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1863 - 1938
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,


  Page 174                                                                    ST. AUGUSTINE'S  PARISH HISTORY                                                                  1863-1938 




    ST. AUGUSTINE'S PARISH LIBRARY was formed in 1917 by collecting the libraries of the various societies into one large library. The St. Raphael's society under the presidency of the scholarly Mr. Titus Berger set the pace by establishing a library for the benefit of the members of the society and the parishioners in September, 1877. This library was located in a room on the upper floor of the school, where the members kept their meetings. In 1894 the library contained 326 books, naturally mostly in German. The other societies of the Christian Mothers, the German and English Branch of the Third Order, the Sodality of Young Ladies, the Men's Conference and lastly the parish school since February, 1907, established libraries in their various meeting rooms and in the school rooms for their members. They appointed librarians who had charge of the library, loaned out books and proposed lists for eventual buying of new ones. Their libraries were opened after the monthly meetings on Sundays. In 1917 Fr. Angelus Seikel, director of the Third Order at St. Augustine's, was a zealous promoter of Catholic library work. Through the courtesy of the Branch Librarian of the Lawrenceville Branch of the Carneeie Library at Pittsburgh, Miss Grace Winsor, he had placed twenty Catholic periodicals in English, German, and Polish into that branch on Fisk Street. In the St. Augustinus of November, 1917, he announced to the parishioners that those twenty periodicals are now at the perusal of the public at the reading rooms of that branch. "We would urge", he wrote, "especially the local Catholic patrons of the library to read them and recommend them to their friends. Also we recommend to call for books by Catholic authors and to ask for the catalogue of books by Catholic authors and the graded list for parochial schools". At the same time Fr. Angelus Seikel established at St. Augustine's Parish Library a Tertiary Mission Bureau from among members of the Third Order whose purpose was to gather used Catholic papers and periodicals for distribution on the home and foreign mission fields. This mission bureau collected also cancelled stamps, waste-paper, lead and tinfoil to sell them for the benefit of the missions. "We counsel Tertiaries and friends", he wrote in the St. Augustinus (November, 1917, p. 4), "never to destroy such articles but forward them to us for the benefit of the Missions". When in July, 1918, Fr. Angelus Seikel was transferred to Munjor, Kansas the zeal of the members of the Mission Bureau began to flag till after some time the organization was a thing of the past'. Yet Fr. Angelus had better luck with the parish library he had established in 1917 by having the three libraries of the Third Order, the Young Ladies Sodality and the Parish School Foundations collected into one large library. The library was organized and properly indexed and shelved by the experienced librarian of Duquesne University, Miss M. Gertrude Blanchard. It was and still is a free library for all parishioners and members of societies affiliated with St. Augustine's. Library hours are all Sundays from 2 to 5 P.M. The time of loans of books is extended to one month with the privilege of renewal for a second month. Later the library was enlarged by purchases and collection of the books owned by the Men's Conference and the Casino. "The aim of the parish library", wrote Fr. Cyprian Gehrling in the St. Augustinus of July, 1921, "is to place at the use of our parishioners the best Catholic books on Religious instruction, lives of the saints, novels, educational, historical and poetical writings. The main

1863-1938                                                                 ST. AUGUSTINE'S  PARISH HISTORY                                                                       Page 175       

stock, however, are juveniles for the pupils of the parish school and spiritual books for the guidance of pious persons". From February to April, 1935, the library room was remodeled to provide space for the office of the Seraphic Mass Association. The library is located on the parish premises at the entrance to St. Augustine's, Monastery and has the dimensions of thirty-four by thirty-eight feet. The were replaced by a set of uniform bookshelves divided into twenty-two sections, each containing eight shelves, so that more than two thousand books can be shelved. The library at present treasures at least 1,800 volumes all English with a small collection of German books. A larger collection of German books was taken out to make room for English ones and these books about 500 are treasured now in the archives room in the monastery. The parish library serves at times also as a convenient meeting room for some societies and for extraordinary gatherings. At times the room is placed at the use of the Missonary Confraternty, and the rehearsals of the boys' choir are held there regularly during the week-days. At any rate St. Augustine's possesses a model parish library as few other parishes of the city might boast of having.


Communion Railing, St. Augustine Church


St. Augustine's School, Grade 1, May 20, 1892

Next: Saint Augustine's Parochial School (Continued from page 125) . . .

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