Archiver > PACAMBRI > 2005-11 > 1133410911

Subject: Re: [PaCambri] St. Patrick's Church, Gallitzin, Fire [1912]
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2005 23:21:51 EST

excepts from the history of St. Patricks from a booklet published in 1945
for the Diamond Jubilee, republished in the Gallitzin World War II Memorial book

The Church was founded in 1850

Sept 4, 1884 Father Richard Phelan of Pittsburg laid the cornerstone for the
present St. Patrick's Church (St Demetrius). (the front of St. Demetrius
was just remodeled)

"For twelve years nothing disturbed the peace of the parish until the spring
of 1912. A disastrous fire broke out in the church on Saturday, May 4.
Starting in the boy's sacristy, the flames destroyed the Blessed Virgin's Altar,
continued down the west side of the church until it finally reached the
organ. The heat left the prized instrument a mass of melted steel. When the
alarm sounded, Father Deasy immediately removed the Blessed Sacrament to a place
of safety. Then he returned to aid the local firemen in fighting the blaze.
The results of the fire were: the destruction of the altar of the Blessed
Mother, extensive damage to the woodwork and the irreparable damage to the
organ. The main altar and the side altar, dedicated to St. Joseph, suffered no
damage. Insurance covered the loss estimated at $20,000. The next day, May
5th, was Sunday. The priests celebrated Mass in the convent chapel while the
faithful gathered in the chapel, on the porch, and the lawn to assist at Mass.

Repairs began almost immediately with W.J. Rose and Sons of Johnstown as the
contractors. The purchase of a new organ to replace the damaged one and the
re-frescoing of the church soon eliminated the scars of the fire. To obtain
a duplicate to replace the Blessed Virgin's altar, it was necessary to
dismantle ST. Joseph's altar and send it to the factory so that they could build a

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