History of Saint Paul, Atlas
SAINT PAUL, ATLAS
Established in 1928, as a mission chapel of St. Peter Church to serve its parishioners in the Atlas area.
First pastor: Rev. Paul D. Weaver (pastor of St. Peter’s)
Last pastor: Rev. Romulus Rosolowski, O.F.M. Conv.
Noteworthy events. . .
* On May 20, 1928, the auditorium of the Woodrow Wilson School – “by permission of the Mt. Carmel Township School Board, secured by the influence of David Pizzoli” – became the site of the first Mass celebrated in Atlas. Father Paul D. Weaver was the celebrant.
* Mass continued for a year at the Wilson School until Fr. Weaver purchased a former school building and converted it into a chapel.
* The completed chapel was dedicated by Rt. Rev. Philip R. McDevitt, Bishop of Harrisburg, on Sunday, June 30, 1929. Celebrant of the Solemn Mass was Monsignor Aloysius Meuwese, pastor of Our Lady’s Church. There were two sermons that day – one by Bishop McDevitt, and one in Italian by Father Bonomo.
* In 1954, under Father Dinkel’s direction, Frank Sawicki worked on renovating the chapel. At the same time, construction of the Marian Year highway shrine was completed by Michael and Louis Bianchini.
* In June 1971, St. Paul’s Chapel was made a territorial church to include Atlas, Strong, Diamondtown, and Wilburton 1 & 2. A Pastoral Council was established and included David Pizzoli, Reno Benedetti, Dora DiFrancesco, and Rita M. Pizzoli.
* In January 1972 property was purchased for use as parish offices and meeting site. “St. Paul’s Center” was dedicated on April 30 of that year.
* In November of 1973 the Conventual Franciscan Friars assumed administration of Saint Paul’s. During the friars’ tenure, St. Paul’s saw many physical upgrades and improvements, including renovations to the interior of the church.
* St. Paul’s celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1979, and its Sixtieth Anniversary in 1989.
Did you know that, under the guidance of Father Eusebius Wiencko, the sanctuary of the church was renovated to resemble a chapel in the Franciscan seminary in Granby, MA? Father Eusebius died while still pastor. The front steps to the church were completed in July 1979, in time for his funeral procession.
(Sources: Golden Jubilee book, 1979; Sixtieth Anniversary book, 1989)