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Our Mission

We, the parish community of St. Gertrude Parish in Vandergrift, Pa., are proud of our long tradition of family, faith and fellowship.

Called into Christ as priest, prophet and king, by our baptism, we seek to strengthen and deepen our love of him and one another.

We are committed to “building up the body of Christ: through word, worship, evangelization, leadership, service, stewardship and community.

May that commitment extend to all parishioners from birth to eternity, to all we are called to service, and to all we seek and welcome into our parish community.

For we are each called to be the light of the world.

Interesting Facts

Listed below are some interesting facts about St. Gertrude’s second church building, erected in 1911. For more information, read about the history of St. Gertrude Parish.

Important Dates

​Land purchased:​In 1910, for $1,700
​Ground broken:​March 1, 1910
​Cornerstone laid:​June 11, 1910
​First Mass in new church:​March 26, 1911

Important People

​Architect:​John T. Comes, AIA, Pittsburgh
​Builder:​Duquesne Construction Co., Pittsburgh
​Clerestory windows designer:​George Stotter, Carnegie Technical Schools
​First pastor of new church:​Father Martin Singer, OSB

Structure Materials

​Superstructure walls:​Tapestry brick
​Stone trimmings:​Indiana limestone
​Roof:​Spanish tile
​Interior columns & capitals:​(10) Indiana limestone; capitals hand carved
​Original sanctuary:​Tennessee marble
​Vaulted ceiling:​Steel framework with reinforced concrete
​Stained glass windows:​(12) Contie mosaic depicting life of Christ

Structural Information

​Structural style:​Italian Romanesque
​Concrete footings:​3 feet thick
​Foundation walls:​30 inches thick
​Height of bell tower:​104 feet (comparable to a nine-story building)
​Organ:​7-rank Wicks, enlarged from original church
​Overall church dimensions:​126 X 54 feet
​Cost of church:​Approx. $60,000


​Population of Vandergrift (1911):​Approx. 10,000
​Catholic population of Vandergrift (1911):​Approx. 2,000

Former Clergy

​The following is a list of clergy that have served our parish community from its establishment:

​Father James McTighe, Pastor​1884-1885
​Father Patrick Killoran, Pastor​1885-1892
​Father Fidelis Busam, OSB, Pastor​1892
​Father Constantine Leber, OSB, Pastor​1892-1895
​Father Marcarius Schmidt, OSB, Pastor​1895-1896
​Father Gregory Zeilnhofer, OSB, Pastor​1896
​Father Boniface Wirtner, OSB, Pastor​1896-1899
​Father Martin Singer, OSB, Pastor​1899-1913
​Father Linus Brugger, OSB, Pastor​1913-1919
​Father Sigmusmund Szydlowski, OSB, Pastor​1919-1922
​Father Aloysius Luther, OSB, Pastor​1922
​Father Edgar Zuercher, OSB, Pastor1922-1932​
​Father Virgil Niesslein, OSB, Pastor​1932-1933
​Father Aemilian Schlimm, OSB, Pastor​1933-1953
​Father Paschal N. Kneip, OSB, Parochial Vicar​1951
​Father Lucian E. Malich, OSB, Pastor​1953-1965
​Father Daniel Wolfel, OSB, Parochial Vicar​1958, 1973
​Father Earl J. Henry, OSB, Parocial Vicar​1964
​Father Benno Brink, OSB, Pastor​1965
​Father Blase Strittmatter, OSB, Parochial Vicar​1965
​Father Victor D. Foreman, OSB, Parochial Vicar​1965
​Father Damian Abbaticchio, OSB, Pastor​1965-1967
​Father Anselm Ober, OSB, Parochial Vicar​1967
​Father Donald J. Haggerty, OSB, Pastor​1967-1970
​Father William Moylan, OSB, Parochial Vicar​1968
​Father Aidan F. Pfiester, OSB, Parochial Vicar​1969
​Father Marion R. Gallo, OSB, Parochial Vicar​1969
​Father Vernard J. Spitzer, OSB, Pastor​1970-1973
​Father Noel H. Rothrauff, OSB, Pastor​1973-1974
​Father Paschal N. Kneip, OSB, Pastor​1974-1981
​Father Charles A. Weber, OSB, Pastor​1981-1987
​Father Michael J. DeLon, OSB, Pastor​1987-1992
​Father Arthur Holtz, OSB, Pastor​1992-1996
​Father Thaddeus Rettger, OSB, Pastor​1996-2004
​Father Leo Rothrauff, OSB, Parochial Vicar​2000
​Father Chad Ficorilli, OSB, Pastor​2004-2009
​Father James Loew, OSB, Pastor​2009-Present