The chapel had its beginnings in 1970 after
a decree by Bishop Vincent Leonard of the Pittsburgh Diocese
implementing the Novus Ordo Missae caused a handful of
faithful to seek out priests in various locations of the city
of Pittsburgh that continue to offer the Tridentine Mass.
The group originally would meet at the
Hazelwood Legion Hall and then at the Roosevelt Hotel where
Fr. John Keane, who came for a year from Boston to offer Mass
every Sunday evening.
With little money, but much faith, a
committee was formed and thoughts of a permanent church were
pursued. The group found and leased an abandoned Serbian
Orthodox Church at the corner of 21st and Sidney Streets on
the South Side of Pittsburgh. After painting and refurbishing
the church, they were able to move in officially in Fall 1972,
finally purchasing it in 1977.
Following his year of service, Fr. Keane
was replaced by Fr. Lino Bordas who came from New York City
weekly. Then came Fr. Leo Fredericks who took up permanent
residence at the rectory and daily Mass was available, as well
as adult catechism, while a school was started in 1977 and
functioned until 1981. In 1980 Fr. Fredericks died of a
stroke, and Msgr. Kenneth Hodgson agreed to serve the chapel,
which he did until 1991.
During the 1980's Archbishop Lefebvre paid
a visit to administer the sacrament of Confirmation. Following
the departure of Msgr. Hodgson in 1991, the SSPX began sending
priests to offer Mass for the Pittsburgh faithful, resulting
in the chapel coming under auspices of the SSPX.
In December of 1996 the church bought the
present site, the former E.L. Shepherd elementary school in
nearby Carnegie, PA. The first Mass was celebrated in the new
church on Pentecost Sunday in June 1997. Nearly 250
faithful attend Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church from all
over the Pittsburgh metropolitan area.