In 1892, a small group of Polish immigrant families desiring to worship God in their own language approached Father Ladislaus Miskiewicz, Pastor of St. Adalbert Church, South Side, Pittsburgh, begging him to intercede with Bishop Phelan (of the Diocese of Pittsburgh) on their behalf. It was through Father Miskiewicz's guidance that the Society of Our Lady of Czestochowa was formed.
In 1893, men of the society sought help from the Burrell Improvement Company, and two lots located on Kenneth Avenue were donated. A small frame church was constructed, facing the alley in order to face Eastward, and St. Adalbert's clergy continued to minister to the needs of the newly formed parish. In November of 1893, the Diocese of Pittsburgh assigned our first resident pastor, Father Henry Cichocki. Our first annual report noted 63 families, 259 parishioners, 29 baptisms, 8 marriages, 3 deaths and 30 children receiving faith instruction.
The parish continued to grow, and in three years, an addition to the church structure was built with basement classrooms for a school. Over the years, additional lots were purchased under the guidance of the various clergy. Construction of the present church building began in 1911 under the pastorship of Father Francis Pikulski and was completed in 1912 under the pastorship of Father Francis Poszukanis. Once again, four classrooms were furnished in the church basement. The bell from the old church was placed into the South tower of the new church, and a second bell, although from a different foundry, was purchased and mounted in the North tower.
The school was originally staffed by lay teachers, but in 1913 Father Poszukanis petitioned the Felician Sisters of Coraopolis for help to staff the school. A convent was built and a year later, the sisters had full charge of the school. In February of 1914, a fire slightly damaged the new church, but the old church (which had been used as a parish social hall) and the rectory were completely destroyed. As a result of the fire, a new rectory (present-day convent) and a new eight classroom school (the present structure) were built. The school was dedicated in 1922.
In 1927 the parish acquired land for our present cemetery under the leadership of Father Anthony Baron. Father Casimir Orlemanski began the grand task of liquidating the parish debt in 1942 and added an addition to the convent. In 1957 Father Edward Sierocki oversaw the building of the present rectory. In the 1970's, Father Anthony Wozniak undertook the church renovation. In 1986, Father Thaddeus J. Kaczmarek was named pastor as saw us through our centennial year, 1993, during which the organ was expanded, a new sound system purchased, and the interior renovated with new carpeting, pew padding, and paint, while the exterior brick work of the entire campus was repointed. Father Richard P. Karenbauer next served as pastor of St. Mary from 1997 until 2008, and as administrator of St. Mary Church from 2008 - 2010. Under Father Karenbauer's pastorate, the church interior was again repainted and recarpeted, the statues refurbished, the organ facade pipes repainted, and the altars professionally cleaned and regilded. In 2008, diocesan restructuring partnered St. Mary Church with St. Joseph Church (New Kensington), although with the assistance of a parochial vicar shared among other parishes in the region. In October, 2008, Father Alan W. Grote was named part-time parochial vicar. In 2010, a parish son, Father John S. Szczesny, was named our new administrator. In 2013, Father Daniel Ulishney was appointed Parochial Vicar, and, from 2016 until 2018, Father Gregorio de la Cruz Soldevilla served in this capacity.
The parish has seen many changes and challenges. We have survived a dissent which formed St. Peter and Paul Polish National Catholic Church. We ministered to mission parishes in Harwick (Our Lady of Victory) and West Natrona (Our Lady of Perpetual Help). We opened our doors to house the Hungarian Community, St. Elizabeth Parish, who sought to worship in their own native tongue. (The wood-paneled former "school library" was their "church.") We sent our Felician sisters to provide religious instruction for students at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Natrona Heights and the former All Saints Church, East Vandergrift. The last priest to serve as full-time parochial vicar under a parish pastor, Fr. Andrew Kawecki, was transferred in 1990 and not replaced. The parish school closed in 1994, due to insufficient enrollment.