Immaculate Conception Parish, a large Catholic community established in 1855 and centered in Washington, Pennsylvania, strives to serve God's people with the warmth of a small parish.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, we prayerfully seek through the Holy Eucharist to serve Jesus Christ by the way we worship, celebrate the sacraments, witness to the Gospel, lead lives of prayer, and serve one another.
Through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Patroness, we are committed to live our faith as a community of hospitality, spiritual enrichment, outreach, and evangelization for the Church Alive.
Immaculate Conception will be a parish of loyalty, love, faith and noble spirit because we strive to be filled with these qualities.
On December 8, 1854, the Dogma of the Blessed Mother was defined by Pope Pius IX. The following year, on August 16, 1855, the first Immaculate Conception Church of Washington, PA was dedicated.
The roots of Immaculate Conception parish go back to St. James Church in West Alexander, Pa, between 1795 and 1800. Priests from Brownsville, PA came by horseback to tend to the needs of the faithful. of West Alexander, Claysville and Washington. The first resident pastor, Rev. Daniel Hickey, who resided in West Alexander, PA, was appointed in 1852. In 1852, the first Immaculate Conception Church was built in Washington, PA on the corner of Lincoln and East Wheeling streets. In 1874, a brick building was purchased in the nearby town of Claysville, PA. Sacred Heart Church began there in 1875 and remains in use today, serving the parishioners who live in nearby Claysville.
In 1900, construction began on a parochial grade and high school at the corners of North Franklin and West Chestnut Streets. The school opened in September of 1901. It was considered one of the most modern and best-equipped school buildings in the diocese and served the parish and surrounding area for the next sixty-three years. The Sisters of Mercy of Pittsburgh lived in a convent built next to the school, staffed the school.
One of the problems facing Rev. Martin J. Hughes, who became pastor in December of 1911, was the lack of centralization of the church, rectory, school and convent. In 1915, he purchased additional property on West Chestnut Street next to the school. Plans for a new church were made, and construction began in 1929. The new Immaculate Conception Church was blessed and dedicated on September 1, 1930. Rev. Hughes was instrumental in building the church, and remained here as pastor for 42 years, from 1911 to 1953. The parish mourned his death in June, 1956. He was buried next to the Chapel at I.C. Cemetery (Locust St.).
The church is of Gothic design. The walls are of masonry, with exterior faced with limestone. The altars are of Italian marble. The original plans were for a mural or mosaic on the wall behind the main altar. Due to the depression of the 1930s, plus the large debt placed on the parish for construction of the church, this was not completed. The stained glass windows were added in 1958-1959. Rev. Ralph L. Hayes, pastor of this time, chose the basic theme, “The Immaculate Conception in Scripture, Tradition and History,” for the windows. The church is believed to be the first church in this country to bear the name “Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” after the promulgation of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.
Sacred Heart Church, a brick building, was built in 1874 the nearby town of Claysville, PA. This church remains in use today, serving the parishioners who live in nearby Claysville.
Immaculate Conception Church
119 West Chestnut Street
Washington, PA 15301
Immaculate Conception Weekend Service Times
Saturday Vigil: 5:00pm
Sunday: 8:00am, 10:30am, 12:15pm
Sacred Heart Church
Main Street, Claysville, PA 15323
Sacred Heart Weekend Service Times