by the Mullen family.
Another new parish, St. Bernard, was
established August 11, 1919 in Dormont. Officials at the chancery didn't foresee
the difficulty they would have finding a suitable piece of property in
After failing to purchase property in
Dormont a site was acquired up the road in Mount Lebanon. Along with this second
offspring parish went the half of Dormont Borough that belonged to Resurrection
February 18, 1915, Father Quinn
acquired the first of four lots which in years to come would be the
site of the new church. In 1919, two lots adjoining the church-school on the
upper end of Creedmore were purchased.
Then, July 24, 1922, Father Quinn
purchased a second lot on Chelton Avenue. The 60' by 235' tract was to be the
the foundation of the new church, to be built as soon as enough funding could be
The 1920 Resurrection Elementary School
Second Grade class photo on the day of their First Holy Communion.
The school was to undergo a two-stage
metamorphosis during the 1920s, boom years for many folks in Brookline. The
heads of most families were gainfully employed, and newcomers continued to
make their homes here and send their children to Resurrection School.
Enrollment jumped above the 400 mark in
1923 and the parish hired a contractor to construct another wing on the school,
making it U-shaped. The new space added three classrooms on the upper side of
the building next to the current church.
But that expansion wasn't enough. Between
1924 and 1928 the Liberty Tunnels and Bridge were opened, shortening the trip
between Brookline and Downtown to a ride of less than thirty minutes. In 1926
the parish acquired two more lots across from the school.
Meanwhile, the population of Brookline kept
growing, and that year there were 626 families in the parish and 596 children
attending school. The transportation improvements brought even more new neighbor.
By 1928 nearly 800 children were receiving an education at Resurrection
The top floor of the school, two stories
above the church, was still being used as a meeting hall but in 1927 it gave
way to the need for additional classrooms.
A year later the back section of the
building was added to join the two wings into a rectangle. The open end of the
U-shape building was closed in and six new classrooms were now available.
Resurrection School made use of that space until the post-World War II baby
In the early years of the 20th century, when
relatively few boys and girls attended high school, the two-year commercial program
was a popular alternative. Several of these schools were conducted by the Sisters of
Charity at various elementary schools, including Holy Cross on the South Side
and Resurrection in Brookline.
Resurrection High School maintained a
commercial department from 1912 through 1935. For a short time in the early
1930s, four-year academic degrees were offered.
Mother Mary Joseph Havey was
the principal, and Sister Joanna Gleason taught the academic subjects. Both the
commercial and academic students played basketball and produced plays. Father
Quinn himself taught Latin for several years. The High School closed in
At A Standstill
Shortly after the final addition to the
grade school had been completed in 1928, the nation fell into an economic
depression that cast millions from the prosperity of the 1920's into the
abject poverty of the 1930's.
Resurrection Parish felt the effects of
unemployment and food shortages. Father Quinn's dream of building a new church
to replace the ground-floor sanctuary in the school had to be set aside.
One of the First Grade classed during the
1935/1936 school year.
But the dream of a new church was kindled
anew in the mid-30's as Brookline and the nation struggled out of the depression.
Although money and jobs had been in short supply over the previous decade, growth
continued with the parish population doubling since 1928. There were more than
1516 families in Resurrection. A new and larger church was an absolute
Father Quinn holds the shovel at the
groundbreaking ceremony for the new church on April 25, 1938.
Father Denis N. Murphy, the Associate Pastor at
Resurrection from 1911 to 1917, blesses the
church cornerstone on September 1, 1938.
As parish leaders coordinated a massive
fund-raising drive, Father Quinn hired an architect, then a contractor, to begin
construction of the church where Resurrection parishioners continue to worship
today. The parish already owned the property on which the new church and rectory
would sit. Father Quinn had bought the land in small lots between 1915 and
Father Quinn celebrates the first Mass in the
new church along with Father Thomas F. Carey (front),
Father William P. Shaughnessy and Father Robert J. Gray (rear).
Construction took less than a year.
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held April 25, 1938, and the cornerstone was
laid September 11, 1938. Before work was completed inside the church, the
very first mass was celebrated at midnight, Christmas, 1938. Finally, the official
dedication and first Mass was celebrated February 13, 1939.
The exterior of the church is a modified
Gothic design with deceiving simplicity. The clean lines and arches offer little
hint at the lofty ceiling and complicated symbolism one finds inside. The two
most prominent decorative features of the church are the rose window over the
main entrance and the colorful mural behind the altar.
Resurrection Church, photographed in January
1939 prior to the official dedication ceremony the following month.
As one approaches the church entrance,
he notices over the right side door a lighted candle representing Christ, the
light of the world, whose mission is continued and perpetuated by His Church.
Over the left side door an open bible signifying divine revelation completed
by Jesus, our Saviour and promulgated by His Church.
The Stained Glass Windows
The window over the main entrance,
best seen from inside the building on a sunny day, feature the risen Saviour.
Above the Lord's head is shown the banner-bearing Lamb of God and the symbols of
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the four evangelists.
In the first panel to the Lord's right are
St. Andrew's cross, the Keys of power and authority, the monogram of Christ and the
bark of St. Peter. The second panel shows the money-bag of St. Matthew, who was a
tax collector, the spear and square of St. Thomas, and the saw and bludgeon of
St. James the Less.
On the nearest panel to Jesus' left appears
the open book and sword, emblems of St. Paul's preaching; the priestly robe of charity;
the square enclosed cross, having in its four corners letters which stand for the Greek
words "Iesous Christos nika" meaning "Jesus Christ Conquers"; and the episcopal cross
with the holy oil stocks.
The third symbol, still impressed upon the wafers
or small Communion Squares of the Greek Church, is usually surrounded by a circle
which represents the Lord's divinity, whilst the square signifies His humanity.
In ancient symbolism the circle stands for the endless eternity and therefore for the
Godhead, for the Kingdom of Heaven, and for eternal things; the square represents
the finite world, and hence, humanity.
On the far left panel are seen an open
book and ax, signifying martyrdom for what the book proclaims or Christian faith;
the chalice and serpent recalling the attempt to kill St. John by forcing him to
drink poisoned wine; and the closed book surmounted by a fish, which is the
figure of Christ.
The closed book refers to the Annunciation when
the Blessed Virgin learned that she would become the mother of the Saviour but was
uninformed of many things concerning Him, as was foretold by the Prophet Isaiah when
he wrote: "And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is
<See Photos of the Windows including Biographies of
Adorning the vestibule and the aisles around
the sanctuary are windows celebrating various Saints of the Roman Catholic faith.
Including those in the inner sanctuary and hallways, there are thirty-seven
individual stained glass renderings that surround the church with vivid colors and
a wonderful glow.
The interior of the church
sanctuary at the time of the dedication. Note the absence of the decorative
The new Church Rectory and Pastor's residence
in February 1939.
The roof trusses are decorated to symbolize
the seven sacraments. The one immediately over the sanctuary represents Baptism.
The central figure shows a vessel from which two doves sip water. These doves
represent human souls.
The water is the baptismal water of eternal life.
The monogram over the vessel which looks to our eyes like a combination of P and X is
actually composed of the three Greek letters X.P.I. which are the first three
letters of the Saviour's name. We are baptized in Christ, from whom the efficacy of
the sacrament proceeds.
The burning candle is the baptismal candle which
in turn signifies the state of grace, received through baptism and to be preserved until
we are admitted to Christ's kingdom after judgement. The shell with water flowing
from it signifies the act of baptizing and thus symbolizes the sacrament. Of the
flowers which symbolize baptism the artist featured the water lily.
The second truss represents confirmation.
The heads and imposed hands show the reception of the sacrament. The flaming fire
and the dove remind us of the coming of the Holy Spirit to our Lord and to the
Apostles. The oak leaves were selected as the confirmation symbol.
The third truss symbolizes the Holy Eucharist.
Two chalices are each backed by a cross. The Lambs figure our Lord. The grapes
his precious blood.
The main altar after the murals were painted.
the murals on the side walls have since been removed.
The fourth truss pictures the sacrament,
penance. The cross and keys form the main symbol. The secondary
figures are the cross and thorns, and the dove with an olive branch. Evergreen
forms the decorative feature.
The fifth truss shows the sacrament
of the sick by picturing its adminstration by the cross and candles, its
effects by palms and crown, and the difficulties of life and death by cross
and thorns. The floral emblem is tulip, symbolic of resurrection or of renewed
The sixth truss represents a picture
of Holy Orders by combining in the central figure the gospel book, the stole,
the keys, the chalice, and the host bearing the monogram of Christ. The open book
signifies preaching the gospel and the cross-held-in-hand of the carrying
of Christ's teaching to mankind. The symbolic flower is the orange blossom.
The seventh truss represents matrimony. In
the central figure we have the clasped hands and ring. The star signifies hope
and confidence. The cross represents the trials, struggles and sorrows of married
life and the crown its joys, consolations and rewards. The artist chose the rose
to symbolize marriage.
The mural behind the altar was not
completed at the time of the 1939 dedication. But when it was finished later,
first time visitors were struck by the colorful majesty of Jesus rising from
the dead under the eye of his Father.
The murals nestled on each side of the main
An organ was installed when the church
was built, but it was by no means new. It had been in use at the Carnegie Music
Hall, the North Side, for more than 50 years, and was among the largest in use
in a diocesan church. Resurrection got many years of service from the organ,
despite its age.
Walter Kenna, MMA, was the church organist
for over forty years, beginning in 1970.
It wasn't until 1980 that Father John H.
McMahon decided the 2,581-pipe organ was pumping its final notes. Fund-raising
efforts began, and November 30, 1980, the parish dedicated an Allen Digital
Computer Organ System 1203, a high-tech wonder designed to withstand the ravages
of time and weather.
As the new church was being dedicated
February 13, 1939, newspaper accounts were detailing the latest political and
military upheavals in Eastern Europe. Before long the U.S. was involved in a
world war and many Resurrection parishioners sent their sons overseas, some
never to return.
But World War II came to a close and a new
era meant renewed growth. Even before the effects of the baby-boom were felt, the
parish bought the Greenawald house on Creedmoor, next to the school driveway, and
used it as additional housing for the Sisters of Charity.
By 1951, school enrollment reached 1,171
and 1,000 more families were enrolled in the parish than in 1939 when the new
church was dedicated. The race to provide additional space for the grade school
was on. In 1951 the new church basement was partitioned into four classrooms and
an assembly hall. The classrooms were filled to capacity when the new term began
The Greenawald home at 1136 Creedmoor Avenue,
shown here in 1919, served as a residence
for the Sisters of Charity from the mid-1940s until 1956.
Two years later in 1953, more classrooms
were added. With the completion of the "new" church in 1939, the old church, on
the ground floor of the original school building, had been turned over to use as
a gym. In 1953, some remodeling work transformed the gym into four classrooms,
accomodating 175 students. Enrollment was now beyond thirteen
One of the four graduating classes (Room 19)
from the 1951-1952 school year.
It was at this point that Bishop John
Dearden established another parish. The formal decree of erection was issued
June 9, 1954 and Resurrection's third offspring parish was established. It was
dedicated as Saint Pius X Parish. Around thirty families from Resurrection were merged with a like
number each from St. Bernard and St. Catherine to form the new
Parishioners seemed paralyzed on the
cold afternoon January 21, 1955, when they learned that their pastor had
died while battling pneumonia. The announcement was made in school that morning,
and children ran home with the news during their lunch break.
Father Quinn had
been the only pastor they had known, and many still carried with them the memory
of his first Mass inside the Brookline Boulevard storeroom in 1909.
Resurrection paid tribute to Father Quinn and his long years of faithful service,
unveiling and dedicating a bas-relief bronze memorial plaque November 27,
1955. The plaque still hangs in the church.
A Mass Card (left) and a plaque dedicated
to Father James Quinn.
New Era of Expansion
Resurrection's second pastor came to
Brookline March 3, 1955, from Our Lady of Grace Parish, Bower Hill Road,
Scott Township. Father Oliver D. Keefer wasted little time making preparations
for the parish's still-growing population. He immediately launched a very
extensive improvement campaign in the summer of 1955 that included repairs
and renovations to the school and church. The cost was approximately
One of the first grade classrooms located
under the main church, next to the cafeteria, in 1957.
One year later, Father Keefer announced
plans for the construction of a middle school annex and a new convent at a cost
of about $500,000. During the 1956-57 school year, when construction began,
the sisters moved to the rectory, in some cases sleeping three to a room, while
the priests moved to 1111 Creedmoor, the part of the convent that was built
Plans called for the demolition of the
old King house at 1115 (which once served as a rectory and then a convent) and
the building which was, in 1956, the oldest part of the convent (1113 Creedmoor).
The building at 1111 Creedmoor would be incorporated in the new
The original school building and the new annex
building in August 1957.
The new Convent for the Sisters of Charity was
also completed in 1957.
The middle school building, located next to the
old building, was completed in time for the beginning of the school year in September,
1957, providing six additional classrooms which were occupied by the 7th and 8th
grades. Unfortunately the convent wasn't ready until late November. So, with the
priests already moved back into the rectory, the sisters had to commute from various
locations around the southern and western sections of the city.
The new convent and school annex were
dedicated November 24, 1957, in a ceremony led by Auxiliary Bishop Coleman
Carroll who had been an assistant at Resurrection from 1930 to
The parish's building program of the late
'50s and its continuation into the mid-60's, coincided with the Renaissance of
Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle, a coincidence symbolic of Resurrection's close ties
with the civic affairs of the city. Prominent and active members of the parish over
its long history have included former Pittsburgh Mayor Thomas Gallagher, former
County Commissioner John J. Kane and former head of the United Steelworkers
Union Phillip Murray.
Despite the best efforts of the parish to
keep up with the rising school enrollment (about 2,000 by 1959), unusual measures
were necessary to provide the children of Resurrection a Catholic education. In
order to get more use out of limited space, seventh graders were divided into two
groups and during the '59-'60 school year the first group attended classes from
8:00am to 12:30pm five days a week and the second group attended afternoon sessions
in the same classrooms from 12:30-5:00pm.
The following year sixth and seventh graders
participated in the half-day arrangement, and fifth and sixth graders during the
'61-'62 school year.
Creedmoor Avenue was a busy place during
lunchtime recess. The street was closed for the students to
Center, Garden Room, Library,
Gym and Even More Classrooms
Over-population in the school was partially
relieved in 1962 when Our Lady of Loreto Parish, founded in 1959, opened a school with facilities for four grades.
However the necessity remained for additional construction at Resurrection. Work
began in the summer of 1964 on an Activities Center that would cost nearly one
The original idea for the center was suggested
in 1956 when the annex was in the planning stages. As the years went by Father
Keefer and the church committee decided to dedicate the use of the center to the
entire parish as well as the school. The new building, attached to the annex and
extending to Chelton Avenue, provided six additional classrooms, a large school
library, a school assembly room, and a gym with locker and showers.
Students from all grades attend the May Crowning
in the school courtyard (circa 1962).
The center's main link with the rest of the
parish was to be the Garden Room, named after the garden where Jesus' Resurrection
took place. It was designed as a meeting room for parish organizations, a place for
dances and parties, and a hall for public performances. Father Keefer envisioned an
air of elegance and "a perfect setting for a new series of cultural programs which
will open doors to a deep appreciation of beauty in all its forms."
About a year after the groundbreaking, the
Activities Center was dedicated September 6, 1965, in a ceremony led by Bishop
John Wright. (Immediately following the dedication, Bishop Wright flew to Rome for
the final session of Vatican II.)
The 1960's and 1970's were exciting and
sometimes difficult times for Catholics as the Church adjusted to liturgical
changes decreed by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council. During those two
decades, parishioners gradually changed their focus at Mass from private prayer
and meditiation to community participation in the eucharistic liturgy.
The first manifestation of that change
came to Resurrection Sunday, January 10, 1960, with the introduction of the
"Dialogue Mass". At the Sunday 12:15 Mass the congregation recited in Latin
the responses and prayers previously recited or sung by the altar boys and
The Church of the Resurrection's inner sanctuary.
The ornate architecture, masterful paintings, reliefs and stained
glass are steeped in Roman Catholic tradition. Photo: November 19, 1960
wedding of Patricia and Gerald Burton.
As other changes took place in the liturgy
a new class of participants became familiar assistants at Mass: commentators.
The Resurrection liturgy took its most startling and bewildering turn November
29, 1964, with the introduction of English to some parts of the Mass. A few months
later, March 7, 1965, the Last Gospel disappeared completely, the prayers at
the foot of the altar were shortened, and the Liturgy of the Word was moved away
from the altar and proclaimed at the pulpit.
Eventually the main altar against
the backwall of the santuary was not used at all, and the Mass was
celebrated on an altar (a table at first) facing the people. Folk Masses became
a tradition at Resurrection with "The Brotherhood" singing each Saturday night
beginning September 26, 1970. Shortly thereafter, Resurrection formed its own
Folk Group called "The Peacemakers."
The Resurrection Peacemakers in 1977. The folk
group became an integral part of the Saturday evening Masses.
In the early 1970's the liturgical emphasis
on community participation brought the laity into certain ministerial services.
Three members of the parish became "Ministers of the Eucharist" and, later, in
1974, Richard Very was ordained to the diaconate conferring on him certain
privileges and duties in administering the sacraments of Baptism, preaching
at Mass and officiating at weddings and funerals.
Third Pastor, Father John McMahon
When Monsignor Keefer retired and Father
John McMahon became the parish's third pastor in June, 1970, efforts were made
to increase the responsibilities of parishioners in important functions of
administration. Father McMahon established the Resurrection parish council and
school board. Members of the congregation were elected to these offices.
Although the parish previously had similar
committees, they were not elected by the parish-at-large. For example, the parish
council, during 1983 and 1984, recommended an extensive $75,000 renovation project
in the church and made arrangements to raise funds to cover the costs. Two members
of the parish council, Regis Block and Jim Brown, represented Resurrection in a
coalition with six other local churches to develop "Parkside Manor," a $3,700,000
senior citizen apartment building next to the Brookline Community Center.
Father McMahon at the groundbreaking for
the Parkview Terrace apartments in 1980.
The next fourteen years in the Church's
history were busy times. Two events stand out above the others: the
canonization of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton and the parish's observance of the
Bicentennial of the U.S.A. in 1976.
The Sisters of Charity have been serving
Resurrection since the beginning of our Parish school, almost 75 years ago, and
so members of the parish shared with them the special joy they experienced when
the Pope announced in January, 1975, that their foundress, Mother Elizabeth Ann
Seton, had been named to the Communion of Saints. January 9 of that year, children
of the school and parishioners jammed the church for a Mass of
Resurrection celebrated country's bicentennial
with an outdoor Mass at Brookline Park on July 4, 1976.
Almost nineteen months later, the members
of Resurrection led the Brookline community in celebrating the 200th anniversary
of our country's independence. The Fourth of July, 1976, fell on a Sunday and
hundreds of parishioners gathered in the church courtyard that morning, then
marched to the Brookline Community Center for an outdoor Mass. A cascade of 1500
helium-filled balloons was released at the start of the liturgy. The colorful
pageantry was further accented by a "Dance of Thanksgiving" performed by the
Nick DiMinno and Aldo Danzuso advertising the
1980 Fun Flair (left), and long-time Associate Pastor
Father Francis Gallagher inspecting the merchandise prior to the 1984 Fun
Flair Garage Sale.
Fun Flair (1971-present)
Family Fun For Everyone!
In 1971, the parish sponsored the
inaugural Resurrection Fun Flair, a week-long carnival full of fun and games for
people of all ages. There are bingo, raffles and many small games of chance.
The gymnasium is packed with activities and the Garden Room is the site of a
parish garage sale. Food is served in the school cafeteria and in the early
years their were several small amusement park rides in the courtyard to excite
the little ones. The Fun Flair tradition continues today, with the 44th
annual fundraiser scheduled for the summer of 2014.
The 30th annual Fun Flair was held in July 2000. The carnival
has been a summer tradition for nearly 50 years.
Of the many innovations ushered in
during the 14 year pastorship of Father McMahon, the annual Fun Flair may
be the most memorable. The summer carnival has brought millions of dollars
into the church coffers over the years. Other parish fundraisers include
Monday night Bingo, and the Fish Fry, every first Friday of each month,
and every Friday during Lent. Most importantly are the individual
contributions of families who support our parish through the offertory
collection at Mass each Sunday.
Father McMahon and a host of former clergy
celebrate Resurrection's 75th Anniversary Mass on May 20, 1984.
After Father McMahon's retirement in 1984,
a new pastor, Father Edward Trzeciakowski was assigned to the parish. Father Ed
led the congregation until 1991, followed by the five-year pastorship of Father
John Kozar. Father John was followed, in 1996, by Father Joseph Grosko, a former
Navy Chaplain with strong ties to the Brookline community. Father Grosko had
served from 1978 through 1981 as the former pastor of Resurrection's sister
parish, Our Lady of Loreto, located on Pioneer Avenue.
The times they were a changing, but the
school days were still much the same as always,
except the 1986 first to third graders received this commemorative
Click on the image for a larger, more legible picture.
Having just returned
from missionary work in the Phillipines, Father Grosko began a six-year tenure
as our spiritual leader. These were difficult times. His pastorship oversaw many
of the changes that positioned the church and the congregation for the coming
of a new century.
The year 1996 was a sad year for the
parish, the Sisters of Charity, and all of the lay teachers who had worked for
so long educating the children of Brookline. The student population, which
peaked at nearly 2000 in the 1961/62 school year, had dwindled to 600, with
corresponding declines at both Loreto and Pius.
At this time, the Parish
and the Diocese of Pittsburgh worked together to consolidate the student
populations of the three local parishes into one in a major cost saving
move. After eighty-three years as a neighborhood parochial school, the
much revered Resurrection Elementary closed its doors after the 1995/1996
The final graduating class, in honor
of the achievements of their proud school, took on a final project that was
both academically significant and a touching reminder of what Ressi meant to
them as individuals. The Egyptian Room, or the Ressi-Rected
Tomb, was their way of
saying goodbye with a timepiece full of memories.
The decision was made to merge Brookline's
three Catholic schools into one. St. Pius X School was the chosen as the main
location, and Our Lady of Loreto held classes for the lower grades. The new
combined school was christened Brookline Regional Catholic.
Classes at Our Lady of Loreto ceased after
the 2002/2003 school year and BRC is now located solely at the former St. Pius X
School. Since its inception in 1996, Brookline Regional Catholic has maintained
the levels of scholastic achievement and spiritual enrichment that began with
Resurrection Elementary back in 1912.
Brookline Regional Catholic School, located
at 2690 Waddington Avenue, shown here in 2004.
The Resurrection Activities Center
(gym and Garden Room) continue to be used by the Parish for activities and
as rental property. The classrooms are used for CCD classes and other religious
education programs. The cafeteria and Garden Room still support fundraising
efforts such as the Fish Fry and Fun Flair.
Lease agreements with the Pittsburgh
Public School System brought limited classroom activity with the Pittsburgh
Public Schools Early Childhood Development Program. But, despite these
continued educational activities, for several years the old school building
stood vacant and unused.
In 1996, the convent building on Creedmoor
Avenue was leased to St. Joseph's House of Hospitality and served as a residence
for low income women until 2000. Today, the property is privately owned. The
Sisters of Charity, who served as teachers and mentors at Resurrection, now live
at and operate the Elizabeth Seton Center on Pioneer Avenue.
The Elizabeth Seton Center on Pioneer Avenue
in 2004. The Seton Center is run by the Sisters of Charity.
The Seton Center, which began operation
in 1985, sponsors both an Adult Day Care Center and a Child Care Center. Sister
Mary Joseph McElhinney, the fourteenth principal at Resurrection (1972-1975),
became the first director of the Seton Senior Center. Sister Barbara Ann Boss
administered to the Child Care Center. In 2002, Sister Barbara assumed directorship
of the entire mission.
A. Mitolo Becomes Resurrection's Seventh Pastor
In 2002, Father Grosko was reassigned to
St. Agnes Parish and Father Frank A. Mitolo was appointed our seventh pastor.
Under Father Mitolo's leadership, Resurrection Parish emerged from the dark
days of the late 1990s with renewed optimism and purpose. In 2008, as part of an
ongoing capital improvements campaign, nine new stained glass windows, dedicated
to recently-canonized Saints, were installed. Many other improvements were planned
for the Church and surrounding grounds.
Father Mitolo hopes led the Parish into the
21st century with a renewed understanding of what it means to be a faith-filled
community. Led and guided by The Spirit of God, and building upon its legacy,
Resurrection continued to be a vibrant spiritual presence in the Brookline
Always looking forward, and with an eye on
the community's growing Senior population, the Parish and the Diocese of Pittsburgh,
in cooperation with Christian Housing Inc. and HUD, began a project to renovate the
old school building into a 26-unit apartment building for income eligible senior
Groundbreaking, or "wall smashing,"
dedications for the new "Creedmoor Court" apartments were held October 29,
2003. Father Grosko was on hand for the ceremony, as well as representatives of
the various agencies involved and local civic leaders. The new building was
ready for occupancy in the fall of 2004.
Father Joseph Grosko takes the first swing
during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Creedmoor Court Apartments.
The parish retained the newer school
building and gymnasium. The renovations done to the old school building have
completely modernized and transformed the inside. The halls are still adorned
with many of the small amenities that students might remember from their school
days. A railing here and a banister there are still the same. The apartments
even carry the old schoolroom numbers.
The outer appearance of the 95-year old
structure remained basically the same, except for the windows and main entranceway.
For the many thousands of students who attended Resurrection Elementary, it is
comforting to know that these hallowed halls are once again being used to make the
Brookline community a better place to live for our senior population, some of whom
remember the school from the days of their youth.
The old Resurrection Church/School building
reopened as Creedmoor Court Apartments in 2004.
On May 25, 2009, after ten decades of
service to the Brookline community, Resurrection Church celebrated it's 100th
Anniversary. As it did back at the turn of the century, Resurrection continued
to meet the spiritual needs of the people of our community. The heritage and
tradition built up over the past century of service will always be a storied
chapter in Brookline's past, and the Church of the Resurrection was poised to
remain an integral part of the community's future.
The Church of the Resurrection, draped with 100th
Anniversary banners, in April 2008.
This was a time for celebration, remembrance
and renewal. The Parish celebrated the centennial and the legacy of faith that had
been passed on to the current congregation. Remembering the achievements, hard work
and sacrifices of the past 100 years, parishioners renewed their belief in the future
of the church.
Father Frank at the Fun Flair in 2015.
With Father Frank Mitolo leading the way,
Resurrection Church charted a course to meet the challenges of the next 100 years.
Father Frank was a kind and gentle man. A former Air Force chaplain who had ascended
to the rank of General, he had a special way of interacting with congregation members,
young and old alike, helping to create a unique bond with his parishioners. He brought
the entire parish together with the goal of creating another wonderful century to
In June of 2014, The Roman Catholic Diocese
decided on renaming Brookline Regional Catholic School after Saint John Bosco.
The new name of the school would be Saint John Bosco Academy, and it officially
opened in August for the 2014/2015 school year.
Saint John Bosco (August 16, 1815 – January
31, 1888), popularly known as Don Bosco, was an Italian Roman Catholic priest,
educator and writer of the 19th century. While working in Turin, where the
population suffered many of the effects of industrialization and urbanization,
he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile
delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth.
He developed teaching methods based on
love rather than punishment, a method that became known as the Salesian Preventive
System. Don Bosco was beatified in 1929, and cannonized as a saint in the Roman
Catholic Church by Pope Pius XI in 1934.
Much to the dismay of Brookline Catholic
families, on February 23, 2019 the Diocese of Pittsburgh announced that due to
financial considerations and low enrollment (only 80 students) Saint John Bosco
Academy would be shuttered at the close of the 2018-2019 school year.
Despite petitions from concerned citizens,
the diocese stuck to its decision. Local parents in search of parochial alternatives
for their children were forced to look elsewhere. This brought to an end the 107
year tradition of Catholic education within the boundaries of the Brookline
James Bachner Assumes the Ninth Pastorship
The Parish's beloved Father Frank Mitolo
retired on July 12, 2015, after serving thirteen years as the spiritual leader of
the Church or the Resurrection. The congregation welcomed Father Rob Fleckenstein
as the church's eighth pastor.
Father Rob's pastorship only lasted a short time.
Two days short of his one year anniversary, he stepped down due to health issues.
While the parishioners said goodbye with a farewell Mass on July 10, 2016, the
Diocese of Pittsburgh did not have to look far for his replacement.
Father James Bachner, already the pastor
of Saint Catherine of Sienna and St. Pamphilus Churches in Beechview, and St. Pius X
and Our Lady of Loreto in Brookline, was called upon by Bishop Zubik to assume the
role as the ninth pastor of the Church of the Resurrection.
Already quite popular with the neighboring
congregations in Beechview and Brookline, Father Bachner brought his youthful
exhuberance and leadership qualities to the families of Resurrection Parish.
He was now the Pastor of five distinct churches, all within close proximity of
each other. With such broad responsibilities, Father Bachner is assisted by
Parochial Vicars Father Gary Oemhler, Father Fernando Torres and Deacons Mark Bibro,
Tom O'Neill and Richard Longo.
The congregations of Saint Catherine of
Sienna, and now Brookline's St. Pius X, Our Lady of Loreto, and Resurrection,
are fortunate to have such a fine man leading the way through these difficult
and challenging times. Father Bachner is prepared to guide the parish well
into the 21st Century.
Beechview-Brookline Fun Flair
After forty-six years of staging on the
courtyard and campus of Resurrection, in the summer of 2017, the annual Fun Flair
was moved to the spacious parking lot and campus of St. Pius. Now called the
Brookline-Beechview Fun Flair and Summer Festival, the event is a combined effort
including members from all five of Father Bachner's parishes, and the results were
fantastic. The following year, the fair was held at St. Catherine. Built on the
solid foundation of nearly a half century at Resurrection, a new summertime
tradition has begun in the Brookline-Beechview area.
The five-church merger for a while was
known as Brookline-Beechview Catholic. While the diocese pondered the potential
closing of one or more of the individual churches, they retained their own identity
and Masses were still held at each church.
Questionaires were circulated among
parishioners to choose a new name to replace Brookline-Beechview Catholic. While
the congregations of each of the five churches awaited a decision on the fate of
their respective churches, the spirit of God continued to flow through those
Saint Teresa of Kolkata Parish
On May 17, 2019, by decree of Bishop David
A. Zubik, the parish of Saint Teresa of Kolkata was formed as a merger of the five
Brookline-Beechview parishes. The parish is served by Pastor Reverend James M
Bachner, Reverend Gary W. Oehmler (Vicar), Reverend Fernando Torres (Vicar),
Deacon Mark S. Bibro and Deacon Thomas J. O'Neill.
Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu was born August 26, 1910,
in Skopje (now the capital of North Macedonia), then part of the Kosovo Vilayet of
the Ottoman Empire. After living in Skopje for eighteen years, she moved to Ireland
and then to India, where she lived for most of her life.
Commonly known as Mother Teresa, in 1950,
she founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation
that had over 4,500 nuns and was active in 133 countries in 2012. The congregation
manages homes for people who are dying of HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis. It
also runs soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children's and family
counselling programs, as well as orphanages and schools. Members take vows of
chastity, poverty, and obedience, and also profess a fourth vow—to give
"wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor."
Mother Teresa received a number of honours,
including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize and 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She was
canonised as Saint Teresa of Calcutta on September 4, 2016, and the anniversary of
her death (September 5, 1997) is her feast day.
A controversial figure during her life and
after her death, Teresa was admired by many for her charitable work. She was praised
and criticised for her opposition to abortion. On September 6, 2017, Saint Teresa and
Saint Francis Xavier were named co-patrons of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
Calcutta. Now, Saint Teresa of Calcutta will be forever linked to the communities of
Brookline and Beechview.
Future Changes To The Resurrection Parish Property
On June 13, 2020, page six of the church
bulletin contained the following information:
Work on the demolition began in the summer
on the removal of hazardous materials. Some former students scavenged the work
zone for souvenirs of their school days. Some gym signage, pencil sharpeners, wall
clocks, and other small reminders were removed. One industrious soul with strong
ties to the gymnasium even managed to salvage the center section of the basketball
court with the hallowed Ressi Raider logo.
By mid-December that building was ready
and the deconstruction began, one steel beam at a time. As each large beam was
removed, another section of wall crumbled. When the final wall fell to the ground
on March 5, 2021, the once proud middle school building and gymnasium had been
reduced to a heap of twisted steel beam, red bricks and other assorted piles of
The additional space next to the courtyard
will be landscaped and paved to create additional parking for
♦ Middle School and Gymnasium Before
♦ Middle School and Gymnasium Demolition ♦
(December 2020 - March 2021)
In an unrelated but equally surprising move,
A "Mass of Farewell" was held at Our Lady of Loreto Church, one of Resurrection's sister churches, on August 30,
2020. The Mass celebrated the sixty-one year history of the church that has been the
spiritual center and place of worship for so many Brookline residents since the
parish was formed in 1959.
The Nine Pastors of Resurrection Church
Father James L.
When Father James L. Quinn came to
Brookline to establish a new parish in 1909 neither he nor his contemporaries
could envision the magnitude of the projects that lie ahead, or the thousands
who would be affected during the next century by his pioneering
Born on a farm near Fostoria in Blair
County in 1869, James Quinn got his earliest education in a tiny country
school near his home. Later, private lessons in math led to a brief
preparatory teaching course at Bellwood High School near State
In his mid-teens he enrolled in the
International Business College of Altoona, not realizing how well his training
in commercial law would serve him in the real estate and construction efforts
that would bring the Resurrection Parish to life.
In September, 1886, he began attending
classes at St. Charles College in Ellicott City, Maryland.
It wasn't until he was twenty-three years
old that he decided to enter the priesthood. He began his theological training
in the fall of 1892 at St. Vincent Seminary, Latrobe, and was ordained in the
St. Vincent Archabbey church five years later.
His life as priest took him from
his rural surroundings to the urban environs of Pittsburgh. After serving only
one month as an assistant at St. Peters on the North Side, he moved into the
Strip for the next four years as an assistant at Old St. Patrick's at the
corner of 17th Street and Liberty Avenue.
From 1901 to 1903 he was chaplain at
St. Joseph's Protectory, Morganza Reform School and Western Penitentary; and
for the next six years was a member of the Diocesan Mission Band, a group
of priests appointed by Bishop Canevin to serve Catholics in outlying areas
of the diocese.
The itinerant nature of his work
changed in 1909 when the Bishop gave Father Quinn instructions to start a new
parish in Brookline. But he was still in "the sticks," a sparsely populated
area that was in the first days of growth into an urban neighborhood.
Father Quinn made certain the Catholic
community was an important part of that growth. And he didn't waste much time.
Less than two weeks after receiving his assignment he celebrated Resurrection's
first Mass in a Brookline Boulevard storeroom, and a year later he celebrated
Mass in what was Resurrection's first church (currently the first level of the
old school building on Creedmoor Avenue.)
During the next twenty years the parish's
first pastor directed a flurry of construction culminated by the dedication of
Resurrection's current church and rectory in 1939.
Father Quinn's last years were spent
wrestling with the post-war baby boom which resulted in huge increases in school
enrollment and necessitated renovations and innovations to accomodate
Although he was 85-years old, parishioners
were stunned when word spread around Brookline January 21, 1955, that Father
Quinn had died early that morning. He was their first and only pastor, a man
whose strength and certitude guided Resurrection from a small outpost of
Catholicism to a position as one of the largest and most important parishes
in the diocese.
Monsignor Oliver D.
Our second pastor, Father Oliver D.
Keefer gained his pastoral experience the hard way: founding Our Lady of Grace
Parish on Bower Hill Road, Scott Township in 1947.
When he took charge at Resurrection
March 3, 1955, he soon discovered his building days were not over. Post-war
growth made school expansion mandatory, and the first ten years of his pastorate
saw construction on church property reach its fullest bloom.
Father Keefer was born in Emsworth
November 21, 1903. Following study at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg,
Maryland, he was ordained to the priesthood June 12, 1928, and he spent the
next 19 years as an assistant at Holy Innocents Church, Sheraden and at St.
Paul's Cathedral in Oakland.
In 1943 Bishop Hugh Boyle appointed him
chaplain of the Serra Club of Pittsburgh. And he served for several years as
head of the St. John's Capistran Mission at Beadling.
The burgeoning enrollment at Resurrection
grade school was probably Father Keefer's biggest challenge upon arriving here
Although Bishop John Dearden saw fit in
1959 to form a new parish in the northern section of Brookline, Our Lady of
Loreto Parish did not provide school facilities until three years later, in 1962.
During the interim Father Keefer had to improvise, dividing the two thousand
students into two groups, one attending classes in the morning, the other
attending during the afternoon.
Even when that practice was no longer
necessary, it was obvious that more room was needed for the grade school. And so
Resurrection's pastor launched yet another fund-raising and construction project
that saw the creation of the activities building. Completion came in 1965.
Earlier, during the first five years of
his pastorate, he guided construction of the new convent and school
Father Keefer's fifteen years in Brookline
brought Resurrection parishioners through some exciting yet difficult times.
The fruits of Vatican II were first tasted in the mid-60's with gradual changes
in the liturgy. The changes were resisted by some, but through his instruction
Resurrection parishioners grew to understand and cherish the new meaning those
changes brought to their worship.
Bishop John Wright made public recognition
of Father Keefer's accomplishments by recommending to the Vatican that he be
conferred with the title "Monsignor." In May, 1968, Father Keefer became
Monsignor Oliver D. Keefer in honor of his pastoral accomplishments, his position
as dean of the South Deanery, and chaplain of the Serra Club of
Father Keefer retired in June, 1970. For
the next eight years he served at Marian Manor as chaplain, and beginning in 1978 he
was the infirmary chaplain at the Felician Sisters Provincial House in Moon
Father John H.
Resurrection's new pastor came in the
summer of 1970. He was to usher in an entirely new era in the parish's history.
The full impact of Vatican II was being felt in Brookline, and Father John H.
McMahon was charged with the responsibility of fulfilling the transition from
old to new.
Father McMahon was born April 5, 1914,
of James A. McMahon and Mary Ann Hallissey in St. Lawrence parish in Garfield.
He attended school in East Liberty at Corpus Christi, Duquesne University Prep
School and Duquesne University.
His studies for the priesthood led him to
ordination by Bishop Hugh C. Boyle at the St. Vincent Archabbey Church June
His next 44 years saw service in a variety
of areas under the leadership of five bishops: Hugh C. Boyle, John F. Dearden,
John Wright, Vincent Leonard and Anthony Bevilacqua.
During that time he was assistant at Holy
Family in Latrobe, St. Mary of Mercy Downtown, St. John the Baptist in Lawrenceville,
St. Sylvester in Brentwood, St. Peter on the North Side, and St. Catherine
While at St. Mary of Mercy Downtown
Father McMahon was involved in important work with the Missionary Confraternity
of Christian Doctrine. In fact, he was very active at two missions that eventually
became important parishes in the diocese: Guardian Angels in Southview (near
Cecil, Pa), and Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Meadowlands, Washington
A milestone in his career was the
appointment by Bishop John J. Wright of Father McMahon as the first Pastor of
North American Martyrs Church in Monroeville June 1, 1960. With this
Pastorship, he was instrumental in making this Suburban Parish a vital part
of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. His service to N.A.M. concluded on June 1,
1970, with his transfer to the Church of the Resurrection.
Among the many accomplishments of Father
McMahon at Resurrection, perhaps the most important was the transition to a
parish management style that involved parishioners in more decision
His aim was to make the Resurrection
community more cooperative, collective and collegial.
One of the most significant developments
toward that end was his creation of the Resurrection School Board in 1971.
Since that time parents and other members of the parish have had a representative
voice in the administration of school affairs.
A year later, in 1972, Father McMahon
established the Parish Campaign, an annual fund-raising effort designed as a
low-keyed approach to making people aware of their parish and their responsibility
to support it.
The "Fun Flair," started by Father McMahon
in 1971, became a summertime institution. The carnival raised more than half a
million dollars in its first ten years.
One of the most spectacular events in the
history of Resurrection was organized in 1976 by parishioners under the direction
of Father McMahon. It was an outdoor Mass at the Brookline Community Center on
the morning of the Fourth of July, celebrated in conjunction with local and
national events marking the country's bicentennial.
It is somehow fitting that 1984, the 75th
anniversary of the Resurrection parish, also marked another milestone in our
history: Father McMahon's retirement from duties as our pastor. Like Father
Quinn and Father Keefer before him, Father McMahon's efforts will have a lasting
effect on our lives far beyond the years he has spent with us.
Pastors of the Last Thirty-Five Years
Father Edward Trzeciakowski
Father John Kozar
Father Joseph Grosko
Father Frank A. Mitolo
Father Rob Fleckenstein
Father James Bachner
Pastors at Resurrection Church
Father Denis N. Murphy (1911-1917)
Father John R. McKavney (1917-1919)
Father Charles G. Lindeman (1917-1918)
Father Michael Galvin (1918-1919)
Father Henry R. Connelly (1919-1921)
Father Francis R. Shields (1921-1927)
Father Francis J. Mueller (1927-1930)
Father Edward H. Kelly (1927-1930)
Father Joseph Keener (1930)
Father Alvin W. Forney (1930-1938)
Father Coleman F. Carroll (1930-1934)
Father William P. Shaughnessy (1934-1942)
Father Robert J. Gray (1935-1948)
Father Regis Hannon (1938)
Father Thomas F. Carey (1938-1945)
Father George J. Bock (1942-1943)
Father Andrew J. King (1943-1944)
Father Thomas R. Bartley (1944-1952)
Father Charles B. Roach (1945-1952)
Father William P Weirauch (1948-1953)
Father Paul A. Holzer (1952-1956)
Father Joseph P. Newell (1952-1956)
Father Francis A. Glenn (1953-1955)
Father Edward F. McSweeney (1956-1958)
Father William M. Miller (1956-1960)
Father Anthony G. DeLuca (1958-1963)
Father Donald W. McIlvane (1960-1962)
Father Walter J. Gleason, MM (1961-1962)
Father James C. Biller (1962-1963)
Father James P. O'Connor (1963-1964)
Father Bernard M. Harcarik (1963-1968)
Father Ferdinand B. Demsher (1963-1966)
Father Jeremiah T. O'Shea (1964-1969)
Father Ralph V. Stack (1964-1967)
Father Henry A. Szarnicki (1967)
Father Roman Groszkiewicz (1967-1968)
Father David C. Dixon (1968)
Father Ernest J. Strzelinski (1968)
Father Francis H. Gallagher (1968-1984)
Father John L. Michaels (1968-1969)
Father William R. Terza (1969-1974)
Father John Ayoob (1969-1970)
Father Stanley Gregorek (1970-1975)
Father Phillip Pribonic (1974-1979)
Father George Newmeyer (1975-1981)
Father John Marcucci (1978-1986)
Father George Zirwas (1979-1980)
Father John Moran (1980-1990)
Father Marck Eckman (1987-1990)
Father David Wierczowski (1986-1989)
Father Joseph Verardi (1986)
Father James Dolan (1990-1994)
Father James Seeger (1990-1994)
Father James P. McDonough (1993-1994)
Father Louis DeNinno (1994-1995)
Father William Hutnik (1994-1996)
Father Victor Rocha (1995-1998)
Father George Chortos (1998-1999)
Father Joe Luisi (2000-2001)
Father James Seeger (2001-2005)
Father Victor Rocha (2005-2015)
Father Gary Oemhler (2016-2020)
Father Fernando Torres (2016-2020)
Former clergy members gather for the 100th Anniversary to concelebrate Mass on
November 23, 2008.
Sons of the
Father Ferdinand Braun
Father Thomas C. Brown
Father Vincent Capuano
Father Paul Conroy
Father Dennis J. Doran
Father Bernard Hebda
Monsignor Joseph Knorr
Father Austin Larkin
Father Edward Laurent
Father Leo J. McIntyre
Father Jerome McKenna
Father Brendan Malley
Father Benjamin O’Connor
Father Edward O’Connor
Father Robert O’Connor
Father Paul Owens
Father Francis Paul
Father Nicholas Pesanka
Father David Poecking
Father Coleman Studeny
Father Constantine Superfisky
Father William Tepe
Father Albert Utzig
Father Arnold Vetter
Father Henry Vetter
Father Matthew Vetter
Father John Walsh
Father Dan Whalen
Father Timothy Whalen
Father Justin Wheeler
Father Kenneth White
Father Roger White
Brothers from the Parish
Deacon Richard Longo, Deacon
Brother John P. Conroy, Brother James W. Carl and Brother James Masur.
The small chapel at the Church of the Resurrection,
shown here in 1984.
The Principals of Resurrection Elementary School
Sister Mary Helena Degnan
Mother M. Eveline
Sister Rose Vincent
Mother Mary Joseph
Sister Mary John
Sister M. Esperance
Sister Maria James
The Four Principals - Sister Caroline, Sister
Maria, Sister Ermanilda and
Sister Mary John gather for Resurrection's 50th Anniversary
Sister M. Ermanilda
Sister Jean Ann
Sister Harold Ann
Sister Mary Joseph
Sister Anna Marie
The Five Principals - Sister Claudia, Sister
Lynn, Sister Harold Ann, Sister Anna Marie
and Sister Mary Joseph gather for Resurrection's 100th Anniversary
Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill Website:
A floral wreath is placed on the statue of Mary
during Resurrection Elementary's May Crowning ceremony in 1960.
The Sisters of Charity
of Seton Hill
who taught at Resurrection Elementary School
Sister Martina Abbott
Sister Chrysostom Andrako
Sister Vincent de Paul Baker
Sister Hortense Barclay
Sister Ann Patricia Barkin
Sister M. Ursula Barrett
Sister Robert Mary Beasley
Sister Inez Mary Beckel
Sister Alice Mary Becker
Sister M. Remigius Betz
Sister Donna Bishop
Sister Jane de Chantal Black
Sister M. Claire Blakley
Sister Mary Lawrence Blockinger
Sister M. Patricius Bonner
Sister Barbara Ann Boss
Sister M. Sylvester Boyer
Sister Ann Seton Boyle
Sister Raymond Marie Boyle
Sister Rose Eileen Brazell
Sister M. Columba Brennan
Sister Mary Emmett Brennan
Sister Margaret Cecelia Brennan
Sister Mary Hugh Bridge
Sister Mary Angelus Bunn
Sister Marie Cecelia Burns
Sister M. Pierre Burns
Sister Mary Michael Burns
Sister Dolorosa Burns
Sister M. Eulalia Bush
Sister Marie Catherine Butler
Sister Marcellus Buzzanell
Sister Anne Germaine Byerly
Sister Mary Sarah Byrnes
Sister M. Gracia Canon
Sister Carlotta Carlton
Sister Mary Justin Carr
Sister Thomas Becket Cartwright
Sister Miriam Ellen Chalmers
Sister Marie Cecily Chartener
Sister Maria del Rey Cherry
Sister Jane Ann Cherubin
Sister Margaret George Chesleigh
Sister M. Alicia Clarey
Sister Mary Felix Clarey
Sister Mary Edith Clark
Sister Mary Eunice Clark
Sister Mary Lucian Clark
Sister Mary Richard Clark
Sister Rita Catherine Cole
Sister Margaret Clare Collins
Sister Mary Gerald Conley
Sister Bernard Mary Connors
Sister Mary Anthony Conrad
Sister Rita Agnes Conroy
Sister Marie Kevin Conway
Sister Margaret Francis Coogan
Sister Sheila Marie Cooper
Sister Camilla Mary Cosgrove
Sister Lucilla Costel
Sister M. Barbara Coyle
Sister Louise de Marillac Coyle
Sister Charles Marie Craig
Sister Alice Marie Crates
Sister Basilia Cronin
Sister Robert Michelle Cullen
Sister John Baptist Curren
Sister Marie Celeste Cuzzolina
Sister Ann Elizabeth Cypher
Sister William Ann Dailey
Sister M. Neri Daley
Sister Mary Vincent Daley
Sister Mary Jerome Daley
Sister Mary Rose Daley
Sister Cora Marie Davin
Sister M. Angela Dawes
Sister M. Florian De Temple
Sister M. Raphael Dimond
Sister Mary Roger Doherty
Sister Julian Teresa Dolan
Sister Mary Ernest Dolle
Sister M. Kostka Donahue
Sister M. Miguel Donauer
Sister M. Evarista Donavan
Sister M. Serena Donehue
Sister M. Theodore Donohue
Sister M. Bernice Dorman
Sister Agnes Dougherty
Sister Marie Daniel Dougherty
Sister Agnes Cecelia Dougherty
Sister Mary David Doyle
Sister Marie Vincent Doyle
Sister Dolorita Doyle
Sister M. Gonzaga Driscoll
Sister Ann Teresa Duffy
Sister Mary Dunlap
Sister William Mary Dunnigan
Sister Miriam Ann Eck
Sister Hildegarde Eichenlaub
Sister Mary Zachary Endress
Sister Rebecca Ann Espinosa
Sister Janet Evans
Sister Brycelyn Eyler
Sister M. Cornelia Fagan
Sister Catherine Francis Faloney
Sister Francis Cabrini Farina
Sister M. Demetrius Farrell
Sister Mary Raymond Fatora
Sister Miriam Michael Fedoush
Sister Mary Irene Finn
Sister Mary Imelda Fitzgerald
Sister Mary Alban Fitzgerald
Sister Mary Regina Fitzmaurice
Sister Mary Teresa Fitzpatrick
Sister M. Placide Flanagan
Sister M. Eymard Fleming
Sister Roseanne Fleming
Sister M. Claude Flowers
Sister M. Reynita Flynn
Sister M. Amelia Foerster
Sister M. Antonine Forbeck
Sister M. Annina Fox
Sister Edith Marie Fullen
Sister Ethelreda Furtwangler
Sister Mary Eva Gallagher
Sister M. Marita Ganley
Sister M. Theophane Geary
Sister Mary Aidan Geary
Sister Agnes Regina Geary
Sister M. Madeleine Gerber
Sister M. Margery Getty
Sister Mary Elaine Gibbons
Sister Mary Arthur Giseburt
Sister Joanna Gleason
Sister Rosemary Gleason
Sister Madeline Sophie Gloss
Sister Margaret Gerald Graham
Sister Brigid Marie Grandley
Sister Mechtildes Grassenberger
Sister Richard Marie Greeley
Sister Agnes Louise Green
Sister M. Augusta Groark
Sister M. Romuald Haley
Sister Helen Marie Haley
Sister Catherine Teresa Hallinan
Sister M. Olivia Hamilton
Sister Marie Arthur Hamilton
Sister Marie Dolores Haney
Sister Vincentia Hanley
Sister Marie Marce Hannan
Sister Marie Harlan
Sister Leo Marie Hartzog
Sister M. Bernadette Hayes
Sister John Edward Hazey
Sister Bernardine Hefferon
Sister Edward Mary Hendricks
Sister M. Estelle Hensler
Sister M. Dorothy Hess
Sister Miriam Leah Hickey
Sister Mary Edward Hierholzer
Sister M. Rosina Highland
Sister Mary Oswald Hillenbrand
Sister Marie Berchmans Hirt
Sister Rita Marie Hokamp
Sister M. Alma Holland
Sister Catherine Agnes Holpp
Sister Rose Clare Holpp
Sister Mary Joan Hopper
Sister Anne Celine Horvath
Sister Marie Louise Hunnell
Sister Mary Owen Hurney
Sister M. Clotilda Jackson
Sister M. Sebastian Jellison
Sister Marie Joseph Jennings
Sister Eileen Johnston
Sister Lois Johnston
Sister Mary Brice Joyce
Sister Mary Charlotte Judge
Sister Mary Basil Jungling
Sister M. Romaine Junker
Sister M. Agatha Kaney
Sister M. Bernard Karlheim
Sister Marion Teresa Kaylor
Sister M. Michaele Keenan
Sister Bernadine Marie Kelly
Sister M. Benedicta Kelly
Sister M. Kathleen Kennedy
Sister M. Natalie Kent
Sister Margaret Ellen Keunzig
Sister Mary Coleman Kilkeary
Sister Margaret Regina King
Sister Marie Dismas Kirsch
Sister Mary Otto Kirsch
Sister M. Regina Kirwan
Sister Marie Goretti Kleman
Sister M. Salome Kline
Sister Martin de Porres Knock
Sister Ruth Ann Kronenberger
Sister James Louise Krug
Sister M. Anita Kund
Sister M. Camilla Lasher
Sister M. Genevieve Lauder
Sister M. Beata Leech
Sister Jean Marie Leonard
Sister Marie Elizabeth Leonard
Sister Rita Mary Leonard
Sister Louise Vincent Linkhauer
Sister M. Angelica Little
Sister Mary Dolores Logan
Sister M. Ferdinand Love
Sister Mary Alice Love
Sister M. Dominica Lyden
Sister M. Dorothea Lyman
Sister Mary Ronald Madden
Sister Rose Edward Madigan
Sister Elizabeth Ann Mahoney
Sister Jean Patrice Marr
Sister M. Agnita McCall
Sister de Sales McCarthy
Sister Ida Marie McCarthy
Sister Joseph Marie McCarthy
Sister Cecelia Vincent McCartney
Sister Marian Seton McCauley
Sister Mary Brian McConnell
Sister M. de Lillis McCoy
Sister M. Adele McCullough
Sister Francis Regis McDonough
Sister Christina Marie McElhinny
Sister Mary Gertrude McElhinny
Sister Mary Brigid McElligott
Sister Marie De Paul McGarry
Sister M. Sabine McGinley
Sister M. Aurelia McGinness
Sister M. Gabriel McGivern
Sister Kathleen McGrady
Sister M. Patrice McGuire
Sister M. Elizabeth McGurgan
Sister M. Germanus McKenna
Sister Judith Marie McKenna
Sister Mary Ralph McKenzie
Sister M. Demetria McMahon
Sister M. Gemma McMahon
Sister Mary Robert McManama
Sister Clara Marie McManama
Sister Mary Guido McMillen
Sister Ann Joseph McMullen
Sister Margaret Mary McNamara
Sister M. Beatrice McQuade
Sister M. Alexander McQuade
Sister Marie Berchmans Meehan
Sister Catherine Meinert
Sister Marie Helene Mohr
Sister Mary Louise Molchan
Mother Marie Benedict Monahan
Sister M. Marcelline Montgomery
Sister Mary Judith Mooney
Sister Jeanne Ellen Morris
Sister Marie Victoria Muckian
Sister Jane Francis Muldoon
Sister M. Leocadia Mulholland
Sister M. Anastasia Mullen
Sister Mary Eustace Mullen
Sister Mary Cletus Murphy
Sister M Constantia Murphy
Sister Mary Peter Murphy
Sister Mary Philip Murphy
Sister Miriam Joseph Murphy
Sister Regina Mary Murphy
Sister Philip Neri Murray
Sister Mary Herman Mutschler
Sister Mary Rachel Nee
Sister Louis Marie Nene
Sister M. Macaria Nestor
Sister Mary Andrew Newland
Sister Harriet Seton Newton
Sister Vincent Mary Nolan
Sister Anna Mary O’Brien
Sister Maureen O’Brien
Sister M. Genevieve O’Connor
Sister Margaret Rose O’Dea
Sister M. Annina O’Donnell
Sister Jude Thaddeus O’Donnell
Sister M. Immaculata O’Donnell
Sister Mary Brendan O’Shea
Sister M. Harriet Omler
Sister M. Corinne Omler
Sister M. Ernestine Palmer
Sister Helen Palonus
Sister Beatrice Ann Parenti
Sister Virginia Pascaretta
Sister M. Patricia Pearce
Sister Jean Francis Peters
Sister Jane Elizabeth Petrak
Sister M. Winifred Philibin
Sister Mary Roch Polonus
Sister Mary Price
Sister M. Carmelita Quigley
Sister M. Hilary Reilley
Sister Rita Clare Reilley
Sister M. Valeria Risbon
Sister Paul Marie Rishel
Sister Mary Leo Rockey
Sister Mary Thomas Ridgers
Sister Mary Adele Rogers
Sister Mary Fabian Rogers
Sister Mary Charlene Rooney
Sister Mary Simon Rudolph
Sister Ann Louise Sacco
Sister Thomas Mary Schofield
Sister Mary Elizabeth Schrei
Sister Francis del Rey Seifert
Sister Miriam Dolores Sell
Sister Hilda Marie Shaunessy
Sister M. Gervase Shields
Sister Helen Clare Short
Sister Mary Stella Short
Sister Barbara Smelko
Sister Mary Carlos Smith
Sister Grace Louise Smith
Sister Mary Clifford Soisson
Sister M. Macrina Sokol
Sister Mary Edmund Speer
Sister M. Editha Springer
Sister Mary Arlene Squitieri
Sister M. Assumpta Stock
Sister M. Christina Stoecklein
Sister Mary Cephas Storm
Sister Mary Benedict Strittmatter
Sister Marie Sullivan
Sister M. Gonzales Sullivan
Sister Ida Catherine Sullivan
Sister M. Alberta Sweeney
Sister Veronica Mary Szalajko
Sister Josefa Marie Temple
Sister Maria Regina Thiel
Sister Ann Francis Tighe
Sister Mary Paulus Tittler
Sister Marie John Toomey
Sister Mary Alma Vandervest
Sister Marie Evangelist Vaughan
Sister Ann Virginia Verwiel
Sister M. Vincentia Volk
Sister Miriam David Volker
Sister M. Bartholomew Walenshock
Sister M. Othelia Wall
Sister Ann Bernard Wall
Sister M. Martha Walsh
Sister Mary Cecelia Ward
Sister Miriam Weaver
Sister John Joseph Weber
Sister Mary Pashal Weimerskirch
Sister Mary Paul Wheeler
Sister M. Rosaire Wilker
Sister M. Lucia Witt
Sister Marie Augustine Witt
Sister M. Clarisita Wolk
Sister Rita Ann Woods
Sister Louise Patrick Wojtasiak
Sister M. Pancratius Yablonski
Sister M. Myra Yeage
* Thanks to Sister Vivien
Linkhauer, S.C., for providing this information *
The Principals of Brookline Regional Catholic School
Maryann Knoll (1996-1998)
Janet Salley-Rakoczy (1998-2014)
The Principal of Saint John Bosco Academy
Janet Salley-Rakoczy (2014-2019)
Sister Eucharia O’Hagan
Sister Hidegarde Weet
Sister Mary Andrew Vietmeier
Sister M. Rosaria Duffy
Sister Beatrice Weet
Sister Cecilia James Brown
Sister M. Margery Getty
Sister Miriam Therese Rihn
Sister DeChantal Leis
Sister Ellen Mary McAvoy
Sister Ann Agnes Kilkeary
Sister John Joseph Weber
Sister Norine Finnegan
Sister Mary Coleman Kilkeary
Sister John Agnes McClory
Sister Mary Judith Mooney
Sister Francis Teresa Masur
Sister Mary Rose Knorr
Sister Catherine Louise Knorr
Sister Catherine Seton Sweeney
Sister Mary Laurencia Rihn
Sister Marie Williams Kelly
Sister Mary Seton Wacker
Sister Rita Agnes Conroy
Sister Rosine Shortley
Sister Aloysia O’Keefe
Sister Mary Brendan Wellinger
Sister Mary DeSales Flynn
Sister Marie Timothy Ruane
Sister Elizabeth Marie McGinley
Sister Mary Paul Wheeler
Sister Sheila Marie Cooper
Sister Elizabeth Ann Madden
Sister Marie Denise Wellinger
Sister Mary Vincent Laitta
Sister Maria O’Conner
Sister Letitia Matteucci
Sister Marie Daniel Dougherty
Sister Lucia Marie Flynn
Sister Marie Margaret Wolf
Sister Stephanie Lanagan
Sister St. Leo Madden
Sister Marie Frederick Ufolla
Sister Claudia Stehle
Sister Patricia Laffey
Sister Judy Laffey
Sister Barbara Boss
Sister Joyce Serratore
Sister Lynn Rettinger
of Religious Education (CCD)
Sister Mary Clifford (1970-1975)
Andrew James (1975-1987)
Jennifer Buczynski (1987-1990)
Dee Fitzsimmons (1990-1997)
Bernice Dumitru (1997-2007)
Mark Diskin (2007-2011)
Formation - Religious Education
Confraternity of the Christian Doctrine (C.C.D.)
The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine is
involved in the ministry of religious education to the members of the Church of
the Resurrection. This lay organization began an active role in our parish’s
Continuing Christian Development in the 1950s by addressing the needs of the
parish children enrolled in public high schools. The program soon expanded to
preparing the children of the parish for the sacraments of Penance, Holy
Communion and Confirmation.
With the personal dedication of many
lay volunteers who have given freely of their time and talent, a comprehensive
religious education program was developed for the children. These men and
women of our parish spend literally hundreds of hours in preparation for their
catechetical ministry by participation in training and enrichment programs
offered by the parish and Diocese as well as in the classroom with their
Initially, the associate pastor oversaw
the program, but by 1971, the CCD program had grown to such an extent that it
became necessary for the parish to employ a full-time Director of Religious
Education. Sister Mary Clifford became the first Catechetical Administrator.
With the addition of the Director to the parish staff, the CCD continued its
involvement in the religious life of the parish through the establishment of
sacramental preparation programs for parents.
When Sister Mary left, CCD became a
ministry open to the laity. With the merger of the area Catholic schools in
Brookline Regional Catholic in 1996 the Resurrection school buildings
continued to be used for this important ministry of the church. Today, under
the directorship of Mary Diskin, the CCD program at Resurrection continues
it's mission to enrich the spiritual lives of our parish children and
Scouting For Boys And Girls
The Church of the Resurrection has been
involved in scouting since the first Boy Scout Society was formed in September
of 1928. Membership in the Girl Scouts of the United States soon followed. As
both boy and girl scouting evolved over the years, so did their presence at
Girl Scouts from Resurrection Church visit the KDKA
broadcasting studio in 1936.
The present Boy Scout Troop #6 was chartered
in 1942. Next came Cub Scout Pack #106 and Pack #601, along with Girl Scout Troop #145
and Troop #419. Although the local Girl Scouts troops are no longer chartered through
Resurrection, the Boy Scouts of Troop #6, and the Cub Scouts of Pack #601, continue to thrive after over seventy-five
Girl Scouts from Troop #145 in 1945 and,
to the right, a Cub Scout ceremony in 1947. Five scouts from Pack #601
are going through the initiation ceremony. Brian Fornear's brother
Richard is second from the right.
Girl Scout Troop #419 outfit and sash
from the 1950s.
Over the years, countless adults have
become registered leaders and volunteers. Their tireless support has helped
make scouting both an adventure and a meaningful educational experience for the
thousands of parish youth that have participated in the program.
Since 1942, the Screaming Eagles of Troop#6 have raised ninety-eight Scouts that have
achieved the prestigious rank of Eagle. On December 18, 2011, Nicholas Sywyj
became the 82nd Eagle Scout from Troop#6. Nick joined his brothers Steve (2001)
and Andrew (2008) as recipients of Scouting's highest award. In addition, sister
Jessica (2005) has earned the Gold Award in Girl Scouts, the equivalent of
the Eagle rank.
Nick, Helen, Jessica and Andy Sywyj
- December 18, 2011.
The Eagles of Troop #6
James E. McKenna (1946)
Leo Studeny (1946)
Charles Steinkamp (1951)
Al Steele (1951)
Joe Calabrese (1964)
Kieran Kilday (1965)
Donald Ging (1966)
Tim Ging (1966)
James Matthew (1966)
Larry Shimkets (1966)
Edwin Harper (1966)
Robert Ging (1966)
Gary Kunkel (1966)
Richard Mull (1966)
James Winchell (1966)
Dan McGaffin (1967)
Lesley Karako (1967)
Dave Hochendoner (1968)
John Burnecke (1969)
John Mangan (1970)
Mike Jones (1970)
Robert Winchell (1970)
Joe Carse (1971)
W. Zanone (1972)
Mike Benson (1972)
Joseph J. Duffy (1973)
M. Frey (1973)
Larry Hochendoner (1973)
J. Zugell (1973)
William Burgess (1973)
Sam Fialla (1973)
Leonard Hochendoner (1973)
Gregory Sharkey (1973)
Tom Galiszewski (1974)
Mike McMullen (1974)
Kevin Ging (1974)
Charles R. Haley (1974)
Richard Knouff (1975)
Joseph P. Fagan (1975)
Manuel Martinez (1975)
Robert DiNardo (1976)
Mike Taccino (1976)
Richard Gildea (1976)
Paul Eibeck (1977)
Greg Crum (1977)
Carmen Tripodi (1977)
Robert Falck (1978)
David J. McGaffin (1981)
Martin Eibeck (1982)
George Farah (1982)
John Kemmler (1984)
Mike Cross (1985)
Ted Moore (1985)
Dan Chuderewicz (1985)
Michael Fedorchak (1985)
William Cable (1988)
John Fedorchak (1990)
Douglas Byers (1990)
Steven Penn (1990)
Richard Connolly (1990)
Charles Salvetti (1990)
Ted Weid (1992)
Brian Bellisario (1994)
Richard Underwood (1994)
Christopher Tallon (1997)
John D'Abruzzo (1997)
Kevin McNulty (1998)
Steve Sywyj (2001)
Michael Paniccia (2004)
Zachary Bryte (2005)
Justin O'Toole (2006)
Russell Faust (2007)
Joshua Dubensky (2007)
Robert Papale (2008)
Andrew Sywyj (2008)
Jonathan Andrews (2009)
John Dubensky (2009)
Robert Cumer III (2010)
Christopher Vaughan (2010)
Jonathan Kotek (2011)
Brandon O'Toole (2011)
Nicholas Sywyj (2011)
William D. Allen Jr. (2012)
Brendan Vaughan (2012)
Joseph Rogers (2014)
Zachary Neal (2014)
Joseph Nagy (2014)
Zachary Mansour (2016)
Glen Brown (2016)
Michael Lacek (2016)
Michael Allen (2017)
Ryan Staab (2017)
Gerald Metting (2018)
Liam Yates (2018)
Julian Cerminara (2019)
Zachary Esch (2019)
Zachary Miller (2019)
Alexander Fisher (2020)
The Tigers, Wolfs, Bears and Webelos of Resurrection's
Cub Scout Pack#601 in 2008.
Troop #9006 Joins The Boy Scout Family
On February 28, 2019, Girls Troop#9006 was
formally admitted into the Boy Scouts of America. This allowed the girls to participate
in many of the BSA activities that are not available in the Girl Scouts. The program
was initiated Scout Master Kathy Yates and Mercedes "Mercy" Faust, who was the first
Assistant Scout Master. Sadly, Mercedes passed away suddenly on April 27, 2019 after
working so hard to bring her girls into the Boy Scout family.
The girls of Troop#9006 after their first Court of
Honor on May 30, 2019. Shown here are: Back Row: Kathy Yates
(Scout Master), Liam Yates (Assistant Scout Master), Natalie Tarrant, Dr Bob Faust
(Unit Commissioner), Chyonna
Blango-Symms, Lisa Evangelista (Committee Member), Sarah Evangelista, Stephen Tarrant
Master), Kneeling: Melissa Munnell (Committee Member), Momoko Munnell (Patrol Leader),
Gabriella Snyder. In the very front is Sabrina Snyder.
Inter-Scholastic Athletic Programs
Like most public and parochial schools in
the region, Resurrection offered a variety of varsity and intramural athletics
for the student population. These included basketball, football and other
intramural activities. These activities were originally hosted at the Brookline
School gymnasium and at Moore Park.
The Resurrection Athletic Association was
formed in 1951, chaired by Mr. Harry Connor. One of the first activities of the
organization was the construction of a basketball gymnasium in the school building.
It was built in a converted meeting hall, the same room that for many years was
the church sanctuary.
Throughout it's long history as a member
of the Pittsburgh Catholic League, the boys and girls basketball teams were
perennial contenders. In 1952, the girls team posted a 7-2-2 record and won the
Catholic Girl's League Championship with a 16-4 victory over St. Mary's of the
Mount. For the Raider girls, it was their first in a string of five consecutive
Catholic League titles.
The Resurrection Athletic Association
continued to grow, offering more sports for both the students and for the older
members of the parish. Resurrection sponsored both softball and basketball teams
in the Catholic Youth Organization. In 1965 the school was expanded to include
a new Activities building that housed a complete modern gymnasium.
The Activities Building, including a new
gymnasium, was ready for the 1965/1966 school year.
As the years went on, the walls of the
Resurrection gymnasium became lined with green banners, each denoting one of the
many Raider Diocesan championships. The basketball banners featured several
boys and girls teams from each of the sixth, seventh and eighth grade brackets.
In the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Ressi Raiders became synonymous
One of the most special highlights in the
history of Resurrection Raider basketball came in 1984, when the boys varsity team
went all the way, capturing the Pennsylvania State championship. The following
year, the boys CYO team also rose to the top of the charts, captured a second
state title in two years for the Brookline parish.
Another popular and entertaining
feature at Resurrection football and basketball games were the talented
cheerleading squads. Over the years, several generations of talented girls
have captivated the crowds with their spirited sideline cheers and energetic
The 1952 Resurrection varsity football team
played their games at Moore Park. Members of the team included: Harry Tewell,
Paul Hudson, Jerry Lott, Bill McGroarty, Rich Wise, Jim Shrier, Bernie Doyle,
Joe Albenze, Regis McKenna, Joe Lannis, Bill Gratton, Ed Conroy, Bill McGall,
Bill Gemmell, Ron Hurbanek, Dave, Ron Dallas, Bob Dugo, Tom Kail, Paul Taylor,
Dave Eichenlaub, Bill Kail, Jack Lutz, Dave Dugan and Coach Harry
The 1957 Resurrection girl's
basketball team finished runner-up in the city grade school Catholic
Girl's League. The squad finished the season with an 8-2 record. Previously,
Ressi's lady cagers had won five diocesan championships in a row.
Members of the team included Mary Lou Tully,
Jo Cannizzaro, Pat Schmidt, Ellen Kestner, Sue Balkey, Barbara Doran,
Carol Welsh, Coach Armour, Kathie Davis, Carolyn Wade, Emily Domina,
Kathleen Casey, Corinne DeConcillis and Coach Balkey.
The 1970-71 Ressi
Raider Varsity basketball team finished the season with a 10-2 record
in Diocesan Section AA, second only to St. Albert the Great. Resurrection's
basketball program ran up quite an impressive string of successful seasons,
and Coach Ben Hartman went on to a Hall of Fame career as the coach of the
Seton-LaSalle High School girls basketball teams in the 1980s.
Members of the team included: Bobby Gattuso,
Jimmy O'Toole, Drew Ondik, Jim Wheeler, Danny Gallagher, Mark Zucco,
John Piagessi, Bobby Conti, Joe Ehland, Danny McGrath, Morris "Moe"
Buskirk, Pat Walsh, John DeFilippo, Billy Gallagher, Tom Baginski,
Randy Gumbar and Coach Ben Hartman.
Shown below are the 1951-1952 Varsity
team (left) and the 1987-1988 Sixth Grade boys. The Resurrection football program
was discontinued in the early-1960s, but the basketball program continued
until the school closed in 1996. Raider cagers built quite a legacy.
1984 Diocesan and
The 1984 Resurrection Raiders Diocesan
champion varsity team captured the Pennsylvania State championship. Members of
the team included: Darren Thomas, Billy Lonero, Tony Diulius, Frank Battista,
Mario Panucci, Steve Rossa, Dave Binkowski, Chris Sestilli, Billy Jo Spratt,
Mike Brown, Jimmy Walsh and Coach Angelo Masullo. Also pictured is Pastor
John McMahon. Missing from the photo is Assistant Coach John Lee.
The Ressi Raider Cheerleaders
The 1983-84 Ressi Raiders
cheerleaders cheered their team to victory time and again. Resurrection's
basketball teams were perenial contenders for the diocesan crown,
and the Raider cheerleaders kept the home crowds alive with their fine
performances. Below are photos of the 1947 and the 1950 Raider cheerleading
Girls C.Y.O. Basketball
The 1984 Girls CYO basketball team
included: Anita Suwalski, Mary McGee, Coach Pam McGee, Deana Murgi, Lisa Bernotas,
Chrissy Gossett, Shari Rey, Lisa Phillips, Barb Walter, Melanie Zablotny,
Karen Christian and Coach Zablotny.
1985 Boys C.Y.O. Diocesan and
The Resurrection Boys CYO team finished
the 1984-1985 season by winning the state CYO basketball championship, defeating
St. Timothy of the Philadelphia Archdiocese. Members of the championship team
included: Mark Walsh, Tom Budway, Terry Hebda, Tony Camarco, Robert Valdisera,
Rob Achille, Tom Carletti, Pat Bove, Jim Barker, Assistant Coach Dan Walsh,
John Meyer, Paul King, Rick Dorsch, Jim McGee and Head Coach Kevin Walsh. Missing
from the photo is Sean Coleman.
Safety Patrol Members
Every school year, several eighth grade
boys were chosen to be Safety Patrol Members. These students wore and armband
and an orange belt, with a strap that came up over the chest, adorned with a
shiny patrol member badge.
The job of the Safeties was to monitor
the various crosswalks near the school and assist the younger walking students
with vehicular traffic. They manned their posts every school day during the
morning and afternoon commute. It was quite an honor to be chosen as one of the
Resurrection's Eighth Grade Safety Patrol
Members from the 1953-1954 school year.
In addition to the Safety Patrol Members,
there was a Crossing Guard stationed at the bottom of Creedmoor Avenue to
direct traffic at this busy Brookline Boulevard intersection. During the 1950s
and early-1960s, the Crossing Guard was Mrs. Anna Henry. She was followed by
Mrs. Sue Moyer, who stood the post until the late-1980s.
These two fine ladies, in addition to
all of those that came before and after, will always be remembered fondly by
the generations of students that were under their watchful eye morning and
afternoon. How can anyone who knew Mrs. Moyer forget how she would position
herself in the middle of the boulevard, put her hands in the air and call
out "OK, Honies, Let's Go."
Adopting Pagan Babies
Back in the 1950s and early-1960s, and
possibly before that, Catholic schools including Resurrection Elementary sponsored
an ongoing drive to raise money for religious missions in foreign lands. It was
called "Adopt A Pagan Baby".
In Resurrection classrooms there were
collections to save unbaptized children not taught about God (Pagan Babies).
Pictures of Cherub-faced Indian, African, and Asian babies graced small cardboard
collection boxes given to each child. Students gave their allowances to save
The price of adoption was five dollars, and
kids were allowed to give their baby a Christian name. Many students adopted several
babies. In return they were given a decorative certificate commemorating their
adoption pledge. Their adopted Pagan Babies were then given the Sacrament of Baptism.
Many of those kids still have their adoption certificate, like Bob
Daley, who adopted "Michael" on February 24, 1959.
Saving Pagan Babies occurred during a simpler
time, before cynicism and political correctness found their stride. Someone must have
decided it was no longer a good way to raise money for Catholic missions. The concept,
however, rings true today. It seems hard to believe, but according to the National
Catholic Register, more than one-third of millennials now say they are unaffiliated
with any faith.
Christians have always believed that “baptism
is the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other
sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become
members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission…”
Former Resurrection Students
Remember Adopting Their Pagan Babies:
"Lord have mercy! I had one certificate for
a Pagan Baby but lost touch. That bring back memories!" - Vera Marie C.
"Me too! I had several, actually ... all girls named Mary, of course." - Ann C.
"I remember those." - Bill R.
"Wow, that certainly brings back memories. I used to take my dad’s loose change
on a regular basis. I ended up with about five babies!" - Sharon S.
"I remember Pagan Babies!" - Sharen D.
"I remember donations that were not enough to "buy" a whole baby we're combined and the
class voted on names. Some we're pretty outrageous!" - Nancy K.
"I think they cost five dollars." - Karyn D.
"Wasn't there a bridge we had to get them over. I spent all my paper boy money."
- Sal S.
"That’s what I remember. There were milk cartons to hold the money. It was boy versus girl
in the classroom to see who had the most babies. I also remember something about a bridge
... probably denoting how much money was collected. My grandmother gave me $5 to buy my
own pagan baby! But I don’t remember her name." - Kathy F.
"I loved Pagan Babies. Imagine what they would cost now." - Donna B.
"What I loved about the Pagan Babies is that we were allowed to name them with our names.
I had a lot of Pagan Babies named Mary Margaret!! A lot of people never knew what I was
talking about!" - Mary A.
"I also had a Pagan Baby; I regret to say I haven't kept in touch with him." - Bob H.
"I named my Pagan Baby Patrick. He's probably still wondering, "How did I wind up with
an Irish name?" - Bob U.
"Wow, what a blast from the past!" - Mary Ellen M.
"We thought that some nun in China would go out and select a baby of the proper gender,
baptize it and give it the name we chose." - Ann C.
"I loved the Pagan Babies! Really thought I was saving a baby!" - Betty L.
Resurrection Online Historical Books
* From the Historic Pittsburgh Text
Resurrection Parish Chronology: 1909-1934
Church of the Resurrection Dedication - 1939
50 Years: The Church of the Resurrection
Resurrection Church/School Photo Gallery
Resurrection History webpage
designed by Clint Burton in cooperation with the Church of the Resurrection.
* Last Modified - April 27, 2021 *