A BRIEF HISTORY OF ST. ALPHONSUS CHURCH
St. Alphonsus Church was founded by the Redemptorists and named after their founder, St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori. The original church was constructed in 1856; in Romanesque style, and seated 700. The present bell tower was added in 1871. It contains 3 bells. Two are from the Niles Works and one from the Vanduzen & Tift Co. both of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Parish was staffed by the Redemptorists and then German Diocesan Priests until 1884 when the Capuchin Friars of St. Francis assume its leadership. Soon after, in 1886 it was discovered that the north wall of the church was leaning towards the school building. The decision was made to tear down the original church, save the bell tower and build the present church around it. Then the bell tower’s gothic steeple was increased to the height of 196 feet. It was replaced by the present dome steeple in 1921.
The present building is 120 feet long and 78 feet wide. The ceiling is 33 feet at the side arches and 48 feet at its highest point. The oak pews were bought in 1887 from Mr. Donnels, of Pittsburgh, PA. Three Capuchin Brothers carved the confessionals in 1887; the main altar in 1888; and the side altars in 1890, all out of oak. They remained unpainted and heavily gilded until the 1905 renovation of the church.