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Angelo and Minnie Colosi had married at the Immaculate Conception Church in April 1930, but I never knew until now that the church was brand new and possibly not even completed at the time.

The first Immaculate Conception Church was built in Washington, Pennsylvania in 1852 on the corner of Lincoln and East Wheeling streets. Then in 1915, additional property was purchased on West Chestnut Street and plans for a new church were made.

The construction began in 1929, and the new Immaculate Conception Church was dedicated on September 1, 1930. Rev. Hughes, who had been instrumental in building the church, was pastor there for 42 years, from 1911 to 1953 until his death in 1956. His name is listed on Angelo and Minnie’s marriage license so I assume he was the one who performed the ceremony.

The design of the church is Gothic. The walls are of masonry, with exterior faced with limestone. The altars are of Italian marble. The original plans were for a mural or mosaic on the wall behind the main altar, but due to the depression of the 1930s and the large construction debt, it was never completed. The stained glass windows were added in 1958-1959.

The church is believed to be the first church in the United States to bear the name “Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” after the promulgation of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854.

The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was the Colosi and Bongiovanni family church, and many are buried at its cemetery across town to the northeast.  There are still members of the Bongiovanni family attend there as of this writing.

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