Saint Michael the Archangel was founded in 1953 to serve young families whose husbands were returning from World War II and others happy that good fortune was providing them an opportunity to purchase a single home they could afford.
Archbishop, soon to be called Cardinal, John F. O’Hara had only recently taken over the reins of the archdiocese and upon his shoulders fell the responsibility for the rapid expansion of Catholic schools, convents, churches, and all of the related infrastructure needed because of the suburban migration taking place at this time.
The first to be called to assist with this task was Monsignor Joseph Collins. On January 21, 1953, Archbishop O’Hara appointed Father Collins to be the founding Pastor and to establish the community of faith to be called ever after, “Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, in Levittown , PA. ”
Father’s immediate problem was to find a suitable place to celebrate Sunday Mass. You see, although Father had purchased the additional land he would be needing, he still had no buildings or Church. The first two Sunday Masses were celebrated at Sacred Heart Chapel in Tullytown. Then arrangements were made to use the Edgely Fire Hall for Sunday Masses. Mass was celebrated in the Edgely Fire Hall until September 1954, when the school auditorium became available. Daily Mass, funerals and Sacraments were administered at St. Mark in Bristol. On September 5, 1954, the first Mass was celebrated in the new school auditorium. It was not until 1955 that the rectory was complete and Father Collins could at last have a Levittown address to call home.
Many of Saint Michael the Archangel parishioners had come from parishes in which their families had lived for years and in which they had very deep roots, roots that went back to when their parents and grandparents came from the “old country”, bringing with them their hopes, a strong religious faith and the desire to help build beautiful churches in which they could worship and from which they received comfort and strength.
On the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel , September 29, 1953, work began on a twelve room school building, which included an auditorium and a cafeteria. The school itself officially opened on September 8, 1954 with an enrollment of approximately 1,200 students. Happily, the population of both Levittown and St. Michael Parish and School were growing with rapid speed, so in January 1955 an eight room addition was begun. And again, in 1959 a sixteen room addition was added to aide in the education of the 2,163 students enrolled.
The Parish family remains an active one. There are many ongoing Ministry groups and Committees that keep the original focus of the Catholic Faith alive.
At the present time, Saint Michael Parish consists of 3,100 families or approximately 9,600 persons. The current Pastor, Reverend Michael C. DiIorio, is committed to keeping the long-standing traditions of Saint Michael the Archangel Parish, while continuing to adapt to the ever changing needs of today’s society.