St. Colman Parish, Turtle Creek, PA


About Saint Colman

Saint Colman Church is named after St. Colman of Lindisfarne (AD 605 - AD 675). He was Bishop of Lindisfarne from AD 661 until AD 664. Colman's brief episcopate is memorable largely because it came at a time of intense controversy in the Celtic church, including a fierce revival of the long dispute concerning the correct way of computing the date of Easter. Colman, refusing to accept the king's ruling in a spiritual matter, resigned after serving only three years. He then left for Iona, taking with him all the Irish and about thirty of the English monks at Lindisfarne. Saint Colman was known to emphasize frugality, simplicity, and complete devotion to imparting the word of God and ministering His people.

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About The Parish

St. Colman was established in 1882. The parish was formed to meet the needs of the small Catholic community of Turtle Creek and the surrounding area. The first Mass of the new parish was celebrated in a local public school. Later, Masses were offered in Black's Hall. The parish purchased land and soon afterwards built a frame church. The date of the church's construction is not known. In 1887, the church was modified to enable the parish to open a school by converting the lower floor of the building to four classrooms.
With the growth of industry in the area, the congregation began to grow. In 1889, the congregation decided that a new church was needed. Ground for a new church was broken in 1900. The cornerstone was laid on June 2, 1901, and the completed church was dedicated on May 10. 1903. The old church was converted to a school. It was torn down in 1928 to make room for a new school.
The church served the parish for 70 years. By 1975, the church was in need of extensive repairs and renovation. The parish initiated a study that year to determine whether the church should be repaired or a new church built. A fire in the church on January 4, 1976, followed by a lightning strike on the building a few months later decided the issue. Demolition of the church began in March of 1977. While the church was being torn down and a new church built on the site, Masses were moved to the school.
Ground for the new church was broken on May 1, 1977, and the cornerstone was laid on October 16, 1977. The completed church was dedicated on May 14, 1978.

Photo and Text Reference obtained from the following link:


About The School

St. Colman's Catholic School is a historic landmark located in Turtle Creek, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Originally established in 1888, the school building that exists there now was built in 1928 by architects Link, Weber & Bowers. There are carvings in sandstone all around the building's exterior, including a sculpture of St. Colman over the elaborately decorated Hunter Street entrance.
After the original church burned down the new one was built in a different location on the property and an addition containing a cafeteria and the classrooms that would form the Junior High portion of the school was built on the site of the former church. The addition is far more modern looking, rather than remaining true to the school's original architectural style.
The class of 2006, with only 18 students, was the last to graduate.
The school is on the list of historic landmarks recognized by the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF).

Photo and Text Reference obtained from the following link:
Website created 11/15/10 by Cathy Collins.