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DIAMOND JUBILEE
1863 - 1938
ST. AUGUSTINE CHURCH
Pittsburgh, PA


St. Augustine's Church is now (2011) known as Our Lady of the Angels. It is located on 37th Street, Lawrenceville, PA



(Contributed March, 2011 by Nancy J. Smith, nangelbuddy@com-nospam-cast.net)


(Continued)



  Page 126                                                                   ST. AUGUSTINE'S  PARISH HISTORY                                                                    1863-1938
      


HISTORY OF SAINT AUGUSTINE'S PARISH

Societies of St. Augustine's Church


  A history of a parish cannot pass by the societies which do an incalculable amount of good in every parish, and to a certain extent are a safe indicator of the spirituality pulsating in every portion of the Church Universal. It is but too true that the societies, be they ever so numerous, will not gather in all members of the particular congregation, since a goodly number of parishioners will always stay aloof from those associations, sometimes for no reason whatsoever. Yet on the other hand there always will be found a certain number of parishioners who join various societies at the same time, multiplying thereby their efforts in mutual assistance at the edification and personal sanctification of the body of co-parishioners.

I.    Religious Societies.

1.    THE THIRD ORDER OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI.

  The Third Order is, what the name expresses, a veritable Religious Order and as such ranks higher than any confraternity, society, association, and pious union. The history of the particular congregation of the Third Order established at St. Augustine's Church makes part and parcel of the history of the whole parish.

  Isolated Tertiaries had been living in St. Augustine's parish prior to the coming of the Capuchin Fathers. These Tertiaries had been received into the Order in Europe and continued to observe the Rule as best as they could in this country. Yet a corporate activity became a reality only after the Capuchin Fathers had taken charge of St. Augustine's parish. This was done in 1874. The first meeting was held on the third Sunday of May, on May 17, 1874. At first only one Congregation was established, that of the German speaking Branch. Although the sermons and prayers were in German at the earliest meeting, yet before long English prayers and English addresses were joined to the German, for the benefit of the English speaking members. Yet as early as September 30, 1883, separate meetings were kept for the English speaking members with English sermon and prayers. Finally in 1886 the English speaking members were established as an independent branch and ever after two congregations of Tertiaries have been flourishing at St. Augustine's. Naturally for many years the German branch proved the stronger of the two. In 1907 the German branch counted as many as one thousand members, whilst the English branch counted only half that number. From September 17, 1887, till 1925 the German branch has expended $5,550.50 for Masses for the living and deceased members of its branch, $1,733.50 for the relief of the poor members of its branch and other poor people, $1,818.75 to the Seraphic Work of Charity and the Toner Institute to care for dependent and neglected boys, $1,040.25 contributed to various churches, $742 for vestments and various church articles, $375 for retreats and funded Mass, $320.50 to the Pope, $155.27 to poor Sisters in Rome, $220 for Missions, $213 to St. Augustine's School, $413.81 on the library which they have established, $180 for various charitable purposes not included in the above figures, $152 to defray the expenses of their Convention in 1921. The German branch counts from 1874 till 1925 deceased members, 941 (4 Priests, 119 men, 818 women). In 1925 this same branch counted 683 active members (3 Priests, 43 men, 637 women) and 419 inactive members (7 Priests, 52 men, 360 women). The Rt. Rev. Regis Canevin, late Bishop of Pittsburgh (died 1927), has been the most prominent member of the English Congregation established at St. Augustine's. From St. Augustine's the Third Order was introduced into several other parishes of the city.

  Up to the present time 2436 members have been invested in the English Branch and 2,193 members in the German Branch. There are about 500 active members who attend the meetings regularly since June when both branches were united into one fraternity. The more recent directors of the Third Order are Fathers Paul, Clement, Cassian, Angelus, Sigmund, Gregory, Albert, Theodore, Florence and Rupert.








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The Third Order also has charge of the St. Elizabeth Retreat House at Herman, Pa. On September 24, 1933, the formal opening of the house took place. About 800 people attended. The Most Rev. Bishop Boyle was present and encouraged the tertiaries in the retreat movement. Fathers Delaney and Sigmund also spoke. About 45 retreats have been conducted since and about 500 women attended.

  The first Tertiary Provincial Convention was held in Pittsburgh in 1926 on September 19, 20, 21. Delegates from Wheeling, Cumberland, Dover, Washington, Rochester and Butler attended. The religious services were conducted at St. Augustine Church while the business sessions were held at the Harris theater. Bishops Boyle, Swint, Keneally and Tief and also Archabbot Aurelius were present at the convention. Many secular and religious priests attended.

  The Third Order has also been very busy conducting Days of Recollection during the past year. At the Ursuline Academy 123 women attended, at Mt. Alvernia 197 attended and again at Mt. Alvernia 215 women were present. The fraternity has done much to support the St. Elizabeth Retreat House, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Maternity Guild, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, the Puerto Rican and China Missions, the Seraphic Home and the House of Hospitality.

  Since the tertiary province is affiliated with national Third Order organization and since a national convention is held every five years the St. Augustine tertiary province has been asked to hold the fifth quinquennial convention in Pittsburgh in 1941. The other conventions were held in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Louisville.(1)

  The ARCHCONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN MOTHERS ranks highest among the Religious societies established at St. Augustine's. It was first established in March, 1875, as a confraternity affiliated to the archconfraternity at Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, but in 1877 was canonically erected as a confraternity and finally on January, 1881, raised to the rank of an archconfraternity with the right to affiliate similar confraternities. In the course of time this archconfraternity has spread far and wide. At the beginning of 1907 it counted 631 aggregated confraternities in the United States and Canada with a membership of more than 50,000. These confraternities were established in churches of various nationalities: Americans, Germans, Poles, Bohemians, Italians, French, and Slavic, where according to the rules of the archconfraternity monthly meetings are kept. By the year 1938 the number of aggregations amounted to 1,180 with a membership of 90,000.

  The archconfraternity maintained a special monthly periodical which was issued under the title: Die Christliche Mutter : eine katholische Monatsschrift fuer haeusliche Erziehung. Organ der Erzbruderschaft christlicher Muetter in Amerika, vol. I—XXXII. No. 8. New York, January, 1897—August, 1928, but at the latter date ceased publication. The English periodical: The Christian Mother: a Catholic Magazine for the Improvement of Home Education. Organ of the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers had a shorter span of life. It was issued monthly from April, 1903, till March, 1907. The general director of the archconfraternity has always been a Capuchin Father of St. Augustine's Monastery in Pittsburgh who at the same time is director of the local confraternity at St. Augustine's. In 1907 the local confraternity had a membership of 690 but at present the membership has dropped to 457 active members, not counting the inactive.(2)



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(1) Cyprian Gehriing, O.M.Cap. Kurze Geschichte des Deutschen Dritt-Ordens-Zweiges in der St. Augustinus Kirche, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1874-1925, pp. 30. The same wrote: A short sketch of the Third Order in St Augustine's Church, in: St. Augustinus, August, 1924, p. 178. Hyacinth Epp. O.M.Cap. In: Seraphischer Kinderfreund, vol. IX, Pittsburgh, 1907, pp. 201. 203. Lenhart John, O.M.Cap.. De Historia Congregationis Tertiariorum Pittsburgensis, in: Analecta, O.M.Cap., vol. XLI, Romae, 1925, pp. 208, 211.
(2) Epp, op. cit., p. 203; Gehrling in: St. Augustinus, July. 1921, pp. 2-3; Analecta, O.M.Cap., vol. II, Romae, 1886, pp. 54-59; Annales Capucinorum Provinciae Pennsylvanicae, MS., pp. 16, 353-355. Seeberger. Cosm. Key to Spiritual Treasures. Collegeville, Ind., 2d. ed., 1897, pp. 270-277; 442-445, 524-529: Beringer, Fr. Die Ablaesse, vol. II, 14th edit., Paderborn 1916. pp. 317-320. Fr. Cyprian Gehriing printed the names of the 482 active members of 1926 in: St. Augustinus, December, 1926, pp. 237-239, 241.







""

Ushers' Club
Top Row:  Joseph Steinkirchner, Joseph P. Uhrin, C. L. Hook, William J. Elsesser, Bernard Fellinger,
Louis Dadowski, Jr., Bernard Stadelman, Louis Reith,  Front Row:  Albert Henning, Edward Goetz, Michael
Rixner, Francis Dadowski, Ralph Dadowski, Anthony Orga, Charles Bentz.





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The CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN MEN, locally called THE MEN'S CONFERENCE, was established at St. Augustine's on January 2, 1876, and aggregated to the Archconfraternity of the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph at Liege in Belgium. The latter was established in 1845 and is under the direction of the Redemptorist Fathers "That the establishment of the Men's Conference was a great success," writes Fr. Cyprian Gehrling (St. Augustinus, May, 1926, pp. 82-83), "cannot be doubted, because to this day it has preserved its innate vigor. The chief success attained by it has been a close touch with the trials and triumphs of Mother Church and a special instruction in their duties. Another gain was the round of general communions during Eastertime and Forty Hours' devotion. Furthermore the Conference kept alive in the parish the devotion to the Holy Family and by the numerous Masses ordered by it was instrumental in drawing down God's blessing on their homes and their parish. Finally the Conference lent its powerful aid to works of charity sponsored by the parish." The Redemptorist Fathers have published for the members of the archcon-fraternity in German as early as 1861 the rules: Die Regeln der Erzbruderschaft der heiligen Familie, Baltimore, Murphy, 1861, and as early as 1864 a manual: Handbuechlein der Erzbruderschaft der heiligen Familie. New York, 1864. These booklets passed through numerous editions in the course of time, and were translated into English time and again. By January, 1924, the Men's Conference at St. Augustine's counted 199 active members, 229 deceased members and 210 members who dropped out for one reason or another. Accordingly the sum total of membership from 1875 till 1924 was 638.(3)

  THE CONFRATERNITY OF YOUNG MEN, locally called THE YOUNG MEN'S CONFERENCE, was established at St. Augustine's prior to the Men's Conference on November 7, 1875, and was likewise aggregated to the Archconfraternity of the Holy Family at Liege. It flourished for some years and then worldliness reduced the number of members considerably, so that it was reorganized on February 1, 1885. In February, 1902, the confraternity counted 110 members. Again in the course of time the number of members dropped so, that since July, 1923, it practically ceased to exist. Efforts were made to revive the society but they proved futile. All that is left of the once flourishing confraternity of young Men is the custom that since November 1, 1925, all young men of the parish receive Holy Communion in a body with the members of the Men's Conference. Certainly many young men joined other Religious societies, yet they did not relish the arrangement that they were supposed on certain Sunday afternoons to attend a special conference with a round of prayers.(4)

  The CONFRATERNITY OF YOUNG LADIES, locally first called the YOUNG LADIES' CONFERENCE and since 1886 the YOUNG LADIES' SODALITY, was established simultaneously with the Young Men's Conference on November 7, 1875, with aggregation to the Archconfraternity of the Holy Family at Liege. However, on March 27, 1886, it was also aggregated to the Congregation of the Blessed Virgin of the Annunciation established since 1564 in the College of the Jesuit Fathers at Rome. Since this congregation bears also the second title of "Sodalitium," it is generally called "Sodality of the Blessed Virgin." From 1889 till 1925 at least 836 girls have been received into the Sodality. Forty-one of the Sodalists have entered Sisterhoods during the same period. Monthly Holy Communion in a body and two solemn annual Holy Communions has been a custom which was upheld all these years. From 1877 till 1887 the members of the Sodality formed part of the sacramental processions in church and in many a case furnished the singing during those functions. Besides they would take active part in all parish activities, entertainment and picnics. During the
 



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(3) Epp, op. cit., p. 203; Cyprian Gehrling, in St. Augustinus, July, 1921, pp. 1-2; November. 1923, pp. 182-183; December, 1923, pp. 205-207; January, 1924, pp. 12-13; May, 1926, pp. 81-87, 90-92. About the confraternity in general see: Beringer, op. cit., pp. 130-133.
(4) Fr. Cyprian H. Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus, July, 1921, pp. 1-2 and May 1926, pp. 81-82, and especially: Chronicle of the Young Men's Conference by the same writer in: St. Augustinus, May, 1926, pp. 92-97, where the spiritual success and the social activities of this society are described in detail. Fr. Hyacinth Epp has a short notice of the society in: Seraphischer Kinderfreund, vol. IX, 1907, p. 203, and St. Augustinus, February, 1902, p.7.




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twenty-four years, 1902 till 1925, the Sodality expended $3,258.35. The principal items were for masses, $997, library, $773.15, $232.05 donations to St. Augustine's Church, $112 to St. Augustine's School founding scholarships and furnishing medals, $52.40 alms, $50 to Foreign Missions, $39.35 for distribution of pamphlets, $47.85 to Catholic societies. These monies were disbursed directly from the treasury of the Sodality. The donations to the church in the guise of euchres and entertainments are not counted; they were considerable. In May, 1910, the euchre for St. Augustine's Church netted about $650. The Thanksgiving Festival in November, 1910, netted $404.65. The Sodality kept a separate library from about 1895 till 1918, when their library was merged with those of the Third Order and the parish school to form the present St. Augustine's Parish Library. In 1904 the Sodality counted about 307 members, in 1907 exactly 335 members, in 1921 in all, 270 members, in 1925 as many as 294 and in 1938 as many as 340.

  The election of officers takes place every year. The officers of the present year are Cecilia M. Dadowski, President; Margaret Becker, First Assistant; Mary Raffel, Second Assistant. The Prefects are the following: Aurelia Conrad, Gertrude Conrad, Anna Mary Fasel, Mary Closs, Cecilia M. Dadowski, Margaret Smith, Marcella Leber, Mary Schmolder, Margaret Becker, Elizabeth Raible, Elizabeth Suewer, Ida Zinsmeister, Clara Schmidt, Anna Haas, Minnie Besselman, and Bertha Kalchthaler. Assistant Prefects are: Anna Becker, Louisa Melchior, Anna Schmolder, Alary Raffel, Mary Leah Stadelman, Helen Zinsmeister, Margaret Haas, and Caroline Sauers.(5)

  The APOSTLESHIP OF PRAYER was instituted at St. Augustine's on November 17, 1877. This society was originally founded in 1844 at Vals in France. At St. Augustine's the members pursue also the particular aim to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by distributing the monthly leaflets explaining the monthly intention to the members of the Sacred Heart League. The promoters supervise the distribution of the leaflets, report the deaths of deceased members and gather in new members. Once a month these promoters meet to conduct their business and a special Mass is offered up for them on that day. In 1921 no less than 43 promoters would distribute 1,400 leaflets to their respective bands. In 1902 more than 1,500 members belonged to this society.(6)

  The CONFRATERNITY OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS was introduced at St. Augustine's on January 16, 1888, and was aggregated on February 15, 1888, to the Archconfraternity of the Sacred Heart established in St. Bonaventure's Church in Detroit, Michigan. The purpose of this confraternity is to promote devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus by appropriate prayers and reception of the sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist. This confraternity was at one time very flourishing. "That the Apostleship of Prayer and the Confraternity of the Sacred Heart flourish well is best attested by the large number of Holy Communions on the First Fridays and First Sundays of the month." Thus Fr. Hyacinth Epp in 1907. In July, 1927, this confraternity counted 72 active members besides a number of inactive ones. Local benefits have been for many years participation in a funded Mass on every First Friday of the month, in a solemn High Mass on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and a Requiem High Mass for every deceased member. The High Mass on the First Fridays has been chanted since January, 1878. The members are supposed to contribute sixty cents a year towards the fundation of those masses. In 1921 this confra-



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(5) Fr. Cyprian Gehrling published a detailed history of this confraternity in 1925 entitled: Golden Jubilee of the Young Ladies' Sodality of St. Augustine's Church, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1875-1925, pp. 40.  The same writer published shorter sketches in St. Augustinus, July,  1921. pp. 1-3, and July, 1927, p. 142.  A short note by Hyacinth Epp. in:  Ser. Kinderfr. vol. IX, p. 203.  On the Sodality in general see: Seeberger', op. cit., pp. 159-166, 417-421, 479-482, and Beringer, op. cit., pp. 169-178.
(6) Cyprian Gehrling, in St. Augustinus, July, 1921, p. 3, and  July, 1927. p. 142.  Annales Capucinorum Provinciae Pennsvlvanicae, MS., vol. I, pp. 358-360. See about his society in general Seeberger, op. cit., pp. 63-76. and Beringer, op. cit., pp. 114-121. See also: St. Augustinus, February, 1902, p. 7.






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ternity counted yet 111 members, and 1902 as many as 258 in twenty divisions.(7)

 The CONFRATERNITY IN RELIEF OF THE SUFFERING SOULS IN PURGATORY, generally called THE PURGATORIAL SOCIETY, was established at St. Augustine's as a simple society on January 1, 1888, was raised to the rank of a confraternity by Bishop Tuigg on April 2, 1890, and on April 23, 1890, was aggregated to the Archconfraternity in Relief of the Suffering Souls established in 1841 at the Church of the Blessed Lady in Monterone at Rome. The members have to say certain prayers for the relief of the suffering souls and contribute annually 25 cents and at the death of each member besides ten cents to a fund which is expended in having one Requiem High Mass and one low Mass celebrated every month for the relief of all deceased members of the society. Moreover, at the death of every member three Requiem High Masses and twenty low Masses are celebrated for the relief of the particular deceased member. The age limit for enrollment into the society is extended to seventy years. From 1888 till 1925 no less than four hundred and eight members have died and received the benefits of the confraternity. In 1902 the confraternity had a membership of 450. In 1927 membership of the confraternity amounted to 364 active members, not counting a number of such which had neglected for some time to pay their dues. The members of the confraternity would meet four times a year (Sundays of Ember weeks) attending a special devotion with sermon and prayers in relief of the suffering souls. Of late this devotion is not kept up so regularly as formerly.(8)

  The CONFRATERNITY OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY was established at St. Augustine's by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Pehlan of Pittsburgh on April 8, 1895, by virtue of the faculty granted by the Very Rev. General of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity under date of December 12, 1894. According to the rules of the confraternity the names of the members are recorded in a special book which is kept in the parish office. A considerable number of persons have been enrolled but of late the confraternity has shown little life.(9)

 The CONFRATERNITY OF THE SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL was established about 1880. The late Father Pius Reinhold, O.M.Cap. (died in 1916) was a great promoter of this confraternity. In 1886 he published: Skapulier-Buechlein at Einsiedeln, New York & Cincinnati (12mo., pp. 446) and about 1890 he published at Cumberland, Md. a Modus Brevior induendi Scapulare Ouintuplex, printed by our Brother Arsenius on the press of the St. Peter & Paul's Monastery. In 1921 this confraternity had become almost unknown at St. Augustine's but it was still kept up by having the First Communicants enrolled every year. This custom of having the First Communicants enrolled every year dates back to June 28, 1885, when it was done for the first time.(10)

 The CONFRATERNITY OF THE MOST HOLY ROSARY was established at St. Augustine's on April 3, 1903, at the Blessed Virgin Altar. The members oblige themselves to pray the fifteen decades of the Rosary every week in addition to a short meditation on the respec-



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(7) Cyprian Gehrling, in St Augustinus, July, 1921, p. 3, and July, 1927, p. 143.  Hyacinth Epp, op. at., p. 204.  Annales Prov. Pennsylv. MS., pp. 364-366.  On the confraternity in general see Seeberger, op. A., pp. 46-52, 383-387 and Beringer, op. cit., pp. 102-116.  See yet St. Augustinus, February, 1902, p. 7.
(8) Cyprian Gehrling published  "An  Historical Sketch of the Purgatorial Confraternity" at St. Augustine's Church, in: St. Augustinus, October, 1923, pp. 163-166, and shorter articles in: St. Augustinus, July, 1921, p. 3, and July, 1927, p. 143.  Hyacinth Epp has a short note in:
Seraph. Kinderfr., vol. IX, p .204. The documents are written in: Annales Prov. Pennsylv. MS., pp. 367-373.  See on the archconfraternity in general Seeberger, op. cit., pp. 292-300. 447-450, 529-531 and Beringer, op. cit., 309-313. See also: St. Augustinus, February, 1902, p. 7.
(9) Cyprian Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus, July, 1921, p. 3, and July, 1927, p. 143.  Annales Prov. Pennsylv. MS., pp. 314-317. See on the confraternity in general Beringer, op. cit., pp. 58-62.
(10) Hyacinth Epp, op. cit., p. 204. Fr. Cyprian Gehrling, in St. Augustinus, July, 1921, p. 3; July, 1S04, p. 6; July, 1925, pp. 131-173. Announcement-Books, MS., June 28, 1885. On the confraternity in general see: Seeberger, op. cit., pp. 187-192, 429-431, 485-487, and Beringer,. op. cit., pp. 153-164.





""

Altar Boys
Bottom Row:  Left to right:  Edward Fitzpatrick, William King, Stanley Pupinski, Robert Celender, Bruce Hook, Raymond
Kosinski, Raymond Ostrowski, Joseph Grimm, Richard Bevilacqua.  Second Row:  Joseph Stein, Gerard Krebs, Ralph
Bevilacqua, Chester Pupinski, Peter Uranker, Joseph Vuljanic, Edward Holliday, Joseph Frueh,  Third Row:  Robert Felich,
George Sufak, Earl Stehle, William Sufak, Norbert Dobrowolski, Robert Herbert, Marion Ziecina, Henry Treu.  Top Row:
Michael Kowalewski, Joseph Chraska, Peter Stajduhar, Stanley Jastrzebowski, Leonard Ostrowski, Stanley Schultz, Richard
Delaney.





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tive mysteries. Moreover, the members of the confraternity must arrange and take part in a solemn procession on the first Sunday in October in the open air. In case of hindrance this procession must be transferred to the next following Sunday. In 1921 this confraternity had 386 persons enrolled and new members were coming in every year. The interest in the confraternity is kept alive by the annual solemn procession. Fr. Hyacinth Epp wrote in 1907: "The processions at the beginning and close of the Rosary devotions in the month of October must be classed among the most beautiful, most devotional and most inspiring solemnities at St. Augustine's Church."(11)

  The SOCIETY OF THE LIVING ROSARY was introduced at St. Augustine's as early as the year 1880, if not earlier. It is no confraternity but a simple union or informal society of fifteen persons who band together with the purpose of reciting daily one decade of the Rosary; every month they distribute the fifteen decades among themselves. Since this society does not keep a record like the confraternity, the exact date of its establishment at St. Augustine's cannot be ascertained. At St. Augustine's the society of the Living Rosary was changed at an early date into a sort of Mass Association of a private character. The members pay annual sixty cents into a common fund which is used to have a solemn High Mass chanted on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary every year, and at the death of a member a Requiem High Mass chanted and thirteen low Masses said in accordance with the particular rules of this society. During the first years of its existence at St. Augustine's a great number ofpersons had joined the society. In 1927 this society as constituted as a private Mass Association counted 260 paying members besides a number of irregularly paying members. In February, 1902, as many as 517 members had been actively belonging to the society who were divided into 38 divisions.(12)
 
 The CONFRATERNITY OF THE CORD OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI was first established at St. Augustine's on March 21, 1879, in virtue of the grant issued by the Most Rev. Antonio M. Adragna, General of the Friars Minor Conventual. Later, however, doubts arose about the validity of erection, because apparently the consent of the diocesan bishop had not been obtained. For many years numbers of members had been enrolled. Fr. Hyacinth Epp apparently had no doubts about the validity of erection. In 1921 Fr. Cyprian Gehrling wrote that the confraternity by that time had become almost unknown. He began to take interest in the confraternity and worked for a revival. In studying the past history of the confraternity he came across the remark entered into the Annales that the confraternity seemingly was erected invalidly. To settle all doubts the confraternity was newly erected on November 20, 1926, in virtue of the faculty granted by the Very Rev. Provincial of the Capuchin Province of St. Augustine's, Henry Kluepfel, by the diocesan bishop, His Excellency Hugh Charles Boyle. May be that the confraternity had been erected validly in 1879 and that the document like other documents of a similar nature had been lost. In 1927, Fr. Cyprian Gehrling wrote: "In the last year most of our school children and a number of children of (Missionary) Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (who go to the public school) and also some children of the Tertiaries were invested with the Cord of St. Francis. This was done to comply with the wishes of the Holy Father Pope Pius XL who desires that those young persons who cannot yet join the Third Order on account of their minor age, be invested with the Cord of St. Francis in preparation to their future entrance into that Order. Adults, however, may also join the Cord-bearers. The only essential requisite for membership is wearing of the cord or girdle which is bestowed upon the members on the day of investment with appropriate prayers



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(11) Hyacinth  Epp,  op. cit.,  p. 204. Cyprian Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus,  July, 1921, p. 3. On the confraternity in general see: Seeberger, op. cit., pp. 109-133, 396-414, 475-478. Beringer, op. cit., pp. 135-147.
(12) Hyacinth Epp, op. cit., p. 204. Cyprian Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus, July, 1927, p. 143. St. Augustinus, February, 1902, p. 7. On the society in general see: Beringer, op. cit., pp. 149-153.





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and ceremonies and besides entering of their names on the book of the confraternity."

  Naturally the confraternity at St. Augustine's is aggregated to the Archconfraternity of the Cord of St. Francis of Assisi established by Pope Sixtus V., on November 19, 1585, in the Sacro Convento of the Friars Minor Conventuals at Assisi. At places where there is no monastery of the Minor Conventuals, the other branches, Friars Minor and Capuchins, have by papal privilege the power to erect such confraternities at their churches with the consent of the diocesan bishops.(13)

  The ASSOCIATION OF THE HOLY CHILDHOOD was introduced at St. Augustine's as at other German Catholic parishes some time about 1880. The aim of the association is to enroll children into the society of Propagation of Faith. Members of the association may be all children up to twelve years. Obligations are some short prayers and small contributions to the missionary association: one cent monthly. This association had been very popular in Germany and naturally it was introduced in the United States in German churches at an early date. At St. Augustine's the association was at first only a school affair. On Easter, April 25, 1886, it was announced that on the following day a High Mass will be chanted for the members of the Association of the Holy Childhood and the children would be blessed after Mass and Procession of the children would follow. On Christmas, 1892, it was announced in church for the first time that on Holy Innocents Day, December 28, a solemn High Mass will be chanted for the members and benefactors of the Association of the Holy Childhood and the children shall attend with their badges. On May 22, 1893, the Association of the Holy Childhood celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation. The children went in procession from the school to the church and attended a special High Mass with sermon. After the High Mass a special blessing was given the children who belonged to the association and benediction with the Blessed Sacrament closed this ceremony. On December 28, 1893, for the first time a solemn High Mass was chanted for the children belonging to the Association of the Holy Childhood followed by devotion, sermon, procession of the children in church and Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament. This solemnity became an annual custom which on January 6, 1901, was transferred to Epiphany Day, when also the contributions for the support of the Foreign Missions will be collected. On January 6, 1921, the collection amounted to $66.75. Over five hundred children were marching; the first time that the higher grades also marched in line. Fr. Hyacinth called this children's procession in 1907 "one of the most devotional ceremonies" at St. Augustine's.(14)

  The CONFRATERNITY OF THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS was introduced at St. Augustine's on January 2, 1910, in accordance with the command given by the diocesan bishop. No less than 250 men and young men were enrolled at that occasion. In February, 1915, it was united with the Volksverein. In September, 1916, the members of the Men's Conference were also made members of the Holy Name Society. The members took part in several of the Holy Name Parades held in the city. On October 14, 1917, they made their last colorful appearance at the Rally held at St. Mary's on Forty-sixth Street. By the middle of 1918 the Holy Name Confraternity at St. Augustine's had ceased to exist as a society of the parish and also as a



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(13) Cyprian Gehriing, in: St. Augustinus, July, 1921, p. 3, March, 1924, p. 51, and July, 1927, p. 144. Hyacinth Epp. op. cit., p. 204. Annales Capucinorum Provincial Pennsylvanicae, MS., pp. 28, 29. On the confraternity in general see: Seeberger, op. cit., pp. 243-244, 440-441, 520-521. Beringer, op. cit., pp. 237-239. And the pamphlet: The Archconfraternity of the Cord of St. Francis: an Explanation, Philadelphia, McVey, 1918, pp. 18. Cyprian Gehriing, in: St. Augustinus, November, 1926, pp. 218-220.
(14) Hyacinth Epp, op. cit., vol. IX, p. 204. Cyprian Gehriing in: St. Augustinus, January, 1921, p. 10; July, 1921, p.3; September, 1926, p. 175; November, 1926, pp. 227-228; January, 1927, p. 14; January, 1909, p. 8; 1925, p. 37; January, 1900, p. 7; January 1904, p. 4; 1905, p. 6. On the Association in general see: Seeberger, op. cit., pp. 261-269, 442, 522-524, and Beringer, op. cit., pp. 278-284, and Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. VII, pp. 399-400. Association of the Holy Childhood: History and Indulgences, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1891, p. 16, a pamphlet, and a later edition.





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a unit of the Pittsburgh Diocesan Union of the Holy Name Society.

  In March, 1910, the Holy Name Society was also introduced among the boys of all grades of the parochial school.

  The confraternity was resurrected in 1921 in view of the great Holy Name Parade. In September of 1921 the confraternity was reorganized at St. Augustine's and the members took part in the parade on the second Sunday in October, October 16, 1921. On January 8, 1922, a meeting was held and election of officers took place with a fairly good attendance. Again on October 15, 1922, the confraternity took part in the Holy Name Parade attending in full numbers and making a very good appearance.

  Likewise the members of St. Augustine's Holy Name Society took part in the Holy Name Rally held on April 1, 1928, in the Arsenal Theater. The theater was filled to its utmost capacity and the Rt. Rev. Bishop Hugh C. Boyle expressed his genuine pleasure in reviewing those large crowds of men and young men.(15)

  The CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE was introduced into the diocese of Pittsburgh by Bishop Canevin on October 6, 1907, in compliance with the command given by Pope Pius X. in the encyclical letter of April 15, 1905, which had enjoined upon all bishops the obligation to introduce this confraternity into every parish. This confraternity is a society of lay persons who assist the pastor in the work of giving catechetical instruction. To guide the pastors in their efforts of introducing this confraternity Bishop Canevin issued a Manual of Confraternity (published at Pittsburgh in 1907 and reprinted several times). To cover incidental expenses every member of the confraternity was supposed to pay annually twenty-five cents. As the book of the diocesan treasurer of the diocesan confraternities shows, St. Augustine's parish paid the dues for two years. But that it is all what was done at St. Augustine's; the confraternity was never introduced according to the laws prescribed by the Manual and lay persons were never employed to assist in the work of catechetical instruction to this day. The priests gave catechetical instruction twice a week in all grades and on Sunday afternoons the pastor gave a catechetical instruction to the graduates in church which was attended by the boys and girls up to sixteen years of age. Accordingly the aid of lay persons was thought to be unnecessary. On Sunday, September 23, 1923, Fr. Philip Knupfer discontinued the catechetical instruction on Sunday afternoons in church and entrusted such instruction to the Sisters in school; this was to become the present custom.(16)

  The SCAPULAR OF ST. JOSEPH was introduced into St. Augustine's parish on April 15, 1894, when enrollment was given after High Mass and Vespers in the afternoon. To spread the devotion more enrollment took place every Tuesday after the St. Anthony's devotion in the evening. In succeeding years larger enrollments were made on St. Joseph's Feasts. On March 19, 1922, about 90 persons were enrolled and on the Feast of St. Joseph's Patronage, May 7th, 1922, over 90 persons were enrolled. Larger and smaller groups of people were enrolled up to our days (April 22, 1923).

  The purpose of the scapular is a threefold: devotion to St. Joseph, sanctification of life, and protection of St. Joseph in the hour of death. The blessing and enrollment of St. Joseph's Scapular is a privilege of the Capuchin Fathers, so that in places where there



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(15) Fr. Godhard Friedmann, O.M.Cap. in: St. Augustinus, January 1910, pp. 5-6; March, 1910, p. 8. Cyprian Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus, July, 1921, p. 3; April, 1928, p. 68. On the confraternity in general see: Seeberger, op. cit., pp. 101-102, 391-394.  Beringer, op. cit., pp. 66-68.
St. Augustinus, Sept., 1921. p. 9: January, 1922. p. 8; April, 1922. p. 8: September. 1922. p. 9; October, 1922, p. 8; January, 1916, p. 12; December, 1916, p. 1-  January, 1917. p. 8: October, 1917, p. 8; October, 1911, p. 8; November, 1911, p  8; April 9, 1905, pp. 1-2; May, 1905, p. 5.
(16) Cyprian Gerhling in:  St. Augustinus, July,  1921, p.  3. Philip Knupfer,  in:  St. Augustinus, October, 1923, p. 160. On the confraternity in general see:  Beringer, op. cit., pp. 210-213.






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is a Capuchin house, no other priests have the faculty to bless it.(17)

    The ALTAR SOCIETY was founded in January, 1902, at the request of a group of parishioners. This society is a purely local institution. The rules printed for the new society comprise twelve points: promotion of the devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, furnishing necessary church goods for St. Augustine's and other churches in need, payment of one dollar or more annually to the treasury of the society, benefit of a High Mass for all living and deceased members, benefit of a Requiem High Mass for all deceased members, benefit of a Requiem High Mass for every newly deceased member, thirty dollars constitute perpetual membership. Donations in money as well as in kind were solicited and a number of zealous promoters succeeded to have a considerable number of members enrolled. In December, 1903, membership was 220, among them 3 perpetual members. In 1921 the society counted besides several perpetual members about one hundred sustaining members. In July, 1927, however, Fr. Cyprian Gehrling complained that "the Altar Society is at present not in a flourishing condition due to the remissness of the promoters who lost much of their interest. Yet the spiritual benefits as well as the good work should attract the parishioners."(18)

The MASS-ASSOCIATION,, established since 1727 at the church of the Friars Minor at Ingolstadt in Bavaria, also called MARIAN MASS-ASSOCIATION, was promoted by the Fathers at St. Augustine's Monastery. The first enrollments were made about 1885 and the society was promoted by several Fathers during the succeeding years. The late Fathers Joseph Anthony Ziegelmayer and Godhard Friedmann were the last promoters. In June, 1916, the St. Augustinus carried an article recommending this society and accordingly a larger number of parishioners were enrolled. Yet in 1919 both Fathers died and apparently no one continued their good work. The obligations of the members are to have one Mass said every year for the living and dead members of the society and to pay twenty-five cents on the day of enrollment for diploma; no other charges are made or demanded. More than 800,000 members are enrolled into the society, so that actually more than 2,000 Masses are said for the living and deceased members of the society, on every day of the year except the three last days of Holy Week. This Mass-Association was never an organized society of the parish.(19)

The ASSOCIATION OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE was introduced into St. Augustine's parish in 1897. On May 30, 1897, as many as 1,029 members were counted. In October, 1899, it was counted among the twenty flourishing societies established in the parish. Later, however (after 1919), none of the Fathers promoted the society. Yet there are some lay members still actively promoting the work among the laity. The members enrolled into the association were never properly organized into a separate branch-society, but in smaller or larger groups, or even singly, have been promoting the work of supporting the missions in the Holy Land, rescuing the Holy Places from the hands of the Moslems, and caring for the Pilgrims who visit the Holy Sites. The association was first founded in 1855 at Aix-la-Chapelle in Germany and was introduced into the United States in 1882, when the Commissariat of the Holy Land was established in New York City; since November 23, 1897, it is established in Washington, D. C. The name of the society was changed into "THE CRUSADE or THE HOLY LAND." The Crusaders collect alms for the Holy Land and share in
 

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(17) Cyprian Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus, May, 1922, p. 8, April, 1923, p. 56, and May, 1927, p. 95. Annales Prov. Pennsylvanicae, MS., pp. 297, 327.
On the Scapular in general see: Beringer, op. cit., vol. I, pp. 517-519. Analecta O.M.Cap., vol. IX, Rome, 1893, pp. 161-167, 201-202. Pius Reinhold, O.M.Cap. St. Joseph's Skapulier, Pittsburgh, ca. 1894, p. 4, and St. Joseph's Scapular Pittsburgh, ca. 1894, p. 4.
(18) St. Augustinus, February, 1902, pp. 4-5; December 25, 1903, p. 2-3; May, 1904, p. 4; September, 1904, p. 4; February, 1905, p. 5; February, 1906, p. 9; July, 1921, p. 3; January, 1924, pp. 9-10; July, 1927, pp. 142-143; January, 1929, p. 7.
(19) St. Augustinus, June, 1916, pp. 1-2. On the society in general see: Beringer, op. cit., vol. II, pp. 92-94.




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many spiritual privileges. The Fathers Gregory Autsch (died 1902) and Godhard Friedmann (died 1919) were the great promoters of this association.(20)

At St. Augustine's Church as early as 1864 a Society for married women and another for young ladies were established canonically by the diocesan bishop M. Domenec. In 1869 the SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART was likewise established by the bishop. Besides the ST. MARY'S SOCIETY for married women and the ST. ROSE of LIMA SOCIETY for young ladies, a ST. ALOYSIUS SOCIETY was established for the benefit of the young men about 1865. These Religious societies were restored later by the Capuchin Fathers and merged with the various confraternities which were introduced by them after 1874.(21)

II.    Beneficial Societies.

At an early time some semi-religious societies were established at St. Augustine's Church which besides practice of the Catholic Religion promoted also temporal welfare in the shape of financial aid.

    The oldest of those beneficial societies was the St. Augustinus Verein which was founded on March 1, 1863, and legally incorporated on June 8, 1863. The original charter is still preserved in the parish archives. The society was chartered under the title of "GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC ST. AUGUSTINE'S AID SOCIETY." The charter members were the following men of the parish: Anton Happe, President; Thomas Lindenfelser, Vice-President; John Kraus, Secretary; Gabriel Weisser, Treasurer; Peter Gudenbur, Leonhard Vogt, George Baust, John Frauenholz, John Adam Hofmann, Xavier Burkhart, John Schoepf, Michael Helbling, John Elsesser, Jakob Elsesser, Alexander Wirth, Jacob Dietz, Jakob Helbling, Jakob Wagner, Hermann Niehaus, Jakob A. Fuhrer, Peter Schrankel, John Wirth, Karl Geiselhart, and Joseph Hart. From 1871 this society met in the school-hall and paid annually $36 rent for the use of the hall. In 1874 this meeting room had to be evacuated and the members had to meet elsewhere. Certainly this society like similar ones which were established at St. Augustine's in the course of time was not strictly speaking a Religious society because its primary aim was a worldly one, mutual aid to the sick and the families of deceased members. Moreover, this like similar beneficial societies was independent of the parochial clergy in their social affairs and formed a legal corporation governed by the laws of the State. Yet on the other hand all the members were Catholics in good standing who would receive the sacraments in a body during Lent and several other occasions. The society was placed under the patronage of St. Augustine and celebrated his feast with great external solemnity every year. Moreover the society took part in a number of solemnities as dedication of church and school and contributed considerable donations of money to the church fund. And for these reasons we must class it among the semi-religious societies. For twenty-five years the members would at stated times receive the sacraments in a body, would attend High Masses and Requiems in a body and these functions were always announced in church during the Masses. On July 4, 1875, the members of the society together with members of other Catholic societies escorted the Rt. Rev. Bishop Domenec from the Cathedral to St. Augustine's Church for the purpose of re-dedicating that church. On March 4, 1888, the society celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary of its foundation, attending a solemn High Mass and receiving Holy Communion in a body. This was the last official function. The society disappears from the announcements made in church, because it soon after had broken up owing to financial difficulties caused by having been placed upon an unsound financial basis, so that the stipulated rates could not be paid in full. The society had procured a beautiful banner from Anton Iske on January 5, 1865, at the price of $213.95.(22)


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(20) St. Augustinus, October, 1899, p. 2; November, 1899, p. 5; April 1928  p. 73.
    On the Association in general see: Seeberger, op. cit., pp. 338-343, 453-454. Beringer, op. cit., pp. 97-98.
(21) Cyprian Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus,  August, 1922,  p. 2; November, 1922, p. 7. Annales Prov. Pennsylv, MS., p. 16.
(22) Cyprian Gehrling in: St. Augustinus, August, 1922, p. 2; December, 1922, p. 2; 1923. pp. 5, 20, 34, 35, 49, 84, 86. 101, 130. 131, 155, 196; 1924, pp. 6, 30; 1925, pp. 13, 67, 73, 127.
 




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    The SAINT LAWRENCE VEREIN was a rival beneficial or aid society which was founded about 1865; the exact date of foundation cannot be ascertained. This society met from 1871 till 1874 in the school hall, paying annually $36 rent like the St. Augustinus Verein. The members for many years received their Easter Communion in a body together with the members of the St. Augustinus Verein during the same High Mass. On July 4, 1875, the members were in the escort formed by the different Catholic societies in conducting Bishop Domenec from the cathedral to St. Augustine's. They marched under their own banner like the other societies and under the strains of their own music band, despite the heavy rain. On November 7, 1876, the members attended a Requiem High Mass for the repose of the deceased members of their society. This is the last announcement made in church about the St. Lawrence Verein. Shortly after the society disbanded for the same reason as the St. Augustinus Verein, viz.: unsound financial basis. On August 24, 1873, the society marched in parade from St. Augustine's to Old St. Philomena's Church to grace the celebration of the patronal feast.(23)

    The ST. RAPHAEL'S VEREIN was founded on December 3, 1869, and is still in existence. It was chartered as GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC ST. RAPHAEL'S BENEFICIAL SOCIETY OF PITTSBURGH. Its aim is mutual encouragement of the members for better practice of their Catholic Religion besides aid to sick and needy members and in case of death aid of the widows and children according to the Constitution of the society. Since these aims may be obtained without demonstrative pomp, the society shall turn out in gala only on its patronal feast, on the day of the Easter Communion and at funeral of one of its members. Habitual missing mass on Sundays and sending of children to the public school will be punished by expulsion of those members. The constitution of the society was printed in 1869 at Pittsburgh, Pa. (pp. 16) and comprises 24 articles with many paragraphs. A copy is preserved in the parish archives. On November 24, 1877, the society received a charter and a revised edition of the constitution was printed at Pittsburgh in 1878 (pp. 26). This revision was necessitated by the extension of the work of the society.

    In an additional article (No. 25) the duties of the committee for relief of needy persons are detailed in five points. Four other additional articles (nn. 26-29) describe in 23 points the duties of the librarian. On September 26, 1877, the priests announced in church that the St. Raphael's Verein had established a library in the upper floor of the school and would lend books to everyone. This library was to form the original stock of the present splendid parish library. A copy of the revised constitution of 1878 is likewise preserved in the parish archives. The late Mr. Titus Berger, the founder, (died March 11, 1909) was the first President of the society and was continued in office for over thirty-eight years. The society was founded with twenty-four charter members in 1869. Up to December 1, 1875, no less than 199 members were received, including the original charter members. During that time 8 members died and 79 were expelled for neglect of their duties, so that on December 1, 1875, a total of 112 members were counted. In 1899 the society had a membership of 180, in 1902 had a membership of 216, and in 1938 of 55. Up to 1925 at least 500 unworthy members were expelled.

    When on December 2, 1894, the society celebrated its Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of foundation the secretary reported that up to that date as many as 474 members had been received, of whom 27 died. The receipts of the society during the. twenty-five years amounted to $23,454.21, and the expenses to $18,898 and some cents. Their library contained 326 books. Mr. Titus Berger had been President all these years with the exception of one. At the Golden Jubilee on October 26, 1919, the secretary reported that the society had during the fifty years of its existence paid out $64,832.45 for sick and death benefits and for other charitable purposes. On September 5, 1938, the secretary submitted the following figures: Paid out for sick relief, $43,621.00; for death benefits,
 

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(23) Cyprian Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus, August, 1922, p. 2; 1923, pp. 5, 20, 33. 4-9, 84, 101, 131: 1925, p. 13.
 
 



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$20,948.25; for the poor, $1,714.35. In these figures the charitable other works are not counted, as contributions to St. Augustine's and other churches, missions, hospitals, etc. This society always took active part in promoting the welfare of St. Augustine's. As early as January 1, 1874, the three beneficial societies, St. Augustinus Verein, St. Lawrence Verein and St. Raphael's Verein gave a social for the benefit of St. Augustine's Church. During the first six years (1869-1975) this society donated to St. Augustine's Church $252 and to the St. Francis Hospital $88.50 ($18.50 payment for nursing the sick members and $70 free donations) and expended on the ecclesiastical festivities $287.The present officers are: Lawrence J. Fey, President; John Zawart, Vice-President; Peter A. Halli, Secretary; Leo Hungerman, Treasurer; W. A. Terheyden, M.D. The Finance and Appeal Committee is composed of: George Doemling, Philip Kreckler, John Zawart, and Philip J. Zeus. This society spread to many other parishes of Pittsburgh, Pa.(24)

    The ST. FIDELIS VEREIN is another beneficial society established at St. Augustine's Church which was to replace the society of Brethren (or sons) of St. Joseph. The latter society, called by Fr. Maurice Greck "of dubious fame", is never mentioned in the pages of the announcement book save once when it was announced on August 6, 1876 that the St. Fidelis Verein would replace it. The St. Fidelis Society was constituted at a meeting on April 7, 1876, and its constitution and by-laws were printed soon after in German under the title of: Constitution und Nebengesetze des St. Fidelis Roemisch-Katholischen Unterstuetzungs-Vereines der St. Augustinus Kirche zu Pittsburgh, Pa. (Pittsburgh, Hugh Hagan, 1876, pp. 26). These constitution and by-laws differ only slightly from those of the other beneficial societies. The society celebrated its patronal feast with attending a High Mass and receiving Holy Communion (Easter Communion) .in a body. The monthly meeting was placed on the first Monday evening in the school-hall. A copy of the constitution and bylaws is preserved in the parish archives. In 1885 Fr. Maurice Greek wrote about this society that its "financial standing is fairly good, but a great number of its members are somewhat easy going. An example of their levity is the "Fair" of the year 1881 which realized $2,200". However, on August 20, 1893, it was announced in church that the St. Fidelis Society had ordered sixty Masses to be said for the living and deceased members of the society. A few days before the society had ceased to exist. Of all the beneficial societies the St. Raphael's was the only one which continued its work.(25)

    The sad failure of the parochial beneficial societies gave rise to the foundation of inter-parochial societies. In every German Catholic parish were established several parochial beneficial societies which in the course of time were doomed to failure or could hold their own only in a precarious way. The danger was great that the Catholic men would join non-Catholic beneficial societies, having been sadly disappointed in the Catholic institutions. To remedy these evils in June, 1880, a number of Catholic men who mostly belonged to the parochial societies sent out an appeal to recruit members for the proposed inter-parochial beneficial society. This first society was established under the name of: THE ORDER OF THE GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC KNIGHTS OF ST. GEORGE, on January the first, 1881, and received its charter on January 10, 1881. One of the thirteen charter members was Michael Limpert, a member of St. Augustine's parish. The Order spread rapidly. On May 7, 1881, as many as 391 members had joined it, and on August 6, of the same year, well nigh one thousand members were counted. The Constitution und Nebengesetze, first printed in 1881, were reprinted with additions in


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(24) Handbuck des Pittsburger Beobachter, Pittsburgh, Pa., 1899, p. 36. St. Augustinus, February, 1902. p. 2: November, 1919, p. 6; October, 1922, p. 3; December, 1922, p. 7;  January, 1923, p. 5; March, 1923, p. 34; June, 1923, p. 86; August, 1923, p. 131; 1925, p.. 13. Bericht ueber die Wirksamkeit des St. Raphaels Wohltaetigkeitsvereins von Dezember, 1869 bis Ende November, 1875. Annales Provinc. Pennsylvanicae, MS., p. 314.
(25) Cyprian Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus, 1923. pp. 130, 155, 195, 196; 1924, pp. 31, 99, 145, 170, 224, 263; 1925, pp. 13, 31, 150, 173, 233; 1926, pp. 55, 155, 227, and 245. Annales Provincae Pennsylv, MS., pp. 152, 292.





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(Pittsburg. p. 33) and in a revised edition at Pittsburg in 1894. Originally the Order was restricted to the dioceses of Pittsburgh and Allegheny but in 1907 the charter was amended to establish branches outside those dioceses in the State of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. (Charter, Constitution and By-Laws, Pittsburgh, 1907. pp. 97, also German edition). In 1906 the Order counted in 64 branches about 7,500 members and had paid out during the twenty-five years of its existence $1,300,000 in sick and death benefits. On January 1, 1938, the Order had established 361 branches with a membership of 18,540 in the seven states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, West Virginia, Michigan, Illinois, and Maryland, and carried an insurance of $12,878,552.50. The Past Supreme President of the Order, Honorable Mr. Joseph H. Reiman, is a member of St. Augustine's parish.

    The first three branches were established on January 8, 1881, at Old St. Philomena, St. Michael's, South Side, and St. Mary's, North Side. The fourth branch was established at St. Anthony's, Millvale, and the fifth at St. Augustine's on July 3, 1881. Before the establishment of a separate branch many members of the parish had joined the Order in those recently established branches of those parishes. On April 17, 1881, it was announced in church that the members of the Order of Knights of St. George were invited to attend the celebration of the pattronal feast of the Order in St. Michael's Church, South Side, on April 21st. Two months later, on June 26th, it was announced in church that the Knights of St. George will have a meeting next Sunday in the school-hall at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. At that meeting, on July 3, 1881, Branch No. 5 of the Order of the German Catholic Knights of St. George was established at St. Augustine's. On August 7th a meeting of the Knights of St. George's was announced for the following Sunday. Ever after every month the meeting of the Knights was announced in church to this day. On February 9, 1902, the Branch 5 of the Knights of St. George had a membership of 400. President of the branch was Charles J. Jaegle and the meetings were conducted on the second Sunday of each month up to date. On September 14, 1938, the membership of the branch was 400. The officers of the branch were then: D. R. Rolling, President; A. J. Boberg, Vice-President; N. L. Martin, Recording Secretary; John J. Rodgers, Financial Secretary and Treasurer; Messrs. Frank X. Fuchs, John J. Link, and Louis P. Seemiller, Trustees; Louis Roth, Marshall, Joseph 0. Grimm, Captain of Cadets.(26)

    The FIRST REGIMENT OF UNIFORMED KNIGHTS OF ST. GEORGE was established in Kunkel's Hall on Josephine Street, South Side, Pittsburgh, on March 11, 1883, to grace the solemnities of the various churches and to attend in full regalia the funerals of deceased members of the Order. Besides, the family of a deceased Uniform Knight receive a certain sum of death benefit. In 1899 the Regiment was composed of 140 men who were divided into seven companies. Company C was established in St. Augustine's parish meeting every third Sunday in the month in Frecker's Hall on Butler Street. Major of the company was then Mr. Leo Jost and Sergeant Mr. Albert Sauer. These uniformed Knights graced the various solemnities of St. Augustine's parish, as dedication of school and church, Easter Communion of the Company, jubilees of the Order, First Masses of newy ordained priests, and obsequies of deceased members at stated times up to our times. Sometimes they received also their Easter Communion in a body and with full regalias. (27)

    The CATHOLIC MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSOCIATION was first organized at Niagara Falls, N. Y., in December, 1876, with a view to furnish cheap life insurance without joining secret societies condemned by the Church.


(26) Cyprian Gehrling in St. Augustinus, 1924, pp. 99, 106, and Charles Speckert in St. Augustinus, 1902, February, 1902, p. 2. On the Order in general, a rather extensive literature is extant. We quote only: Handbuch des Pittsburgh Beobachter, pp 31-32, and the files of: The Official Organ of the Catholic Knights of St. George, published monthly since January, 1907, which contains regular reports on the branch established at St. Augustine's.
(27) Handbuch des Pittsburgh Beobachter, p. 32. St. Augustinus, November, 1899,  p.7; April, 1900, p. 4. St. Augustinus, July, 1919, p. 9; 1925, p. 130.





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The society was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York on June 9, 1879. The object of the Association as set forth in the Act of Incorporation is: To improve the moral, mental, and social condition of its members, to aid and assist its members and their families in case of sickness and death. About the year 1882 the Association estabished its first branch, Branch 26, in the State of Pennsylvania at McKeesport. In 1888 as many as fifteen branches had been established in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, which founded an Advisory Council to unite those branches more closely and to provide for employment for its members in times of unemployment. On January 1st, 1889, the total membership of the Association was about 20,000 of whom about 3,000 were in the State of Pennsylvania. Up to that time the Association had paid to the beneficiaries of deceased members upwards of $1,650,000. In 1899 the Advisory Council of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, had under its jurisdiction a total of fifty-five branches of which 18 were established in German parishes, and a total membership of well nigh 6,000 members. At that time (1899) the total membership for the State of Pennsylvania was over 10,000. A revised edition of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association was printed at Buffalo, N. Y., 1912. pp. 122, XV. An older edition in German was printed at Buffalo, N. Y., 1886, pp. Ill, III.

    Branch 45 of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association was established in St. Augustine's parish some time in 1888 or 1887. Mr. Martin H. Hager was its first President; Charles M. Risacher, Treasurer; Jacob L. Zinsmeister, Secretary. At first the Branch met in some hall. However, on July 7, 1889, it was announced for the first time in church that the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association would meet in the school hall every second and fourth Wednesday of the month, later changed to second and fourth Tuesday. In February, 1902, Branch 45 of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association had a membership of 195 and met every second and fourth Tuesday in the month. Mr. J. B. Limpert was Chancellor; J. G. Lauer, President, Joseph Irlbacher, First Vice-President; Ed. Vilsack, Second Vice President; Phil. J. Scholl, Financial Secretary; A. Green, Recording Secretary; John Fink, Treasurer. Too low rates of assessment carried finally the mighty organization upon the rocks of destruction and Branch 45 had to disband. The members of Branch 45 met regularly up to December 23, 1919. On December 21, 1919, the meeting of the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association was announced for Tuesday, December 23, 1919. This is the last announcement made in church about this society and hereafter they disappear from the church records of St. Augustine's.(28)

    The GERMAN MILITARY SOCIETY (MiLiTAER VEREIN) was founded on April 27, 1884, in the hall of the South Side Turner (Athletics) on South Fourteenth Street. Three companies were organized within the same year, four more followed, so that the Verein had in 1899 a membership of 500. Chief purpose of the society was mutual support in cases of sickness and death or other calamities. Another aim of the society was sociability and culture of German language and customs. The 5th Company of this society met every fourth Sunday of the month in Frecker's Hall on Butler Street. In 1899 Mr. Felix Fey was Major and Mr. Louis Theilig Secretary of this company located in St. Augustine's parish. Naturally also this society came to an untimely end before long.(29)

    The GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC KNIGHTS OF PENNSYLVANIA were founded in the Fall of 1894 as the result of several preparative meetings. On November 1, 1894, the society received a charter and was called Deutsche Roemisch-Katholische Ritter von Pennsylvania. About the same time it received also the approval of the diocesan Bishop Richard Phelan. The purpose of the organization was to grant a death benefit to the families of deceased members, to keep Catholic men and
 


-----
(28) Handbuch des Pittsburger Beobachter, p. 38. St. Augustinus, February, 1902, p. 2. St. Augustinus, November, 1912, p. 16; February,  1913, p. 16; March,  1913. p.  16: April,  1913, p. 16:  July, 1913,  p. 16; August, p. 16; February, 1915, p. 16;  March, 1915, p. 16; May, 1915. p. 16: July, 1915, p.  16; September, 1915, p. 16. Announcement Book, MS., on December 21, 1919.
(29) Handbuch des Pittsburger Beobachters, pp. 38-39.

 


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young men from joining non-Catholic societies, to care for unemployed members, and to have certain Masses said. This society made rapid progress, so that within four years it established twelve divisions with a membership of approximately 600 in the city of Pittsburgh and vicinity. Death-benefits were paid in 1899 for the families of deceased members to the number of eighteen since the foundation of the society. About 1888 Division 8 of this society was established at St. Augustine's Church. In February, 1902, this division had a membership of 85 and met every third Sunday of the month. Directors of this division were in 1902: John J. Gerlach and E. Weismuller; Mr. Martin Buster was President; Michael Deininger, Vice-President; M. N. Werries, Secretary and Treasurer. Naturally this society shared the sad lot of so many others. Within some years it was broken up. For many years the society met elsewhere. On May 16, 1897, the meeting of this society was announced in church and it was regularly after announced for the third Sunday of the month.(30)

    THE LADIES' CATHOLIC BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION was founded at Titusville, Pa., on April 9, 1890, and incorporated under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania on the same day. The constitution and by-laws were later revised in July, 1910, and printed at Erie, Pa., in 1910 (pp. 127). This benevolent society spread rapidly. On January 7th, 1894, Branch 103 of this society was established at St. Augustine's and is still in a flourishing condition. In February, 1902, this branch had a membership of 196. The officers at that time were: Mrs. M. C. Frecker, Past President; Mrs. B. Vilsack, President; Miss T. Schiffhauer, First Vice-President; Miss M. Dietz, Second Vice-President; Miss Minnie C. Berger, Recorder; Miss C. Lackner, Assistant Recorder; Miss A. Besterman, Financial Secretary; Miss Cath. Fey, Treasurer; Miss A. Gudendorf, Marshall; Miss A. Gerlach, Guard. This branch met every first and third Friday in the month. All these many years this branch was active in raising funds for St. Augustine's Church and took part in all social works carried on in the parish. The present officers (1938) of the branch are: Mrs. Catherina Limpert, Past President; Mrs. Mathilda Kalchthaler, Acting President; Miss Minnie Besselman, First Vice-President; Mrs. Dorothy Cooke, Second Vice-President; Mrs. Lidwina Fogerty, Recorder; Miss Minnie Berger, Financial Secretary; Miss Catherine Fey, Treasurer; Miss Mary Fey, Marshall; Miss Elizabeth Raible, Guard. Actual membership of the branch is 197. The branch meets now every first and third Tuesday of the month in St. Augustine's parish-house.(31)

The CATHOLIC WOMEN'S LEAGUE OR UNION (FRAUENBUND) was first organized at St. Augustine's as early as February 10, 1864, and must have existed some time before that date. On November 23, 1864, this society loaned sixty dollars to the church of St. Augustine's. How long it existed cannot be ascertained. Probably this society was merged in 1875 with the confraternity of Christian Mothers. In 1913 the Catholic Women's League of Pennsylvania (Katholischer Frauenbund von Pennsylvania) was founded with the avowed purpose to unite the Catholic women and women's organization for united action, to inform the Catholic women about the problems facing them, and to do social and charitable work in a Catholic spirit and to defend Catholic principles against the modern secular women's organizations. The statutes of this new organization were printed in German at Philadelphia in 1913 (pp. 20). This society was introduced at St. Augustine's in February, 1915, and the meetings were arranged for every Thursday in the Casino Hall, and later in the basement of the school. Naturally the members took part in the social activities of the parish, they raised money for the St. Augustine's church and charitable works. During Christmas season of 1915 they distributed gifts to needy families of the parish but after New Years of 1916 they extended their work to other parishes. The members
 

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(30) Handbuch des Pittsburger Beobachters, p. 35. St. Augustinus, November, 1899, p. 7; February, 1902, p. 2; January, 1928, p. 13. Announcement Book, MS. on May, 1897, etc.
(31) St. Augustinus, October, 1901, pp. 1, 4;  December, 1901, pp. 4, 5;  February, 1902, p. 2; 1924, pp. 101; 1927, pp. 14, 15, and  at innumerable places in the 38 volumes  of  the St. Augustinus.





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gathered and mended clothes to distribute to needy persons, they went after the Catholic children who were neglected and had them instructed in the Catholic Religion by the teachers of the Missionary Confraternity. The first officers of the Frauenbund were: Mrs. Harry Acker, President; Mrs. Frank Schultz, First Vice-President; Mrs. Koebert, Second Vice-President; Mrs. Walz, Secretary; Mrs. A. Stehle, Treasurer, Mrs. Speth, Marshall. The present officers are: Mrs. Anna Gauscheman, President; Mrs. Frances Berry, Secretary and Treasurer. Membership is at present 65. The meeting is placed now on the fourth Tuesday of the month and is held in St. Augustine's Hall.(32)


The ORDER OF CATHOLIC FORESTERS was incorporated on May 24, 1883, at Springfield, Illinois, under the laws of the State of Illinois, as the Illinois Catholic Order of Foresters. However, on June 4th, 1889, the name was changed to Catholic Order of Foresters. The original constitution and by-laws were revised and changed on August 11-14, 1903, and printed in a German edition at Chicago, 1903, (p.131). On April 8, 1916, however, the Order of Catholic Foresters was reorganized, taking the name of The Catholic Knights of America. Its laws were printed at St. Louis, Mo., in 1916 in an English edition (pp. 122). The object of the Order is fraternal union, sick benefits and widows' and orphans' benefit fund. Up to December 31, 1923, the Order had paid in death benefits $36,100,000. The total amount of the reserve fund was thirteen millions and total membership 130,000. In November, 1927, the Order had etablished 1,644 branches or Courts in twenty-nine states and in eight provinces of the Dominion of Canada with a membership of 122,589 and a reserve fund of $20,266,509.46. In 1938 it had a reserve fund of over thirty-six million dollars and a membership of 138,276. The Branch established at St. Augustine's is Court No. 1201. It was established on April 20, 1901, and the members have regular meetings in the Casino from June, 1904, to date. At first the meetings were held on every second Friday of the month; now they have their meetings on every second  and fourth Friday of the month. The Charter Members initiated on the day of foundation, April 20, 1901, were the following: John B. Limpert, Lawrence A. Schott, John P. Schmitt, Arch. H. Gribbin, Patrick J. Galvin. Will. Glenn, John McCusker, Will. Heilman, Thomas E. McGee, John Quinlan, Charles F. Schaffer, Leo H. Schott, Patrick G. Salmon, E. J. Glenn, J. J. Bayer, August Friedrich, F. J. Frank, John Hisdorf, Edward T. Miller, Edw. Murphy, James McAllister, Edward T. O'Connor, J. Schmitt, Jr., and Peter P. Yeager. Mr. Arch. H. Gribbin is at present the only living member of the original Court. The officers for the year 1915 were the following: S. L. Schaffer, Chief Ranger; Ed. J. Vogel, Vice-Chief Ranger; Arch. H. Gribbin, Recording Secretary; A. Marchlewitz, Financial Secretary; C. F. Schaffer, Treasurer. The officers for 1938 are: Edw. J. Vogel, Chief Ranger; Will. Speth, Vice-Chief Ranger; S. Leo Schaffer, Past Chief Ranger; Will. J. Schaffer, Recording Secretary; Francis E. Vogel, Financial Secretary; Francis A. Vogel, Financial Secretary; Oskar N. Vogel, Speaker. Trustees are: George McKinzie, Frank J. Schaffer, and Charles J. Kelly. St. Augustine's Court has at present a membership of twenty-five men.(33)

The CATHOLIC RELIEF AND BENEFICIARY ASSOCIATION was incorporated under the law of New York State on January 31, 1893, to maintain a sick fund and establish a relief reserve fund to pay sick and death benefits. The constitution of the association was printed in 1915 (pp. 141). At St. Augustine's is established branch No. 124. St. Leo's Church since February, 1910, and meets every second and third Thursday of the month in St. Augustine's Hall. The branch was still meeting there on June 9, 1925, but later ceased to exist.(34)


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(32) St. Augustinus, February, 1915, p. S; August, 1915, p. 10; January, 1916, pp. 8-9, 12; August, 1922, p. 2; November, 1922. p. 6, and at many other places in the volumes of this monthly, and report of the Secretary.
(33) St. Augustinus, June, 1904, p. 3; January, 1915, p. 9; May, 1924, p. 100; November, 1927, p. 220; February, 1928, p. 22; March, 1928, pp. 48-49.   Report by the Secretary. MS.
(34) St. Augustinus, February, 1910, p. 13; March, 1910, p. 13; April, 1910, p. 13, etc.  Announcement-Books, MS. on the respective Sundays.
 




1863-1938                                                                 ST. AUGUSTINE'S  PARISH HISTORY                                                                         Page 147       

    The LADIES' AUXILIARY KNIGHTS OF ST. JOHN established St. Mary's Ann Branch No. 86, of the First District of Western Pennsylvania at St. Augustine's in September, 1903. This branch met in St. Augustine's Casino Hall every first and third Friday of the month from the beginning of 1919 till February 20, 1925, when they moved their headquarters into a house on Bandera Street. However, on January 15, 1926, they returned to their former meeting room in St. Augustine's Hall, and at present Library, where they still keep their meetings. On January 1, 1921, this branch reported a balance of $849.85 for the sick fund and cash receipts during 1920 of $164.25. In 1920 sick benefits were paid to the amount of $162. Expenses during 1920 amounted to $177.91. On December 3, 1927, these officers were elected: Miss M. Eichenlaub, President; Mrs. D. Cook, First Vice-President; Mrs. M. Speth, Second Vice-President; Mrs. M. Melchert, Recording Secretary; Mrs. F. Berry, Financial Secretary; Mrs. M. Kline, Treasurer; Mrs. R. Kress, Messenger; Mrs. M. Marchlewitz, Sentinel; and Miss A. Overington, Guard. The officers for 1938 are: Mary Eichenlaub, President; Mrs. Frances Berry, Secretary; Mrs. Mary Klein, Treasurer. Membership at present is 29 in all.(35)

    In 1902 the movement grew strong to have all Catholic societies federated into one or more larger organizations. Bishop Canevin favored the plan of THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF CATHOLIC SOCIETIES and advocated it. According to his wishes Diocesan organizations united different groups of societies. In 1904 the PITTSBURGH COUNCIL OF CATHOLIC WOMEN was established. In 1923 this organization had affiliated one hundred forty women organizations of the diocese with an aggregate membership of 40,000. All the women societies at St. Augustine's joined the Pittsburgh Council at one time or another, but not all did keep up their affiliation.(36) In 1876 some members of St. Augustine's belonged to the ST. JOHN SOCIETY, but this society was never established in the church.(37)

    ST. AUGUSTINE'S PARISH FEDERAL CREDIT UNION was organized on March 26, 1935. The credit union system is a cooperative organization to furnish money at cheap rates. This cooperative banking system originated in Germany. Victor Aime' Huber (died in 1869) was the first man to explain theoretically the system. Hermann Schulze-Delitzsch and Frederick William Henry Raiffeisen formulated the methods by which this cooperative banking system has attained success. In 1850 Schulze-Delitzsch established the first credit association which grew into a regular cooperative bank. The system of Schulze-Delitzsch aims to stimulate thrift and help artisans and farmers with credit. Raiffeisen in 1869 organized a society to provide rural credit based on mutual aid among neighbors. The Raiffeisen banks developed especially in rural districts. From these beginnings has grown the cooperative banking movement that is to be found now in every country: since 1900 in Canada and since 1905 in the United States. The first credit Union law was enacted in Massachusetts in 1909, and followed by most states. A federal law was enacted in 1933, and a national federation of credit unions is now in operation. The first credit unions were Parish Credit Unions organized by French Canadians since 1905. The first Federal Credit Unions were St. Boniface Parish Credit Union, New Haven and St. Mary's Credit Union, Meriden, Conn, which both received their charter on November 15, 1934. St. Augustine's Federal Parish Credit Union, Pittsburgh, Pa., is one of the first three organizations of the Pittsburgh district. On December 31, 1936, as many as 33 such Federal Parish Credit Unions were in operation in the United States. Five of them had not reported but the remaining 28 counted 2,305 members with a share balance of $52,662; 1,127 loans for a total of $104,593 had been authorized within the short span of two years. The Parish Federal Credit Union at St. Augustine's, Pittsburgh, has made since its organization on March 26, 1935, up to September 16, 1938, 199 loans to the amount of $22,978.25.



 -----
(35) St. Augustinus, March, 1921, p. 8; March, 1923, p. 42; May, 1924, p. 101; March. 1925, p. 48; January, 1926, p. 10; December, 1927, p. 246.  
Announcement-Books, MS., 1919  to   date. Report of the Secretary for 1938.
(36) St. Augustinus, May, 1923, p. 76-77.
(37) St. Augustinus, August, 1923, p. 123.



""

Choir Boys

Bottom Row:  Left to right:  Francis Jans, Leonard Quering, Earl Barbour, Richard Marino, John Kozub, William Rotella, William
Zukowski, Edward Senge, John Baj, Joseph Bruckner.  Second Row: Elmer Rudzke, Bernard Mizgorski, Raymond Pidorski, William
Ashton, John Grubbs, Elmer Siegle, Robert Balaski, Peter Chepponis, Joseph Carr, Gerard Staudt.  Third Row: Elmer Tenure, Anthony
Schmeck, Robert Bich, Richard Irlbacher, Raymond Fulton, George Bich, Walter Pawlak, John Krupa, William Reissmann, William
Pottmeyer.  Top Row: John Gribben, Joseph Baj, Leon Borczyk, John Maier, Rev. Fr. Ralph, Herbert Goetz, Charles Varasse, Robert
Dedig, Russell Mikszan.




1863-1938                                                                 ST. AUGUSTINE'S  PARISH HISTORY                                                                         Page 149       

    The credit union numbers 173 members and meets every Tuesday evening in the Parish Library. The officers are: Joseph G. Trakofler, President; Joseph T. Kaduck, Vice-President; B. A. Stadelman, Treasurer; C. R. Moffat, Clerk. Directors are: B. A. Stadelman, C. R. Moffat, J. T. Kaduck, J. W. Penar, J. G. Trakofler. Credit Committee: F. Vuchmanic, J. T. Kaduck, W. A. Hanna. Supervisory Committee: Dorothy Schumacher, Paul C. Lyden, C. J. Kolling.(38)

    The late Fr. Maurice Greek, O.M.Cap. (died in 1898), one time pastor of St. Augustine's, held a low opinion about the beneficial societies established at St. Augustine's. In 1885 he wrote: "Although they are known to me, I can say but little about them. I do not say that they do harm to the church, yet they do not much good either. The men who join those societies comply mostly with their Religious duties and none of those who neglect them was ever converted to a better life. These societies are organized to give sick and other benefits and keep men from joining secret societies." (Annales Prov. Capucinorum, MS., vol. I, pp. 151-152; St. Augustinus, 1925, p. 13). This opinion was based on the four parochial societies then established at St. Augustine's. Three of them went upon the rocks and the fourth was saved through the able guidance of its lifelong president, Mr. Titus Berger (died 1909). If the good Father had witnessed the good work done by the great diocesan and inter-diocesan organizations, he would have been compelled to change his pessimistic view. As it is, the societies, beneficial as well as Religious, are the mainstay of our parishes; the pastor calls upon them first in every emergency and the members cooperate most willingly in any parochial or diocesan undertaking. Men who neglect their Easter duty are now impossible in our societies. On February 21, 1875, the Fathers found themselves constrained to request in church the Presidents of the different Catholic societies to exclude members who neglect their Easter duty. (St. Augustinus, 1923, p. 84).

    The beneficial societies made many gifts in money to St. Augustine's Church and raised large funds by sponsoring various euchres, dramatic plays and socials. Since the account books of those societies are not accessible, we cannot give a full account of their work of cooperation to parochial, diocesan and national affairs. We only record the few incidental facts which their secretaries deigned to submit for publication. Branch 5 of the Order of Knights of St. George presented to the new St. Augustine's Church a painted window with the representation of their patron saint, St. George. Moreover the same branch defrayed the expenses for purchasing the large bell of the new church, costing $1,700, and weighing 5,500 pounds, which, by the way, is the largest bell in the city of Pittsburgh. The President of the Order, Mr. Joseph Reiman, presented this bell in the name of the Order, delivering a spirited address. The bell was christened with the name of St. George and according to a written agreement made with the pastor of St. Augustine's this bell is always tolled at the notice of a death of a member of the branch and at the funeral services. On February 27, 1889, the Knights of St. George donated the $100 Melodeon to St. Augustine's Schools. (St. Augustinus, October, 1925, p.-94).


III.    Charitable Organizations.

To a certain extent the beneficial societies must be classed also among the charitable organizations; yet charity is primarily, though not exclusively, dispensed towards the members of the society. The Religious societies of Association of Holy Childhood and St. Augustine's Altar Society apparently pursue charitable aims only secondarily. We are considering here organizations which primarily are instituted to promote charitable works, outside the parish limits.

    The MISSIONARY AID SOCIETY was introduced into St. Augustine's in October, 1909, at the behest of the Rt. Rev. Bishop Canevin. Its aim is to support financially poor parishes of our country and in foreign mis-
 


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(38) Report by the clerk of the Credit Union. On the general history see: Warbasse, James Peter. Cooperative Democracy, 3rd. edition, New York, 1936, pp. 72-76. Central-Blatt and Social Justice, vol. XXX, No. 3, June, 1937, p. 95.





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sions. As Promoters were appointed the Messrs. Edw. Halli, Mat. Werries, A. A. Kerner, Edw. Pottmeyer, Aloys. Nagel, and Miss Coletta Sohl. The Rev. Pastor, Fr. Ignatius Weisbruch, wrote at that time that a congregation of the size of St. Augustine's ought to furnish at least twenty-five promoters and he urged all parishioners to join the society. This organization has done good work all these many years. The annual reports issued by the Director, Msgr. P. C. Banner, since 1909, list the contributions received from the branch established at St. Augustine's year by year. Likewise the annual financial reports printed in the January number of the St. Augustinus since 1910, give also the contributions raised by the branch of the Missionary Aid Society. In 1937 these contributions amounted to one hundred thirteen dollars.(39)

    THE CATHOLIC STUDENTS' MISSION CRUSADE was organized at Techny, Illinois, July 27 to 30, 1918. The movement aims at enlisting Catholic Students in the cause of the missions. The programme includes education in mission facts and ideals by means of lectures, correspondence with missionaries, books and pictures on the missions and a periodical besides promotion of regular prayers and personal sacrifices in behalf of the foreign missions. The Crusade does not directly collect money for the missions but leaves this part of the programme to the affiliated societies. The founders of the Crusade expected to raise one million dollars by getting the two to three million students interested in the movement. On January 3, 1921, Fr. Philip Knupfer had the children of the parish school affiliated with the Catholic Students' Mission Crusade and the pupils who were actively engaged in the work received the name of LITTLE MISSIONARIES. When Fr. Agatho Rolf left for the distant mission of Kansu in northern China, January 1, 1922, the Little Missionaries presented him a purse of $420. The Little Missionaries are still in the field.(40)

    The KANSU MISSION CLUB was organized in October, 1922, among the ladies of St. Augustine's to furnish the Kansu Mission with church goods and money. The members met every Thursday evening after Holy Hour devotion in the parish library. For the benefit of the Kansu Mission they gave their first euchre party on October 24, 1922. Besides large sums were collected by the members and their friends in 1923 and later years. Yet the depression has of late dampened the missionary spirit of the club-members very much, so that by this time the club has fallen into abeyance.(41)

    The LITTLE FLOWER MISSION CIRCLE was established at St. Augustine's by Fr. Agatho Rolf in March, 1916. The Circle was composed of active and contributing members (ladies). They first contributed money and work; they would work on altar linen and make articles needed in foreign missions. The contributing members contributed money to buy the articles to be worked up. Fr. Agatho wrote in the April number of the St. Augustinus, 1916, that "the issues of the St. Augustinus and the newly created 'Mission Circle' are a consistent campaign to awaken interest in the work for the support of the foreign missions. Of course we expect some adverse criticism but this will only be a stimulus to the missionary circle. The work of such a circle is an apostleship of its own." When Fr. Agatho left St. Augustine's in July, 1918, the interest of the members began to slacken but it was revived, when the founder of the Circle showed by his own example that he meant what he had preached these many years: support of the work of foreign missions needed him and he heeded the call and he was finally laid to rest in distant northern China.(42)


-----
(39) St. Augustinus, November, 1909, p. 9, and January, 1938, p. 1.
(40) The Fortnightly Review edited by Arthur Preuss, vol. XXV,  1918,  p. 268. St. Augustinus January, 1921, p. 8; January, 1922, pp. 8-9.
The missionary spirit was instilled into the hearts of the pupils by the annual celebration of the Association of the Holy Childhood and since 1915 by spreading the missionary periodical "The Little Missionary" in St. Augustine's School. See: St. Augustinus, August, 1915, p. 15; September, 1915, p. 9. Yet before 1921, the Little Missionaries were no organized group.
(41) St. Augustinus, October, 1922, p. 8-9; January, 1923, pp. 9; February, 1923, p. 1; June, 1923 pp. 93-94.
(42) St. Augustinus, March, 1916, pp. 9-10; April, 1916, pp. 10, 16; April, 1917, p. 2.






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    However, the oldest charitable organization of the St. Augustine's parish contributed to the support of an institution nearer home, namely, the GERMAN ROMAN CATHOLIC ST. JOSEPH'S ORPHAN ASYLUM on Troy Hill, now Pittsburgh. In the meeting of the Board of Managers of that asylum it was decided on April 9, 1863, that "since the Congregation of Lawrenceville has sent a delegate to the Board with the request to be admitted as a Filial-Verein, it was unanimously decided that such a Filial-Verein be organized and the officers be elected, so that their officers can be elected into the Board of Managers in the near future." Accordingly the FILIAL-WAISEN-VEREIN was established at St. Augustine's with the election of a president, a vice-president, treasurer, secretary, and a number of collectors. This was done some time before May 4, 1863. On that date the Board of Managers recognized the Filial-Waisenverein of St. Augustine's as duly organized and the Messrs. Jacob Dietz and John Elsesser and Gabriel Weisser were elected as members of the Board of Managers, the latter as treasurer of the Board of Managers. The pastor of St. Augustine's, the Rev. Philip Francis Schmidt, was elected to serve on the committee of schools. Ever since that time the Filial-Waisenverein of St. Augustine's has contributed on the average from $200 to $300 to the support of St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum on Troy Hill or a total of from $15,000 to $20,000. The Filial-Waisen-Verein of St. Augustine's in 1936 was constituted with Peter A. Halli, President; Messrs. Frank X. Fuchs, Adolph Jans and Frank Gronau, Directors; Misses Cecilia Dadowski, Mary Schmolder, Mary Closs, Margaret Haas, Elizabeth Suewer and Elizabeth Raible, Collectors. On July 1, 1938, the St. Joseph's Orphan Asylum ceased to exist and accordingly the Filial-Waisen-Verein of St. Augustine's came to a glorious end.(43)


IV.    Educational and Literary Societies.

    An educational society of a general character was the VOLKSVEREIN (People's Union or Society) which was established at St. Augustine's on October 27, 1912. The society was founded in 1890 in Germany at the suggestion of the veteran leader, Louis Windthorst, to educate the common people in the different aspects of the social question and to enlist their cooperation in the great work of social reform, and the repression of socialism. A staff of lecturers gave special courses of social science to various classes of people to familiarize them with the true Catholic principles of social reform. In 1907 the Volksverein had in Germany a membership of 565,000. About this time the society was introduced into some German Catholic parishes of the United States. By the year 1911 it  had  been   introduced   into  several German Catholic parishes in the diocese of Pittsburgh.   Finally on December 18, 1911, a mass meeting was called with the view to establish it at St. Augustine's. The pastor, Fr. Ignatius Weisbruch, urged the parishioners, men and women, to join this new society and  to  sponsor an  important cause which would unite the Catholics of this country in defense  of  their  rights and  their  Church. "Therefore, your pastor invites, nay urges you, especially young men and ladies, to attend  this  meeting."  Yet  the  good people were slow in grasping the importance of the movement.  On October 27, 1912,  again  a mass  meeting was  held in St.  Augustine'.; Hall which finally resulted in the establish ment of this society at St. Augustine's.  The new society, called ST. AUGUSTINE'S VOLKSVEREIN, met every fourth Sunday at 8 o'clock P.M.  Thirteen promoters were appointed to recruit new members.  In the vestibule of the church pamphlets were placed on a book-rack for free distribution. Seemingly the bulk of parishioners was not prepared to get much benefit from the new organization and many issues of the St. Augustinus during the years 1912 to 1914 carried articles in defense of the Volksverein.   Up to February, 1915, the society met regularly on the fourth Sunday. Yet on the fourth Sunday of February, 1915, the Volksverein was united with the Holy Name Society, another society which could not thrive at St. Augustine's.  The two societies met together for about two years and with the entrance of the United States into




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(43) Minutes of the Board of Managers (Protokolle des St. Joseph Waisen-Vereins). M.S., April 9, 1863: May. 4. 1863. Finanz-Berichte der St. Joseph Waisen-Anstalt, 1864-1937, annual reports printed at Pittsburgh, 1864-1937. The Pittsburgh Catholic, July 14, 1938.




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1863-1938                                                                 ST. AUGUSTINE'S  PARISH HISTORY                                                                         Page 153       

the World War the Volksverein at St. Augustine's died out.(44)

    The KNIGHTS OF ST. GEORGE CADETS, a semi-military organization for young men, was founded in May, 1914. Catholic boys of twelve years and over were banded together who upon reaching the sixteenth year were to be initiated into the Order of Knights of St. George. The Cadets receive drilling every week according to the Infantry Drill Regulations of the United States Army and are otherwise trained along usual Cadet lines enjoying also the advantages of lectures and practical demonstrations given by business and professional men. Each branch of the Order is qualified to establish such auxiliary branches in the form of Companies under control of commissioned officers. Each company must have at least twenty-four cadets. The companies are formed into regiments. Up to April 1, 1916, two such regiments had been formed. In the Summer of 1916 were also printed the Constitution and By-Laws of the Knights of St. George Cadets (Pittsburgh, 1916. pp. 16). Branch 5 of the Order of Knights of St. George established the first company of Cadets, Company C, some time in Fall of 1914, and ever since the Cadets have been part and parcel of St. Augustine's and their "doings" are chronicled in the issues of the St. Augustinus. The Cadets take part in the processions, parades, and other public demonstrations; their parades at the annual picnic prove a great attraction. The present officers (1938) are: Joseph O. Grimm, Captain; Edgar Fry, Lieutenant; Gregory Gottschalk, Lieutenant; Jerome  Scheirer, Lieutenant; Theodore Lach, Lieutenant; Roy Ludwig, Corps Instructor. The Cadets maintain a Summer Camp and Outing at the Knights of St. George's Home at Wellsburg, W. Va. The Cadets took part in the Sesqui-Centennial Parades of Allegheny County in 1938 and took part in the Memorial Services of the Knights of St. George, November 6, 1938. St. Augustine's Company C is composed of 32 men of the Drum-Bugle Corps and 75 men of the Infantry. The Company has meetings and drillings on Wednesday and Friday of each week and the Drum Corps disturbs the peace of the neighborhood many a time with their practices.(45)

    The oldest literary society established at St. Augustine's was the SAINT STANISLAS KOSTKA SOCIETY. It was a society founded for the benefit of the young men of the parish. The exact date of its erection cannot be ascertained but it was evidently established at the end of the year 1863 by the pastor, Fr. Tamchina. On February 3, 1864, this young men's society gave a dramatic and musical entertainment in the school building. The tickets printed for that occasion read: "Unterhaltungsfest des St. Stanislaus Costka-Vereins im Schulhause der St. Augustinus Kirche in Lawrenceville, Mittwoch den 3. Februar 1864. Eintritt 10 Cents. Fest-Committee: Adam Dietz, Titus Berger, George Hegner." (Tickets preserved in the scrap-book of the late Titus Berger). This society existed -- yet in 1871 but must have gone out of existence some time after that year.(46)

    A more pretentious literary society was formed in 1869, or earlier, by a group of young men of St. Augustine's parish and called ST. GEORGE'S LITERARY ASSOCIATION OF PITTSBURGH, PA. During the fair of St. Augustine's parish which was opened at December 28, 1869, and closed January 9, 1870 this literary association staged two plays for the benefit of the school. The program printed for that affair reads: "Grand Opening for the St. Augustine Fair and Hall by the St. George's Literary Association for the Benefit of St. Augustine's School. Play I. "The Peoples' Lawyer". Players: Emmanuel Schillo, William Heyl,
 


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(44) St. Augustinus, December,  1911,  p. 9;  October,  1912,  pp.  24;  November,   1912,  pp. 9,  16; December, 1912, pp. 4-5; January, 1913. pp. 4-5; February, 1913, pp. 4-5,  16;  March, 1913, pp. 4, 16; April, 1913, p. 16; July, 1913,'p. 16; August, 1913, pp. 9, 16; April, 1914, pp. 9-10, 16; June, 1914, pp. 2, 4-5, 6, 16; February, 1915, pp. 5, 16; September, 1915, p. 16. On the Volksverein in general see:  Der  Volksverein, New York,  1915,  pp.  50,  and  English translation, New York, 1915, p. 49, and Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. XV, pp. 502-503.
(45) St. Augustinus, August, 1915, p. 8; February, 1916, p. 5; March, 1916, p. 9; October, 1916, p. 9, etc., April, 1919, p. 9, etc., July, 1921, p. 8, etc., April, 1922, p. 8, etc., etc.
(46) Cyprian Gehrling, in: St. Augustinus, August, 1922, p. 2.






  Page 154                                                                  ST. AUGUSTINE'S  PARISH HISTORY                                                                    1863-1938


Joseph Rihn, James Voit, Frank Kuntz, William Hoeveler , William Lindenfelser, Louis Urban, John Haas, Joseph Elsesser, Jacob Elsesser, John Wurzel, John Yeaster, John Kloman. Play II. "Der Prozess". Players were: Ed. Mulzer, Peregrin, Henry Averman, (Aloys.) Frauenheim, A. Schillo and E. Schillo. In May 1870 the association staged again a play for the benefit of St. Augustine's Church which netted $60.08. Towards the end of 1870 were printed the: Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of Order of the St. George's Literary Association of Pittsburgh, Pa., with the imprint of 1871. Yet the copy preserved in the parish archives has the inscription on an inside page by William Alexander Heyl, dated Pittsburgh, December 28, 1870. The officers were: Henry Schmidt, President, William August Hoeveler, Vice-President, Anton Carl Kloman, Secretary. A notable fact about this booklet of sixteen pages is that it is printed in English, while all the other constitutions of the parish societies had been printed in German up to that time. The purpose of the association is defined in this constitution as "mutual improvement in elocution, composition, and debate and enlarging our fund of general information". The regular meetings were held on Wednesday evening (later Thursday evening) at 7:30 of every week. The performances of the society meetings consisted in "reading, essays, select reading, declamations, orations, dialogues, and debating". "German performances were in order at any time and had to be conducted solely in German. No person under eighteen years was eligible to membership". The association had also been in possession of a library and had appointed a librarian who had the duty to "keep all books correctly numbered, and attend to giving them out". The vice-president William Hoeveler attended St. Augustine's school in 1862. The member William Heyl was a pupil of St. Augustine's school in 1863 and served in 1888 and 1889 on the building committee of the new schoor building. Likewise six other players had been former pupils of St. Augustine's school between 1862 and 1868. A few of the remaining players may have attended St. Augustine's school some time prior to 1862. Nothing is known of this literary association after the year 1871.(47)

    The literary association of 1869 was a spontaneous effort on the part of the young men of St. Augustine's parish to which the pastor, Fr. Kircher, owing to his deficiency in English had been a stranger. It was different with the next following literary society established at St. Augustine's. At a meeting of the young men of St. Augustine's parish, called by the pastor Fr. Felix Lex, and presided over by Fr. Gregory Schneiders, on January 25, 1885, it was decided that a literary society should be organized among them. The organization was finally effected on February 9, 1885, by the adoption of a constitution and by-laws and the naming of the society was ST. AUGUSTINE'S YOUNG MEN'S LITERARY SOCIETY. The constitution and by-laws were printed in English at Pittsburgh, Pa. in 1885 (pp. 18). All the members of this society were at the same time members of the Young Men's Conference of the parish. The officers were Director, First and Second Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, Librarian and Assistant Librarian. Meetings were held every Monday evening. This society had organized at the same time an orchestra and brass band which were open only to the members of the Literary Society. These musical organizations were governed by special by-laws, each being ruled by a Leader and Assistant Leader and an Instructor or Professor. Besides the literary society had also organized a Singing Club from among the members of the society, from which outsiders were excluded. The Singing Club elected a Leader and appointed an Instructor or Professor and was likewise governed by special bylaws. The Director and founder of this multiform Young Men's Literary Society was Fr. Gregory Naziance Schneiders, the best English scholar among the Fathers at St. Augustine's in his days. He was ordained priest on August 30, 1873, at Trier in Germany, was imprisoned during the Kulturkampf by the German government on November 1, 1874. When he was later released

 

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(47) Cyprian Gehrling in: St. Augustinus, August, 1922, pp. 2-3, September, 1922, p. 1; December, 1922, p. 7.  Constitution der Gemeinde zu Lawrenceville und Finanzberichte, MS., Ill, p. 4.






1863-1938                                                                 ST. AUGUSTINE'S  PARISH HISTORY                                                                         Page 155       

he went to Scotland upon the advice of his bishop, where he stayed for three months with a noble family and mastered the English language (September 2, till December 1875). He went to England and taught for five months in St. Bede's College at Manchester. The Bishop of Salford appointed him there upon as assistant priest at Farnworth, where he labored for two and a half years till he was appointed pastor of Mount Carmel Church at Salford. Here he remained for four and a half years organizing that congregation and building a church. Finally he left England with the intention of entering the Capuchin Order. On November 11, 1882, he entered in the Bavarian Province, because the Capuchins had been still expelled from Prussia. Finally on January 28, 1884, he landed at New York and a few days later he arrived at St. Augustine's Pittsburgh. To distinguish him from the older Fr. Gregory Autsch who likewise stayed at St. Augustine's, the people nicknamed him "The English Fr. Gregory". At St. Augustine's Fr. Gregory Nazianz made good use of his mastery of English by introducing more English devotions and sermons. Knowing the needs of young men in English speaking countries he organized the literary society and directed it for over four years as none of the other Fathers could have done. Upon the advice of the physicians he returned to his native country on May 2, 1889, and died there on November 24, 1905. His memory is still fresh among the few remaining former members of his literary society and others. Since Fr. Gregory's literary society was without peer in the Lawrenceville district, a number of young men of the English parishes joined it, as Len. B. Blanchard, Dan Driscoll, John Collins, Henry Collins, John Lannigan of Millvale, J. P. Reardon, Harry Toner, Owen Mooney, Austin McGrath, Charles McCarren, F. McMullen, Shannon, Nick Liveo. Finally among the members was enrolled Mr. Hardy Wall, a non-Catholic, who associated with the "boys" at that time and despite the "constitution" he was made a member and as Mr. A. W. Liebler, Past President of the Literary writes (under date of Sept. 17, 1938), "he proved a good one". At present only three of the eighty and more members of the one-time St. Augustine's Young Men's Literary Society are still living. Len. B. Blanchard, a successful real estate agent (4506 Centre Ave.), John Link, and Andrew W. Liebler, agent of the General Office Machines Corp. (719 Liberty Ave.). The Officers of the society for the term 1889-1890 were: Fr. Gregory Nazianz Schneiders, Director. And. W. Liebler, First Vice-President (the Director was also President), John J. Link, Second Vice-President, D. A. Behen, Secretary, Will. J. Frecker, Assistant Secretary, Nich. Ulich, Librarian, John Engel, Assistant Librarian. The Committeemen were: Henry Werries, Jos. Nagel, John J. Schaffer, and Henry Uhte. On April 8, 1889, Fr. Gregory Nazianz attended the meetings for the last time. On May 2, following, he left and on May 6th his successor was introduced in the person of Fr. Irenaeus Kolb, O.M.Cap., a native of Philadelphia (died May 10, 1936). The receipts of the society from January 31, 1888 till July 1, 1889 amounted to $341.42 and the expenses to $319.05. The Constitutions were revised and Mr. A. W. Liebler was elected President of the Society in January, 1890. On October 7th, 1890, the Brass Band was made an independent organization. Yet the following month of November, 1890, the literary society as founded by Fr. Gregory Nazianz came to an end owing to the formation of the Jungmaenner-Verein, and the change of the Young Men's Literary Society into a general LITERARY MUSICAL SOCIETY which was open also to men as well as young men. St. Augustine's Young Men Literary Society carried out the program outlined in the Constitution up to the beginning of 1890. Then we notice a remissness both in attendance as well as in the performances. The society held also regular entertainments in St. Augustine's hall charging entrance fees. On January 14, 1889, the society had a public debate with the Young Men's Literary Society of St. John the Baptist Parish upon the question Whether McClellan was a greater general than Grant. The debate was carried through agreeably to both parties the judges having decided it to be a draw. The Messrs. E. M. Behen and W. R. Berger defended the affirmative for St. Augustine's and the Messrs. J. Greegan and Walter McCormick the negative for St. John's. The judges were Fr. Gregory Nazianz for St. Augustine's Mr. J. F. Miller for St. John's and Wm. A. Golden, Esq., the third party.






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