Brownsville church launches capital campaign for new parish center

This is an artist’s rendering of the proposed parish center, which will be built on Church Street down the hill from the Historic St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in Brownsville.

This is an artist’s rendering of the proposed parish center, which will be built on Church Street down the hill from the Historic St. Peter Roman Catholic Church in Brownsville.

  • By Frances Borsodi Zajac

  • Jul 1, 2018

The Historic Church of St. Peter in Brownsville is launching a capital campaign called “Upon this Rock’’ for the construction of a multi-purpose parish center that will include a social hall as well as space for religious classrooms, recreation and offices.

Plans call for the center to be constructed on parish-owned land on Church Street, adjacent to the current parish office building. Previous studies focused on building a parish center in the parking lot adjacent to the church but there wasn’t enough space.

The proposed center will include a multi-purpose social hall that can accommodate up to 300 people, a kitchen and related facilities, meeting areas for parish organizations and ministries, five religious education classrooms as well as recreational and office space, according to a press release issued by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.

The Rev. Timothy Kruthaupt, pastor, noted the recreation aspect will include high school regulation basketball, volleyball and indoor soccer areas.

Officials hope the parish center will be a boost to Brownsville as it will be available for community activities.

“With additional space, we can operate our ministries more effectively and expand services to people in the community,’’ Kruthaupt said. “Kids have to go to Republic or California for recreation and we’re going to have those right there.’’

Kruthaupt noted, “At one time, Brownsville had three movie theaters, a roller rink, ice skating, a bowling alley. They just don’t exist anymore.’’

But he observed that new developments are taking place in Brownsville, such as completion of the Cast Iron Amphitheater in Snowden Square, new apartment building for seniors and efforts by Brownsville students to help the Brownsville Free Public Library.

With plans for a new parish center, St. Peter Parish is hoping to do its part.

“Part of our objective is to reach out to the broader Brownsville community,’’ said Kruthaupt.

St. Peter recently completed a series of presentations about the proposed center that were attended by 150 parishioners. Many are volunteering to visit and speak with other parishioners about contributing to the project. Parishioners Mark Moncheck and John Harvey are co-chairing the capital campaign.

Moncheck said in the diocesan press release, “This project will give the parish sustainability and the ability to evangelize. It will add life to Brownsville and give others in the community a place to gather.’’

He added, “I want my three daughters to have this hall so they can be involved in this parish and be involved with others their age. The hall will be for everybody, young and old, and open to everybody.’’

The pastor said letters of support have been obtained from the Fayette County Commissioners, state Sen. Pat Stefano. R-Bullskin Township, and Rep. Pam Snyder, D-Jefferson. They have been published in recent parish bulletins.

Parishioner Norma Ryan, a former Brownsville mayor, said in the diocesan release, “This community is coming back. To bring in something like this parish center helps pull everyone together. This is icing on the cake.’’

Kruthaupt said the parish already has over a million dollars in reserves and pledge commitments for the project but needs to have 80 percent of the project costs on hand to begin construction, estimating this goal at approximately $1.5 million. The parish also plans to apply for grants.

“We’re trying to do something to re-invigorate the community,’’ said Kruthaupt. “We’re getting great support and are hoping we can move forward.’’

Donations may be sent to St. Peter’s Building fund, 118 Church St., Brownsville, PA 15417. Donations to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit are tax deductible.