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St. Mary's/Divine Mercy Catholic Church - Beaver Falls PA

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St. Mary’s Catholic Church, pictured here on Easter Sunday c1905. This church had its beginnings in the late 1860’s when local German Catholics, attending mass in nearby New Brighton, began seeking a church of their own in Beaver Falls.

The first St. Mary’s Catholic Church, built to serve a predominately German Catholic congregation, was opened on Sixth Avenue in July 1872. It was converted to a parochial school after this newer – and much larger – church was dedicated in May 1897. (c1942)

A class photo from the St. Mary’s parochial school. (1917) Full Size

Early 1950’s postcard of the massive St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which was renovated in 1947. You can see that the spire has been simplified in its appearance.

The spire of the St. Mary’s Catholic Church towers across the skyline. (c1915)

St. Mary’s Catholic Church and parsonage. (c1942) Full Size

In February 1994 this church and the Holy Trinity Catholic Church were brought together under the new Divine Mercy Parish. Holy Trinity was closed in March 2012 and St. Mary’s Church was renamed as the Divine Mercy Catholic Church. (May 2012) Full Size

(May 2012)

(May 2012)

The hilltop entrance to the former St. Mary’s Catholic School, now known as the Divine Mercy Academy. (May 2012)

(May 2012)

(May 2012)

(May 2012)

In the summer of 2012, during a $127,000 project to repair the leaking roof/ceiling, much more extensive damage was discovered. Services were immediately moved next door to the Academy gymnasium and it was soon determined that the work would now cost a whopping $1.5 million. Catholic officials continue to deal with this financial crisis and the future of this beautiful edifice is in serious jeopardy. (May 2012) Full Size

St. Mary’s was merged with three other parishes in July 2013 to form the new St. Monica’s Catholic Church/Parish. The old St. Mary’s Church was closed and unfortunately was soon slated for demolition. (Mar 2012)

(May 2012)

(Oct 2014)

(Oct 2014)

Demolition efforts began in the fall of 2014. (Oct 2014)

(Oct 2014)

(Oct 2014)

(Oct 2014)

(Oct 2014) Full Size

(Photo courtesy of Bill Cwynar) (Oct 2014) Full Size

(Photo courtesy of Bill Cwynar) (Dec 2014)

(Photo courtesy of Bill Cwynar) (Jan 2015) Full Size

(Photo courtesy of Bill Cwynar) (Dec 2014)


  1. I may be wrong, but I believe my Grandfather, Domenico Mundo,conducted the choir at St. Mary’s. If anyone can confirm or deny this, I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. (EDITOR’S NOTE) Chris, an August 1963 New Castle News article about a production at the Red Barn Theatre reads: “Domenico Mundo of Ellwood City will direct the chorus and soloists. A voice instructor, Mundo is also director of the Beaver Valley Choral Society and the men’s choir of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Beaver Falls.” Another article from June 1969 about the wedding of Catherine Mundo and Robert Pavkovich reads in part: “…Mass accompanied by the 30-voiced choir of St. Mary’s Church of Beaver Falls directed by the bride’s father. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Domenico D. Mundo of 504 Wright St., Ellwood City.” Hope this helps. Jeff

  3. I had the pleasure of being a member of that choir under Dom. I had just returned from the service and was a member from sometime in 1962 until sometime in 1964 when I moved to Florida.

    Your question prompted some very pleasant memories for me – Thank you

    Bob Householder

  4. My Belczyk Family purchased a stain glass window in Beaver Falls Holy Trinity after my Uncle Casmir Belczyk died in his 20’s after an accident at Babcock & Wilcox Steel Mill crushed by a crane.
    If the Holy Trinity old church is going to be torn down, I ask that I am able to take this stained glass window to keep that my Family bought so we can all enjoy the pleasure of the beautiful window.

    Please contact me at my home 813-818-7870

    Sincerely, Janet M. Belczyk

    Also, you can contact my twin sister at 412-788-2609
    who lives in Oakdale, PA.

    Thank you.

  5. I have the distinction of having been baptized here December 7th,1941 while Peal Harbor was being bombed. parents heard the news after the baptism.

  6. Wow, what a trip down Memory Lane! Received all of the Sacraments, marriage included at St Mary’s. Also went there for grade school…class of ’57. AND, sang in the Beaver Valley Choral Society for 3 years. Domenico Mundo was the ultimate musician, conductor. What a genuine privilege to have known him! Those sure we’re the ‘ good old days’.

  7. Very sad to learn that St. Mary’s Church has been demolished. One of my fondest memories was hearing the bells at St Mary’s toll during the mid-day.

  8. ****My Email is not currently active – PLEASE SEND RESPONSE BY MAIL TO: Camille Vaughn c/o Sharon Vaughn P. O. Box 201521, Chicago, IL 60620****

    Has anyone from St. Mary school preserved the original photos of Joe Namath in the school gymnasium when he was a student at St. Mary’s? Please see the King James version of the Bible, the heading of Psalm 56 where it says: “Jonathelem-rechokim”. Some people may associate Joe Namath’s name and elementary school with this chapter in the Bible and there may be great interest in photos of Joe Namath holding a ball in or near the gymnasium or recreation room of the school. Museums, historical societies, and the Hall of Fame may be interested and willing to pay a loaner consignment fee to display the photos.


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