St. Adalbert in Philadelphia

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St. Adalbert Church on Allegheny Avenue.
Detail of the front of St. Adalbert Church

The Church of St. Adalbert in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a Polish Catholic national church, constructed in the Polish Cathedral style. It is located in the Port Richmond neighborhood at 2645 E. Allegheny Avenue (at the corner of Allegheny Avenue and Thompson Street).[1]

History[edit]

The church was founded in November 1903,[1] with construction completed in 1909,[2] and was intended to serve the large Polish American immigrant community residing in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. Immigrant families became founding members for the then large sum of $25.00 needed to start construction. Fr. Monkiewicz was appointed the first pastor of St. Adalbert Church, and served until his death on June 3, 1946.


Prior to 1909 the Polish community of Port Richmond area used the basement of Our Lady Help of Christians German church on nearby Gaul Street, which served the local German-American immigrant community. The Poles had an altar set up in the basement of the church and used it for Mass and other religious activities.

Once construction of Saint Adalbert Church was completed, Mass was said in Latin with the sermon and non-Mass activities conducted in the Polish language.[3]

St. Adalbert School[edit]

St. Adalbert School was a Polish National Catholic private parochial school and was constructed next to the church. Monthly tuition fees were initially fifty cents for the first child, twenty five cents for the second, and the rest of the children in the family were exempt from fees. At the same time, parents paid a yearly fee for belonging to the parish of St. Adalbert. Books and school supplies had to be purchased by the students, but could be passed down to younger students.

Eight grades were taught. Most of the classes were conducted in the Polish language, in particular religious classes, such as bible and catechism. All of the teaching was provided for by the Catholic nuns of the order of Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth who wore long black robes with a stiff pleated white bib-like collar. They also wore a black starched cap with black veil flowing down the back, with only their face showing. They also wore a big metal crucifix, which hung from the neck and a big black rosary which swung from the waist at the side of their outfit. Class size averaged about fifty boys and girls.[3]

Current status[edit]

St. Adalbert continues to serve the varied Port Richmond community, celebrating Mass in both English and Polish. The parish school is now called the Our Lady of Port Richmond Regional School.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°59′05″N 75°06′09″W / 39.984607°N 75.102506°W / 39.984607; -75.102506