Sacred Heart Parish reopens for worship

Sacred Heart Parish reopens for worship

By Paul Paterra


JEANNETTE – Deacon Bill Newhouse told the congregation of Sacred Heart Parish Sunday morning he had reached a goal he set for the day, getting the church ready for its first Mass since August.

Having the Mass celebrated before a large crowd made the morning even a bit more special at the church at 504 Cowan Ave.

“I was very pleased,” said Deacon Newhouse, who is the parish Administrator. “It wasn’t easy. It was a lot of work. I was crossing my fingers and praying and hoping everything would turn out fine. Things came together. The parishioners stepped forward last week and (Saturday) we took care of the finishing touches.”

Those parishioners he referred to took time on June 19 to help with the interior cleanup of the church – an important step in having the building ready for its first Mass.

Water damage has plagued the church since 2012. Attempts have been made over the last eight years to repair the interior, exterior and underground drains of the building.

As more damage was uncovered, the decision was made to close the church in August of 2020.

In May, the building was deemed safe to reopen for worship.

Deacon Newhouse offered his gratitude to many people for helping get the church ready for Sunday’s service – including Bishop Larry J. Kulick, Msgr. Raymond E. Riffle, the Diocese’s Vicar General, and Archabbot Martin Bartel, O.S.B.

“Their vision made this day possible,” Deacon Newhouse said.

This marks the first time that a Deacon has been appointed as a parish administrator in the Diocese of Greensburg, a role Deacon Newhouse will serve not only for Sacred Heart Parish, but also Ascension Parish in Jeannette. 

The Mass was celebrated by Father Job Foote, O.S.B., who was appointed to provide for the liturgical and other Sacramental needs at both Jeannette parishes.

“I was COVID unemployed for about a year and a half, so it’s exciting to be back in the pulpit again,” he said before Mass. “The monks at Saint Vincent are excited that the Benedictines are back in Jeannette. When you have one Benedictine here, you have all of the Benedictines here.”

Many who attended the Mass sported smiles as folks greeted each other warmly since they may not have seen each other as churches closed or adhered to safety protocols.

“This was great to see everybody,” said one female parishioner as she was exciting the church.

Masses will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Parish at 8 a.m. on Monday and Friday and at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Sacred Heart Parish is home to more than 500 families and more than 900 individuals.


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