This web site is dedicated to all parishoners, past and present; alumni of Holy Ghost School; and especially all of the priests and nuns who have faithfully served Holy Ghost Parish.
The purpose of this web site is to serve as a tool in preserving the rich history of Holy Ghost Church and School. If you have any historical information, pictures, or personal stories that would be appropriate for posting, please email me.
This site is also intended as a tool to reunite those who attended Holy Ghost School. Reunion announcements or messages to former classmates should be entered in the Guest Book.
Additional information will be added to this web site as it becomes available.
This is not an "official" web site of Holy Ghost Church.
Last Updated on: 12/1/2012
Holy Ghost Church is a German ethnic parish. A German-speaking Catholic congregation was first formed in 1854 on Bethlehem's North Side. Services were held only once a month, but as the number of parishoners grew, Father John Joseph Albert was assigned to the parish in October, 1871. On this date the parish was officially established. By 1875 the rented space became too small and a formal church was constructed. In 1885, to meet the needs of the growing parish, permission was granted to build another church in South Bethlehem, where the majority of the new immigrants resided. On March 18, 1888, the new church of St. Bernard was dedicated. Mass was then offered on both the North and South Sides of Bethlehem. The original building constructed on the South Side, now known as the "Casino", is still in use today. It also housed the first Catholic School in the City of Bethlehem until 1900, when a seperate school building was completed.
Ground was broken for the present church on June 21, 1895. Faith was placed in the Holy Ghost, to Whom the new church was dedicated. The first stones were laid on July 18, 1895 under the direction of Benedict Birkel. The original church was a one story structure which now serves as the parish social hall. The upper church was completed and dedicated on September 25, 1910.
The magnificent stained glass windows and murals were completed and installed in 1918 and 1919. The entire church construction was initiated and completed under the dynamic leadership of Father Aloysius Fretz, who served as pastor from June 4, 1891 until his retirement on June 8, 1931.
In 1988 Holy Ghost Church celebrated its 100th Anniversary as a parish at its present location. It is a parish proud of its ethnic heritage and one that opens its doors and hearts to anyone wishing to join its community of faith.
Holy Ghost Cemetery - This site contains links that will take you to pages containing transcriptions from tombstones in the Holy Ghost Cemetery. An excellent site if you are searching for the names of relatives or friends buried there.