Founding Pastor, Archbishop Daniel DiNardo was named Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17, 2007, the Feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch. We at Saints John and Paul Parish are very proud and offer prayers of thanksgiving for this great blessing bestowed upon our new cardinal and the entire church.
All congratulatory gifts to the new cardinal can be made in his honor to the Saints John and Paul Parish Building Fund. (Just a small suggestion from the other person in the above photo - who is not a cardinal but a poor pastor who is trying to finish the job that the cardinal started!)
Saints John & Paul Parish began its "life" on February 12, 1994. With a decree from Bishop Donald Wuerl of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and a Diocesan gift of 12 acres in the Borough of Franklin Park, newly assigned pastor, Monsignor Daniel DiNardo, embarked upon the task of building a new Catholic "community of believers."
Securing meeting space for Masses was his first concern -- and it wasn't easy! He finally found space available in the rear lower level of the Spectra Office Building on Route 910.
With seating for approximately 280 and two small offices, the Spectra site was immediately stretched beyond its capacity. At that time, CCD classes were being held at St. Alphonsus School and in individual homes of parishioners. Due to lease restrictions, liturgies and meetings were limited to times outside normal business hours. With the 280 capacity, Palm Sunday, Easter, and Christmas Masses had to be held in a standing room only Marshall Middle School!
Clearly, the construction of a larger facility was a priority. Msgr. DiNardo (affectionately known as "Father Dan"), and a 60 member Site Development Committee moved as quickly as possible to construct our present multi-purpose building - The weather though did not cooperate!
After several delays, we celebrated First Holy Communion for second graders in our new multi-purpose building on May 18, 1996, and our first weekend Mass at 5:00 PM on June 1, 1996. On June 16, 1996 the Most Reverend Donald Wuerl, Bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, blessed our building at the 11:00 liturgy.
The multi-purpose building has been designed to be used for worship, classes, meetings, and an apartment for the Pastor, initially. Later it will be used as a parish hall when a more permanent church is built.
All Catholics residing within a specific area encompassing portions of Franklin Park and Marshall Township were assigned to the new parish. These parishioners came from St. John Neumann, St. Alphonsus, St. Ferdinand, St. Mary, and St. James parishes. We started with about 650 families. Currently over 2,400 families are registered and still growing. The people of Saints John & Paul have distinguished themselves by their exceptional generosity in terms of both time and financial resources. Newcomers to the parish will find a warm and vital example of faith in action, and will find it easy to become involved in any aspect of parish life to which they feel called. Saints John & Paul parish combines very orthodox church teaching with a very contemporary, committed and involved laity. The results have been inspiring!
Today we continue to grow. Our need to build the permanent church is greater than ever. Currently, the Building, Finance and Steering Committees are working together on this endeavor.
Bishop David Zubik blessed the ground on June 14, 2008; and construction is under way.
It is an exciting time! We are not building a Building, we are building CHURCH...a community of faith. You are a major and critical part of this Church.
Please keep alert for our mailings and bulletin announcements regarding our building progress. There will be many opportunities for you to express your ideas, cares and concerns surrounding the permanent Church structure.
"We have only just begun." You will have a major impact on the future of this faith community if you heed God’s call to get involved! "All are welcome here!"