The Basilica Of Saint Michael The Archangel321 Saint Mary St, Loretto, PA 15940
(814) 472-8551 Additional Contacts
St. Michael: the name father gallitzin gave his parish church in honor of st. Michael the archangel, and in remembrance of michael mcguire, the first settler here in 1788. The 4 churches: 1799 the 1st church, built of white pine logs. 1817 the 2nd church, of frame construction. The 1st and 2nd churches sat in the same location at the western terminus of the graveyard, as seen by the stone foundation outline remaining from the frame church. 1854 the 3rd church was built of brick. 1901 the 4th church, of stone, shared the present location with the 3rd church.Construction: begun on january 10, 1900 and occupancy was granted october, 1901. Consecration: of the church took place on october 2, 1901. There are twelve crosses to mark the 12 places where the walls were anointed with holy chrism. The crosses are a memorial and testimony to its consecration. There were also 12 candle sconces placed below each consecrated cross. Mr. And mrs. Charles m. Schwab: assumed the entire cost of this church $150,000.00. It was a gift to the peoples of st. Michael parish and the town of loretto where mr. Schwab spent the majority of his youth. He was at this time president of the united states steel corporation. The architectural style: of the basilica is romanesque (rounded arches) with gothic features (pointed arches) and is built in the shape of a latin cross or cruciform.the foundation: stone was locally quarried and is approximately 2 feet x 6 inches thick.the outside walls: are made of ohio cut sandstone built around a brick casing totaling a width of approximately 2 feet. The roof: is curved akron red tile.the tower: is 32 feet square surmounted by an arcaded belfry and topped with a bronze cross.the bells: numbering 3, were donated to the church in honor of mr. And mrs. Charles schwab, mr. And mrs. John schwab, and father ferdinand kittell, the pastor at the time the church was built.the four altars: are made of italian cararra marble of gothic design and were imported from italy. The statue of mary is a gift from mrs. Charles schwab and the statue of st. Joseph is a gift from mrs. Pauline schwab. The candelabra are of solid brass in a gothic design. The art glass windows depict the scenes of the annunciation, the visitation, the child jesus in the temple, the holy family, and the lord appearing to st. Margaret mary. St michael is located in the winter chapel.the communion railing: is polished mexican onyx, supported by brass pilasters, capitals and panels of gothic design. It was 70 feet in length. The organ in the choir loft: was a gift from andrew carnegie at a cost of $8,000.00. It was the only part of the church not paid for by schwab.the wainscoating: is quartered red oak with a rounded arch design.the pews: are quartered red oak. There were originally 146 of them with a seating capacity of 1,100.00 people.the stations of the cross: are 4 figured in full relief. All were imported from italy.the 3 paintings: over the main altar are the works of an artist from chicago and depict the ascension, the flight into egypt, and the nativity.the sacristies: are inter-connected by protected walkways and lead through a cloister to the pastoral residence.renovations: were undertaken twice, first in 1959 and again in 1993-94.