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Saint Hippolyte Church

Frenchtown, PA

St. Hippolyte is the center of Frenchtown, a village named in reference to its early immigrants. The parish was founded in 1834, a few years after missionaries began visiting the village on horseback. The first church was built in 1837, then enlarged and remodeled in 1866. Construction of the present church began in 1886. Parishioners built the church by hand, quarrying the stones for the foundation, cutting native woods for the pillars, pews, the altars and trim. They even built their own brick factory and hand made the exterior bricks. If you visit St. Hippolyte Church you can still see an over 100 year old hand-carved wooden crucifix hanging in the Reconciliation Room.

The church was formally dedicated June 10, 1888, by Bishop Tobias Mullen of Erie. More than 2,500 people attended the dedication and Mass followed by a chicken fricassee dinner. The chicken dinner tradition continues to this day.

In the fall of 1998, a restoration project was undertaken to return the outside of the church to it's original condition and help preserve it for the next 100 years. A major interior renovation project was completed in the summer of 2002. The newly renovated worship space was consecrated by the Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, Bishop of Erie, on September 8, 2002.