St. John of God Parish
1011 CHURCH AVENUE - MCKEES ROCKS, PA 15136
412-771-5646

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HISTORY

St. John of God Parish was established on May 29, 1993 by a merger of the faith communities of Mother of Sorrows, Saint Cyril and Methodius, St. Francis De Sales, St. Maria Goretti, St. Mark, St. Mary Help of Christians and St. Vincent de Paul.

Bishop Donald Wuerl was the chief celebrant at the inaugural Mass on the feast of Pentecost at Sto-Rox High School Athletic Field.

The first Ministry Team consisted of Rev. William R. Terza ad Moderator with Rev. Paul C. Householder and Rev. Lawrence R. Smith.

St. John of God, whose feast day is March 8th, is the patron saint of the sick, the dying and the poor. His motto was "Do Good To Yourself By Doing Good To Others."

PARISH MISSION STATEMENT

We, the parish of St. John of God, responding to our baptismal call, are committed to be a healing and supportive presence for all people who look to the Roman Catholic Church as a source of faith, strength and hope.

Being vitally conscious of our responsibility for living the gospel and spreading the kingdom of God, we seek to be an example of the living Christ for each other as well as the community outside ourselves. We dedicate ourselves to joining together in worship and prayer, living the sacraments, promoting unity, and ministering to the spiritual and material needs of all through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

ST. JOHN OF GOD,
Founder of the Brother Hospitallers (A.D. 1550)
"I know of no bad person in my hospital except myself alone, who am indeed unworthy to eat the bread of the poor."

Born John Ciudad in Monte Mor il Nuovo Portugal on March 8, 1495 and raised in a happy and loving home. But at the age of eight he disappeared from his family and somehow turned up on the other side of Spain as a homeless waif in the kingdom of Castile. John Ciudad, as a youth, was a shepherd in the service of the bailiff of the Count of Oroprusa, in Castile. Whether he was kidnapped or otherwise induced to run away; it seems that the experience implanted in his life an abyss so wide that happiness and contentment remained forever beyond his reach.

In 1522 he enlisted in a company of soldiers raised by the Count, and fought in wars between the Spaniards and French, and later, in Hungary, against the Turks. While a soldier, he gave up the practice of his religion and lived an immoral life. At about the age of 40 he left the military life and returned to Spain, where he became a shepherd. He became remorseful over his sinful life while a soldier and attempted to enter Africa to ransom captives and possibly to become a martyr. Assured by a confessor that his wish for martyrdom was ill founded, he returned to Spain. In 1538, he opened a small shop in Granada, where he sold books and religious pictures. Here, influenced by a sermon of Bl. John of Avila, he became very extreme in his conduct, running about the city praying for mercy. For some months he was committed to a lunatic asylum. Through the counsel of John of Avila, he recovered and devoted himself to the care of the sick and poor.

In Granada he rented a house, which he supported by his own labor and in which he cared for the abandoned sick of the city. He soon attracted others to the work, and his apostolate of the sick won the approval of the archbishop of Granada. John was an able administrator; he operated his hospital in a businesslike way and was consulted on the setting up of homes for the sick in other parts of the country.

He had no thought, it seems, of founding a religious community. His woek drew others into the care of the sick. The bishop, Tuy, who gave him the name John of God, prescribed a habit for him and his companions. A rule, bearing hi sname, was drawn up after he died, and his followers were approved as a religious congregation in 1571 by Pope Pius V. Final approval was given to the order in 1596 by Pope Sixtus V.

John was canonized by Alexander VIII in 1690, although the bull was not issued until the following year, by Innocent XII. In 1886 Leo XIII declared St. John with St. Camillus de Lellis, patron of hospitals and the sick. In 1930 Pius XI declared him patron of nurses. He is also honored by booksellers. Generally, St. John is pictured with the symbol of a pomegranate surmounted by a small cross; the pomegranate stands for the city of Granada and refers to the legendary visitation he received from the Child Jesus, who told him, "Thou wilt find they cross in Granada."