History of North American Martyrs

In the early 1600’s, six Jesuit missionaries and two assistants left their native France to spread the faith in the wilderness of North America.  These men, Jean de Brebeuf, Noel Chabanel, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, Rene Goupil, Isaac Jogues, Gabriel Lalement, and John Lalande, were killed and tortured to death while preaching the word of Christ among the natives of North America.  Because of their martyrdom, they were beatified in 1925 and canonized Saints in 1930.  Their unyielding devotion to the Faith and to the Church never wavered and they have served as an inspiration to many.  For more detailed information regarding the Martyrs, visit Our Patron Saints page.

 

 In 1960, Bishop Wright chose the name “North American Martyrs” for our parish to “symbolize by that name something of the place of America in the mind and heart of the Church as well as the place of the Church and her Saints in the American Tradition”.

 

North American Martyrs Parish celebrated its first masses on Trinity Sunday, June 12, 1960 at the Burke Glen Ballroom on the Route 22, a short distance from the Monroeville Turnpike Interchange.  Our first Pastor, Father John McMahon, presided and 650 parishioners attended Masses that first Sunday. A year later, North American Martyrs made plans to move to its present location on Haymaker Road in Monroeville.

 

 

The initial construction, which included a temporary church and school building, was completed in 1963.  The church opened in 1964 and was staffed by the Sisters of Mercy.  The construction of a school extension and convent building began in 1966 and a house located on the site close to Haymaker Road was used as an office and residence for the priests.

 

In 1970, Father Anthony DeLuca became pastor to our parish,

which had grown to 850 families in the ten years since it was established.  Under Fr. DeLuca’s tenure, the parish plant blossomed into a modern church with seating for 1,000, a school with an excellent reputation for providing a quality Christian education to children in grades kindergarten through sixth, and a rectory and church office.  Fr. DeLuca presided over the building of the new church and administered it so successfully that one of his last official acts before retiring after 28 years as our pastor was to ceremoniously burn the mortgage on the 18 year-old building.

Our “temporary church” which is today known as DeLuca Hall

On August 23, 1998, Bishop Donald Wuerl installed Father Francis Murhammer as the third pastor of North American Martyrs Parish, a parish which today has 1,300 registered families.  Our faith community has been blessed over the years with many fine assistants.

 

In March, 2003 Fr. Thomas J. Lewandowski was installed as our pastor.

 

On October 1, 2009  Fr. Joseph G. Luisi was  installed as the pastor of NAM. The following pictures show Father Joe and what the inside of the church looks like today

Copyright 2016 North American Martyrs