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Welcome to the St. Bartholomew Parish Web Site

​St. Bartholomew Church is located in Crabtree, Pennsylvania, along State Route 119, between New Alexandria and Greensburg. We are situated in the northwestern section of Unity Township, and we extend into Hemphield and Salem townships, as well.

Although the first Mass was celebrated in a 54-by-24 foot storeroom located at the present site of the Crabtree Shopping Center in 1889, our three weekend Masses are presently celebrated in our renovated church that seats 250.

St. Bartholomew Church is a parish of the Diocese of Greensburg, but it has been and continues to be staffed by the Benedictines from St. Vincent Archabbey located in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

We are an active Fath Community of 500 registered households, and we strive to deepen the faith and to broaden the vision of church for all parishioners. Since Christ, present in the celebration of the word and sacrament, is the source and summit of our faith, our celebration of the liturgy is the life blood of our parish.

As pastor, I take this opportunity to invite all to explore our Web site, to see how we live our faith in service to the community, and to visit us when traveling through our area.

Father Justin Matro, O.S.B.

Our Mission

Gathered by our baptism into new life in God, the community of St. Bartholomew lives and shares the good news of Jesus Christ through individual conversion(re)evangelization, and faith formation. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we wish to build a loving faith community through worship and service.

Parish History

In 1903, St. Bartholomew Church was dedicated on property donated by Jamison Coal and Coke Company. in 1908, fifteen acres of ground were donated by the same company for the cemetery.

In 1911, the first Crabtree Mount Carmel festival was celebrated.

A new school was erected in 1920, and the building was demolished in 1982.

Benedictine Father Method Mraz saw a need for a recreation hall in the area, and was instrumental in building Marian Hall. The hall was dedicated in 1954.

In the early years, coal shaped the economic texture of the area. Collection baskets have always contained the hard-earned wages of the miners and other industry workers of the area. The foundation of St. Bartholomew Parish is rooted in the mine dust and is cemented with the musical immigrant dialects; the soft sing-song whisper of babushkaed Slovak and Polish women telling the beads, the waif-like trace of an Irish lilt, and the warmth of an Italian “Buon Giorno” can never be forgotten. The years have brought changes, but the echoes of those who were first are forever heard. As the past 100 plus years unfolded, know that they represent the legacy of dedicated hearts and minds and hands.

Former Pastors

​The following is a list of pastors that have served our parish community from its establishment:

Father Fidelis Busam, O.S.B.​1889-92
​Father Patrick Killoran, O.S.B.​1892-99
Father ​Augustine Minkel, O.S.B.​1899-1909
Father ​Sigismund Szydlowski, O.S.B.​1909-13
​Father Robert Wepfer, O.S.B.​1913-18
Father Method Shestic, O.S.B.​1918-28
​Father Basil Balko, O.S.B.​1928-31
​Father Wendelin Gallovich, O.S.B.​1931-34
​Father Philip Geeck, O.S.B.​1934-41
​Father Method Mraz, O.S.B.​1941-55
​Father Aquinas Brinker, O.S.B.​1955-61
​Father Richard Gick, O.S.B.​1962-64
​Father Anselm Ober, O.S.B.​1964-67
​Father Lydon Lee, O.S.B.​1967-70
​Father Kieran Rodgers, O.S.B.​1970-81
​Father Aloysius Carasella, O.S.B.​1981-91
​Father Anthony St. Pierre, O.S.B.​1991-91
​Father Bede S. Peay, O.S.B.​1991-92
​Father Stanley Markiewicz, O.S.B.​1992-94
​Father Augustine Flood, O.S.B.​1994-2000
​Father Luke Policicchio, O.S.B.​2000-03
​Father Richard Ulam, O.S.B.​2003-08
​Father Leon Hont, O.S.B.​2008-2011
​Father Justin Matro, O.S.B.​2012-Present

Former Assistants

​​The following is a list of assistants that have served our parish community from its establishment:

Father Clarence Kaiser, O.S.B.​1906-08
​Father Sigismund Szydlowski, O.S.B.​1908-09
​Father Method Shestic, O.S.B.​1909-10
​Father R. Zupan, O.S.B.​1909-10
​Father Robert Wepfer, O.S.B.1911-13
​Father Sylvester Schwab, O.S.B.1913-14
​Father Joseph Herdegen, O.S.B.​1914-15
​Father Celestine Huber, O.S.B.​1915-16
​Father Philip Geeck, O.S.B.​1916-17 and 1922-27
​Father Cuthbert Gallik, O.S.B.​1917-21
​Father Alphonse Farley, O.S.B.1922-22
​Father Michael Hlavcak, O.S.B.1927-32
​Father Bernard Brinker, O.S.B.1933-34
​Father John Nepomoene Hruza, O.S.B.​1934-43
​Father Jordan Burick, O.S.B.​1944-48
​Father Kieran Rodgers, O.S.B.​1948-53
​Father Damian Abbaticchio, O.S.B.​1953-55
​Father Paul Ovecka, O.S.B.​1955-57
​Father Alexis Horvath, O.S.B.​1957-59
​Father Simon Toth, O.S.B.​1959-62
​Father Gabriel Briestensky, O.S.B.​1962-63
​Father Clarence Karawsky, O.S.B.​1981-82
​Father Boniface Buerkle, O.S.B.​1982-83
​Father Thomas Acklin, O.S.B.​1988-94