Our History | The former St. Bonaventure Church, Black Lick
Ground was broken for St. Bonaventure Church in Black Lick, on the feast of Corpus Christi in 1909. Father Francis Leo Wieczorek was appointed pastor of St. Bonaventure Church in 1910, a parish which then had 25 families. The church was a mission of St. Bernard o Clairvaux Parish, Indiana, and then became a mission of St. Francis Parish in Coral. St. Bonaventure church was renovated and expanded in 1938 and again in 1966 after a fire. Through the years, declining clergy necessitated the closing of St. Bonaventure Parish and the last Mass was celebrated there September 24, 2002. The parish closed and the parishioners became members of St. Francis in Coral.
Our History | The former St. Francis Parish, Coral
St. Francis Parish built its first church in 1904. The actual date of construction of St Francis Church is unknown, but it was completed around 1905. The late Father Francis Leo Wieczorek was appointed pastor, June 11, 1910. At that time, the congregation numbered around 500 people. Although very little is known about the early history of St. Francis Parish, prior to its establishment the church, served as a mission of St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish, Indiana.
At the time, Father McNelis served as pastor of St. Bernard of Clairvaux and is given credit for the construction of St. Francis Church as well as the establishment of its congregation, and the congregation of St. Bonaventure Parish, Black Lick, which also served as a mission church. Through the years, there were many changes, including a fire destroying St. Francis Church, August 3, 1936. The church was rebuilt and construction of a new brick church began with the cornerstone being laid July 5, 1937. The church was completed and blessed May 30, 1938. When the church in Coral was completed, work then began on St. Bonaventure Church. In 1972, the late Bishop William G. Connare, second bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg, dedicated a new assembly hall for St. Francis Parish. He also celebrated the 75th anniversary of St. Francis Parish, Sunday, October 6, 1985.
Through the years, declining clergy necessitated the closing of St. Bonaventure Parish and the last Mass was celebrated there September 24, 2002. The parish closed and the parishioners became members of St. Francis in Coral. Shortly thereafter, St. Francis Parish became partnered with St. Louis Parish in Lucernemines, October 9, 2002. St. Francis remained a parish until October 30, 2008, when it was announced by Bishop Lawerence E. Brandt, fourth bishop of the diocese, that a new parish would be formed.
Our Lady of the Assumption Parish, named after the diocesan patroness, was formed October 30, 2008, as a result of the merger of the former partner parishes of St. Francis Parish in Coral and St. Louis Parish in Lucernemines.
Our History | The former St. Louis Parish, Lucernmines
In the early years, St. Louis was not its own parish, but rather a mission to St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish in Indiana. In 1907, when the town of Lucernemines was being formed there was no permanent church in the plans, so a small group of gentlemen petitioned Father Neil P. McNelis, pastor of St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish to celebrate Mass for the growing number of people. Father McNelis wrote to Bishop J. F. Regis Cannevin of the Diocese of Pittsburgh May 11, 1912, requesting permission and he responded immediately.
The first Mass was celebrated in Yankeetown at the home of John Turify in July 1912. The house was too small to accommodate the growing number of worshippers, so the owner of the local lumber mill, Guiseppe Mazza, offered the use of the mill office for the celebration of Mass.
On August 26, 1917, Father Edward Dewell requested permission from the bishop of Pittsburgh to build a chapel at Waterman. Permission was requested to call it St. Mary Church.
The official title for the church was designated as Seven Dolors in honor of Mary, the Mother of God, and remained in the care of St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish until 1923, at which time it then became a mission to St. Louis Parish.
In summer 1921, Father Casimir Orlemanski was appointed to St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish as an assistant to Father McNelis. He began to organize the members of St. Louis Mission Church into a more cohesive group and petitioned Bishop Boyle to authorize the mission to become a parish and subsequently was appointed the first pastor.
The celebration of the first Mass of the newly formed parish was held on January 1, 1922. St. Louis was partnered with St. Francis Parish in Coral on October 9, 2002, and remained its own parish until October 30, 2008. At that time it was merged with St. Francis Parish and became the Lucernemines Site of what is now Our Lady of the Assumption Parish.