Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, Minersville, Pa., was established on July 15, 2008, from the consolidation of three older neighboring parishes that included: Saint Vincent dePaul Parish in Minersville, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Minersville, and Saint Kieran Parish in Heckscherville. Father Adam Sedar was appointed as the first pastor. He was succeeded in October 2016 by Father Christopher M. Zelonis.

Saint Vincent dePaul Parish, Minersville, was established by Bishop Francis P. Kenrick in 1842.
Father Nicholas Cantwell was the first priest to offer Holy Mass in the Minersville area. Father Hugh Fitzsimmons was appointed the first pastor by Bishop 
Francis P. Kenrick of Philadelphia in 1846. The original church was dedicated by Bishop Francis P. Kenrick on December 6, 1846. Father Michael Malone became pastor in 1848 and the present rectory was built in 1852. He completed work on the church interior and added the bell tower in August 1860. Father Lawrence Fahey began work on a parish school in 1919. The new parish school was dedicated by Archbishop Dougherty in 1920 and staffed by the Sisters of Saint Joseph. Saint Vincent’s School was closed in the 1970s, following a school merger that created Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton School. Father William Jones became pastor on November 7, 1978. Within a few months Father Jones decided it was necessary to build a new church. The last Mass in the original church was offered on November 2, 1980 and the building was demolished on February 2, 1981. The first Mass was offered by Father Jones in the new church on Thanksgiving Day 1981. Bishop McShea dedicated the new church on July 11, 1982. Father Eric Gruber, M.Div. was the last pastor of Saint Vincent dePaul Parish.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Minersville, was established in 1855 by Saint John Neumann for the German Catholics of Minersville. Prior to 1855, the local German Catholics had to walk to Saint John’s Church in Pottsville  to attend Mass. The first pastor of the parish was Father Mathias Meurer. The cornerstone of the original church was laid on July 15, 1855. On June 29, 1856 Bishop Neumann dedicated the church. Father Joseph Nerz purchased the ground next to the church for the original parish school building in 1889. In September 1889, the Sisters of Saint Francis from Glen Riddle came to staff the school. The sisters lived in the school on the second floor until 1915. Father John Vitt became pastor in 1911 and provided the Sisters with a convent in 1915. Father Aloysius Hammeke became pastor in May 1928. The present church was erected in 1936 and the new school in 1954. Father Hammeke served as pastor until May 1972. Father Eric Gruber, M.Div. was the last pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.

Saint Kieran (originally Saint Kyran) Parish, Heckschersville was established by Bishop John Neumann in 1857. As early as 1845, the local Catholic residents had to walk to Saint Patrick’s Church in Pottsville to attend Mass. In 1846, Bishop Francis P. Kenrick had erected Saint Vincent’s Church in Minersville which shortened the distance considerably for the next 11 years. Bishop Neuman began construction of the church in Heckscherville in  April 1857. He instructed Father Malone, pastor of Saint Vincent’s in Minersville to visit every Catholic family in Heckscherville and solicit aid from each Catholic family for the erection of the new church. The cornerstone was laid by Father Nicholas Cantrell on September 16, 1857. The oldest available records of the church give August 1, 1858, as the day when Sunday Mass began to be regularly celebrated. The first baptism was performed by Father John Scanlon. Subsequent years saw the construction of a rectory next to the church. The two stone buildings were situated beautifully on the hillside. In 1900, Father P.J. Tierney undertook improvements to the church interior. The walls and ceiling were refinished and repainted. Work on the church interior was continued by Father William Motley in 1904. He had the stained glass windows installed. By October 1916, the school building and auditorium were complete. The church was remolded in 1917 and included a new floor, pews and altars. The sanctuary was also enlarged  by the removal of the two sacristies. The church’s original name, Saint Kyran, was changed to Saint Kieran in 1919. In 1938, a new chapel was erected in Greenbury by Father McMahon. Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto was completed and dedicated in 1938. Bishop Thomas Welsh dedicated the new church murals in 1983 and the altar in 1988. The last pastor of Saint Kieran Parish in Heckscherville was Father William Nahn.

Saint Vincet dePaul Parish, Our Lady of Mout Carmel Parish and Saint Kieran Parish were all closed on July 15, 2008. The new Saint Michael the Archangel Parish Church now occupies the former Saint Vincent dePaul Church building in Minersville.

The Diocese of Allentown:
A History by John Hanley





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