were living things, they had loud
powerful voices, and in years yet unborn they would call the living and
mourn the dead. Those bells, that play such a significant part in
Catholic life, are sacred; they must be treated with reverence and
their very acceptance for the holy place must be accompanied with
ceremony, solemn and sacred. Viewing today the installation of St.
Augustine's bells, one would think himself transported into the ages of
The entire parish went out in solemn procession to receive the
bells on November 29. At two-thirty o'clock the great parade started
from the Chaplin and Fulton Foundry on Penn Avenue and First Street
where the bells had been cast, and proceeded to Liberty Avenue near St.
Philomena's on Fourteenth Street where it met the societies of that
church, thence to Twenty-first and Smallman Streets, passing en route
St. Stanislaus Church, thence to Penn Avenue and Butler Street, to
Thirty-seventh Street. When the parade passed the churches of St.
Philomena and St. Stanislaus, their bells, like great tongues from the
steeple, pealed out a joyous welcome.
At the head of the parade rode five policemen followed by Mr.
John Fink, the marshall. Then came the mounted guard, fifty-five
prancing horses with uniformed riders, followed by the Cathedral band.
Next came one hundred Knights of St. George and fifty cadets, the Third
Pennsylvania Regiment Band, then, what the Beobachter
called the central
attraction of the parade—Mr. Con-stantine Waldvogel mounted on a
charger, and beside him young Charles Vilsack and William Koebert,
The wagons with the bells followed next in the parade. The first
wagon, flag-draped and drawn by six white horses carried the great St.
George Bell of 5500 pounds, donated by the Knights of St. George. A
uniformed guard consisting of Messrs. Peter Loedding, Edward
Steinkirchner, Lawrence Fey and Edward Pottmeyer, was stationed on the
wagon. The second wagon, decorated in white and yellow and drawn by
four horses, bore the St. Mary's Bell, weighing 3000 pounds, the gift
of Mr. Leopold Vilsack. Four little girls formed the guard of honor:
Leona Lackner, Hilda Limpert, Margaret Fey and Mary Wallace. The last
wagon, decked in white and blue and drawn by four horses, carried the
St. Joseph's Bell of 1800 pounds, and the St. Raphael's Bell of 750
pounds. Various sources contributed to the purchase of these two bells.
The honor guard consisted of four boys: Edwin Helbling, Anthony
Schillo, Raphael Dauer and Albert Kalchthaler. Each of the bells was
decked with flowers and crowned with a green wreath.
After the wagons with the bells came the carriages with the
Capuchin Fathers and visiting clergy, the Church committee, the
Building committee, and the officials of the Knights of St. George. At
Thirty-seventh and Butler Streets the marchers formed two lines between
which the wagons and carriages passed to the entrance of the new
church. While the clergy took their places, the band played and then
St. Augustine's choir sang the song: Die
by Kreutzer. Mr. Joseph Reiman, representing the Knights
of St. George, now delivered a masterful oration in which he explained
the function of bells and concluded by presenting the bells to the
parish.(10) Two days later, on December 2, 1900, Father Hyacinth,
Provincial, assisted by the Capuchin Fathers, Joseph Anthony and
Gabriel Spaeth, solemnly blessed the bells. Father Herman Joseph
Peters, O.M.Cap., preached on this occasion. Shortly after the
dedication of the bells it was found that the St. George Bell had an
imperfect tone, hence it was recast by the foundry and blessed
privately by Father Charles before taking its place in the tower.
The work of finishing the interior made steady progress and all
looked forward to the dedication when suddenly a great sorrow came upon
the parish. Mr. Aloysius Frauenheim who had done so much for the
advancement of the new church and of the parish in general, died of a
heart attack on January 18, 1900. His passing deprived St. Augustine's
of one of its most faithful members and the sorrow was general not only
in the parish but in the entire city.
Everywhere he was known as a distinguished Catholic gentleman, a
(10) A more complete description in St.
, July 30, 1930, pp. 134-137; Beobachter
, November 30, 1900.
in the world of business and culture. Born in Riceville on November 25,
1851, he was the eldest son of Edward and Mary Regina Frauenheim. He
was educated at St. Philomena's school and at St. Vincent's College,
Latrobe. He married Catherine Heyl on November 25, 1874, and the union
was blessed with seven children.(11) His first real employment was in
the German National Bank, then in the Iron City Brewing Company owned
by his father, Edward Frauenheim and Mr. Leopold Vilsack. When the Iron
City Brewing Company became the Pittsburgh Brewing Company, Aloysius
was elected president. At the time of his death he was Vice-President
of the German National Bank, of the Epping-Carpenter Company, and of
the German Catholic Press Company, publishers of the Beobachter
and of the Observer
. He was also a director of
the Pennsylvania National Bank and of the East End Charity Hospital, a
member of Branch 45 C.M.B.A., and of Branch 5 Knights of St. George and
of the Poor Souls' Society.(12)
Mr. Aloysius Frauenheim was a sterling character. When the
German National Bank was about to close its doors he undertook to save
it from collapse. It was this constant strain and anxiety that
undermined his health and brought on his untimely death. The following
is quoted from the Observer
He was the first to discover the
unstable condition of the German National Bank and labored unceasingly
to get the bank's affairs in such shape that the creditors would not
lose their money. Comptroller of the Currency examined its condition
and demanded that the bank building be purchased before allowing it to
resume business, and Mr. A. Frauenheim and Leopold Vilsack produced the
$450,000 demanded within 48 hours.
He was in no way connected with
the circumstances that led to the bank's condition, but he had a keen
pride in its stability, as it had been partly founded by his father,
Edward Frauenheim. It is further related that ten days before his
death he resigned as president of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company and
that the directors refused to accept the resignation but offered him
leave of absence with full pay for one year. Mr. Frauenheim, however,
refused to accept the offer on the ground that if he could not do the
work he would not take the pay. While distinguished in many ways, his
outstanding distinction was his heroic Christian charity. "He did much
in the way of private charities, but always shrank from any sort of
publicity in connection with such gifts." His memory will always be
The funeral of Mr. Frauenheim was one of the largest ever
witnessed in Pittsburgh. One hundred and seventy carriages were in the
procession which arrived at St. Augustine's old church on Butler Street
at 10:30. Father Hyacinth Epp, O.M.Cap., rector of St. Alphonsus'
Church in Wheeling, and a friend of the family, officiated at the
solemn services. Fathers Charles Speckert, O.M. Cap., and Didacus
Rottlaender, O.M. Cap., assisted as deacon and subdeacon and Fathers
Raphael Schwarz, O.M. Cap., and Augustine Noelle, O.M. Cap., were
masters of ceremony. In the sanctuary was the Most Reverend Leo Haid,
O.S.B., of Belmont Abbey, North Carolina, assisted by Fathers Joseph
Anthony Ziegelmayer, OM. Cap., Provincial, and Casimir Elsesser,
O.S.B., as deacons of honor.(13) Many other priests of Pittsburgh and
Allegheny and all the local Capuchin Fathers attended the services.
After the Mass the Most Reverend Leo Haid, O.S.B., school
companion and friend of the departed, preached the eulogy. In
convincing words he described the deceased as a dutiful husband and
father, as a true friend in whom there was no guile, as a faithful son
of the Church, a conscientious business man, a wise counsellor, a
magnanimous benefactor, a genuine Christian at whose cas-
(11) The Heyls were a prominent family of Lawrenceville.
The parents. Martin Heyl (died October 11, 1886) and Anna Barbara
Schlosser (died May 10, 1899). had the following children:
William A. Theodore, Andrew G., Mary, Lawrence M., Edmund W., Martin,
Camillus J., Charles J. William A. Heyl and some of
his brothers became prominent businessmen. The
present Eintracht on Thirty-sixth Street was formerly the Heyl
(12) Jordan, op. cit.
(13) Bishop Leo Haid was born on July 15, 1849, at
St. Vincent's (Latrobe), Pa. Joined the Benedictines
in September, 1868. Ordained at St. Vincent's. December
21, 1872. Consecrated Bishop on July 1, 1888, at Baltimore.
Enzlberger, op. cit.
, p. 218;
, p. 240.
ket all might learn that it is possible to be a real, genuine business
man and at the same time a. practical Catholic. At the grave in St.
Mary's Cemetery it was estimated that at least three thousand people
had gathered. Whilst the casket was taken from the hearse, a choir of
orphan children from St. Joseph's Orphanage sang the touching hymn: Im Grabe 1st Ruh
. At the grave the
clergy chanted the Benedictus
and Bishop Haid pronounced the last blessing. Whilst the mourners
departed, the male choir sang: Suesz
und Ruhig 1st der Schlummer
The new church was dedicated on Sunday, May 12, 1901. The day
was appropriately chosen for it commemorated the dedication of the
Basilica of St. Francis, Founder of the Capuchin Franciscan Order. The
Most Reverend Leo Haid, O.S.B., whose parents had belonged to St.
Augustine's for many years and who was a very special friend of the
Frauenheim family, blessed the church and pontificated. Father
Hyacinth, Provincial, assisted as archpriest, and Fathers J. B. Duffner
and J. Otten, C.S.Sp., as deacons of honor. Fathers S. J. Schramm and
Marinus Ferg, O.S.B., were deacons of the Mass, and Fathers Gerard
Bridge, O.S.B., and Patrick Leinsle, O.M.Cap., were masters of
ceremony.(15) Father Joseph Anthony, pastor of St. Alphonsus Church,
Wheeling, preached the festive sermon. Again the diocesan and regular
clergy headed by Archabbot Leander Schnerr, O.S.B., were well
represented, and it is estimated that several thousand people had
assembled to witness the outdoor ceremonies. In the evening Father
Charles officiated at the solemn Vespers after which Bishop Haid
preached in English.
Joyful and triumphant as was the celebration on Sunday, the
leave-taking of the old church on Monday touched the heart with
sadness. For it was on this day that the Blessed Sacrament was solemnly
transferred from the old church to the new. At eight o'clock the parish
assembled in the venerable edifice for a short service of thanksgiving.
In few but chosen words Bishop Haid reminded the people of the many
graces and blessings that had descended upon them in this very church
from which they were about to take leave. Thereupon he took the Blessed
Sacrament from the tabernacle and bore it in solemn procession to the
new church. Father Hyacinth describes the scene as follows:
It was a beautiful sight. An
acolyte with the cross and two altar boys with candles led the
procession. Fifty little boys carried lilies and fifty little girls
strewed flowers in the way. The clergy, chanting the Pange Lingua, followed the children
and then came the parishioners. On reaching the new church and reposing
the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, Father Charles sang High Mass
for the benefactors of the church. When the procession left the old
church her bells tolled a solemn farewell and hardly had the last tone
died away, when the mighty bells of the new church burst forth in a
glorious peal as if they would say: "From now on we shall call the
faithful to church and prayer."(16)
The new St. Augustine's Church is an imposing structure, and its
two stately towers and crowning dome give the impression of stability
and simplicity. Built in the form of a cross and in the Romanesque
style of architecture, it measures 145 feet by 80 feet in the main body
and 94 feet in the transept. The material used is vitrified brick with
terra cotta trimmings. The facade has three grand portals. The tympanum
above the central portal represents Christ the King and Judge of
mankind, with the Blessed Virgin and St. Francis kneeling on either
side, pleading the cause of those entering the church. The base of the
transom is adorned with emblems of the bloody sacrifice of Calvary and
of its unbloody renewal in the sacrifice of the Mass. Above the arch of
the center portal is a niche with a statue twelve feet high
representing St. Augustine, the patron of the church.
Entering the vestibule, we see above the doors leading to the
interior the coat of
(14) St. Aug.
1900, pp. 1-4.
(15) Rev. Stephen J. Schramm was born on February 14,
1859, in Pittsburgh. Ordained May 6, 1882, at St. Vincent's,
Pa. Pastor of St. George's Church, Southside, since 1888.
Enzlberger, op. cit
Rev. Marinus Ferg was born October 26. 1866, at Neustadt, Bavaria. Came
to the United States on October 10, 1882. Joined the Benedictines on
July 11, 1888. Ordained March 22, 1890. Curate of St. Mary's,
Northside, from September 16, 1897-1902. At present stationed at
Nickton, Pa. Enzlberger, op. cit.
(16) Hyacinth Epp, Kinderfreund
arms of the Order of St. Francis, that of Leo XIII and that of Bishop
Phelan. In the vestibule there is on the one side a marble holy water
font, the gift of Mr. Bernard Gloeckler, and on the other the door
leading to the choirloft and to the basement. Entering the church
proper, we are surprised at the revelation of beauty greeting our eyes.
Here the architect, the painter and the sculptor have done their work
well. Directly at the entrance on either side we meet two statues of
life-size angels holding vessels of holy water. These were imported
from France and are the gift of Air. William Baur. The body of the
church is divided into three parts by two rows of fluted columns
bearing the clearstory and the dome. Separating the sanctuary from the
body of the church is the altar railing of pure Parvanazzo and Carrara
marble with brass gates; it measures ninety-four feet from wall to
wall. This work of art was donated by Miss Rose Frauenheim in memory of
Father Maurice Greek, O.M.Cap., and of her deceased brother, Aloysius.
Their patron saints, St. Maurice and St. Aloysius, are carved on the
pillars of Carrara marble supporting the center gates of the railing.
The five altars are those of the old church re-decorated for the
new. These altars are masterpieces of their type and were carved by
Brothers Eleutherius, Hilarion and Elzear, Capuchin lay brothers.(17).
All three have long departed this life. The center niche of the altar
is occupied by a statue of St. Augustine; to the right thereof is a
statue of the Archangel Raphael with Tobias; to the left is that of St.
Lawrence. The side altars bear statues of the Blessed Virgin, St.
Joseph, St. Francis and St. Anthony, respectively.
It is impossible to give here an adequate description of all
that is striking in St. Augustine's Church. However, the frescoes
adorning the walls are worthy of special mention and study. In the
middle section of the sanctuary wall are arches in which are portrayed
the great Latin Fathers of the Church, St. Jerome, St. Gregory the
Great and St. Ambrose. Since a statue of St. Augustine, the fourth
Latin Father, adorns the high altar, the fourth arch is given to St.
Albert the Great, now a Doctor of the Church. The latter was the choice
of Miss Emma and Miss Catherine Wirth who had these paintings done by
Arthur Thomas of New York, in memory of their father, Albert Wirth.
Adorning the four great triangles sloping between the arches and
pillars beneath the grand dome are heroic figures of the four
Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Two of these paintings were
donated by Mr. Michael Letzelter.
In the arches above the side altar niches there were originally
two appropriate mural paintings unfortunately removed at a later date.
The one on the gospel side was the gift of the Third Order and
represented St. Francis receiving the sacred stigmata; the other on the
epistle side, donated by the archconfraternity of Christian Mothers,
portrayed St. Monica kneeling on the sea shore and pleading for her son
who has just left her by the ship in the distance. Christ was
represented on high revealing to the afflicted mother the conversion
and future greatness of her son, St. Augustine.
Truly significant, too, are the two murals on the rear walls of
the side naves. The painting above the baptistry, a memorial to Peter
and George Schott, vividly illustrates the passing of the Old Law and
the acceptance of the New. The blindfolded woman personifies the Jewish
Church which, blindfolded by passion, rejected Christ the Savior. She
is sitting in darkness and laments the ruins of the temple seen in the
background. Her altar is desecrated, her sacrifices rejected, and
therefore the seven-armed candlestick that once shed light at her
worship lies extinguished and useless at her feet. Rejected by Him whom
she ignored, the law of God symbolized by the tables of stone on her
arm are a heavy burden. Opposite the blindfolded woman is the pure
spouse of Christ, the Church of today, receiving wisdom from the
lighted torch at her side and also strength by gathering into a chalice
the life-giving blood flowing from Christ on the cross. The Heavenly
Father supports the cross while the Holy Ghost hovers over all in the
form of a dove. Worshipping angels surround the Blessed Trinity.
(17) Brothers: Eleutherius Guggenbichler died June 18, 1877; Hilarian
Busch died April 22, 1898; Elzear Joerger died in Bavaria on July 1,
On the opposite side and above the St. Anthony's chapel is
another significant painting, the gift of a member of the Third Order.
The painting illustrates the famous responsory of St. Bonaventure in
honor of St. Anthony. In the lower section of the picture we see the
saint's afflicted clients appealing for help. In the clouds above we
behold St. Anthony with lilies, emblematic of his purity, kneeling in
supplication before the Blessed Mother and her Divine Child. The Divine
Infant looks with pity on the misery below and stretches forth his arms
as though granting the prayers of the Wonder Worker of Padua.
As the new church neared completion there were not wanting
generous benefactors who donated the funds for various memorials. Among
these were especially the Frauenheims who were not only responsible for
the building itself but also solicitous for its interior appointments.
Thus the organ built by the Roosevelt Company of Baltimore in 1884 was
transferred to the new church and greatly improved by Roosevelt's
successor, Adam Stein. The expenses incurred thereby were borne by Mrs.
Catherine Frauenheim in memory of her lamented husband, Aloysius
Frauenheim, who had used that instrument in the old church. The
Stations, artistic products of Mayer and Company of Munich, valued at
$1,200.00, were given by Mrs. Mary Regina Frauenheim. The latter also
presented the set of white vestments used on the day of dedication.
They are of the best quality of silk and masterpieces of embroidery
made in Innsbruck at the cost of $2,000. Miss Rose Frauenheim gave the
two imposing candelabra of marble and brass on either side of the high
altar. They were worth $1200. The sedilia is the gift of Mrs. W. A.
Heyl. The chandelier, originally in the dome, and presented by Messrs.
Peter Kerner and Andrew Lackner, was in the form of a grand star of
seven points and composed entirely of Swiss cut-glass prismatic beads
in which were concealed thirty-five electric lights.
The marble altar with its mosaic of St. Anthony in the St.
Anthony Chapel was donated by the Stephen Schultis family. The mosaic
was done in the renowned Art Studio at Venice. The altar railing in St.
Anthony's Chapel is made of onyx and brass and is the gift of Mrs.
Margaret Gruber. One of the reliquaries in this chapel was given by the
Reiman children in memory of their father, Mr. Andrew L. Reiman; the
other was donated by Mrs. Mary Hager. Thus by the contributions of the
many, and by the special gifts of the few, was it possible to erect and
equip this imposing temple of God. "I have loved, 0 Lord, the beauty of
thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth." These words of the
psalmist find eloquent expression in the present St. Augustine's
The total income for the new church from January 1, 1899, till
January 1, 1902, was $163,209.24, and the total expenditures during
that time were $222,254.27. On January 1, 1902, the total parish debt
was $87,958.46. Since the sum of $28,913.43 was old debt, the erection
of the new church had added just $59,045.03 to the deficit.(19)
As already mentioned, the lion's share of the expenses for the
new church was borne by the Frauenheim family. Grateful for their
heroic charity, the Capuchin Fathers took immediate steps to repay them
spiritually. Due to the recommendation of the local Fathers, the Most
Reverend Bernard Christen of Andermatt, O.M.Cap., Minister General of
the Order, issued a document affiliating to the Capuchin Order Mrs.
Mary Regina Frauenheim and her relatives to the
(18) The description of the new St. Augustine's Church as given here is
taken from Rev. Bernardine Kuhlmann's pamphlet: Dedication Souvenir of St. Augustine's
Church, May 12, 1901
, Pittsburgh, pp. 46. Hyacinth Epp, Kinderfreund
, IX, pp. 83-85.
(19) Financial Report
January 1, 1902.
fourth degree. The document bears the date of February 9, 1899.(20)
With the dream of a new church fulfilled, the next task that
Father Charles undertook was the alteration of the old church into a
dramatic hall. "It hurt," says Father Hyacinth, "to profane this house
of God in which the Blessed Savior had dwelt so long; in which the Holy
Sacrifice had been offered, the word of God preached and the sacraments
dispensed. But as there was nothing else to do with it, it was decided
to turn it into a hall since in this capacity, even if remotely, it
could still serve church purposes."(21)
Accordingly, this work was done during August, September and
October of 1901. Part of the tower was removed and the transepts closed
with a wall so that the one became the choir for the friars and the
other a large room for parish purposes. A large stage was erected and
all necessary equipment was installed. Contractor George Nickel did
this work for $7,948.32. The first public gathering in the new hall was
on October 22, 1901, when it was formally dedicated. On this occasion
the Rev. Joseph F. Bauer had the principal address.
During the busy years from 1899-1901— the building period—Father
Charles was active in other ways for the good of the parish. In the
fall of 1899, he founded the St.
, the monthly church bulletin which made its first
appearance on September 10 of that year and is still continuing its
mission of instructing the parishioners not only in parochial affairs
but also in topics of religion. Father Charles took up a house
collection in 1901 for the benefit of the new church. Two years later
he installed the bowling alleys in the basement of the old hall which
later became the Casino.
On Christmas, 1901, the members of the parish had additional
reason for joy when Father Lewis Centner, a son of the parish,
celebrated his first solemn Mass. Father Peter preached the sermon.
Incidentally we mention here that the first person to be baptised in
the new church was Rose Mary Frauenheim, a grand-daughter of the
deceased Mr. Aloysius Frauenheim. She was born on May 2, 1901, and
baptized on May 12, 1901. Father Gregory Autsch, O.M.Cap., officiated.
The first mission in the new church was conducted by the three Jesuits,
Fathers Herman Joseph Elskamp, Aloysius Schuler and Henry Geron. The
mission lasted from March 22-April 5.
Father Charles retired from the pastorate of St. Augustine's in
August, 1903, when his brethren elected him to the office of
Provincial. He relinquished this position in August, 1906, and became
pastor of St. Joseph's, Dover, Ohio. In July, 1909, he was transferred
to Kansas where he served as pastor of St. Joseph's, Hays, till July,
1912, when he retired to Victoria, Kansas. From August, 1917, till his
death in 1920, he lived in the friary at Hays. Ill health prompted him
to seek relief in St. Vincent's Sanitarium at St. Louis, Mo., where he
died on March 5, 1920, a few days after his arrival. His remains were
returned to Hays for interment in the friars' plot of St. Joseph's
Father Charles will be remembered as a mild, pious character, a
zealous pastor of souls and a keen business man. St. Augustine's Church
into whose construction he put his whole soul remains a worthy monument
to his name.
(20) Annals of the Cap. Prov. of Pa.
St. Augustine's archives. St. Aug.
1929, p. 15. It is said that the Frauenheims received a
Papal privilege to retain their affiliation with St. Augustine's Church
for four generations even if they do live in other parishes. Thus
Mrs. Catherine Heyl Frauenheim, wife of Aloysius, was
buried from St. Augustine's. She died on May 31,
1925, and was buried on June 3. Rev. Carl H. Demorest, curate at
Sacred Heart Church where the deceased belonged, sang the Requiem at
St. Augustine's. Likewise, Joseph Aloysius Frauenheim, son of
Aloysius, was buried from St. Augustine's although he belonged to
St. Gregory's, Zelienople. He died on February 11, 1925, and was
buried on February 13, the Rev. James M. Wertz, pastor of St.
Gregory's, Zelienople, officiating. Rev. John Lenhart, informant.
, IX, p. 123.