Church Front Entrance: 5519 Sixth Avenue, Altoona, PA 16602
Parish Office: 5514 Roselawn Avenue, Altoona, PA 16602
Parish Office Call: 1-814-944-8509
Holy Spirit watching over Saint Rose of Lima Parish

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Mission Statement

We, the parish family of Saint Rose of Lima, are a diverse Catholic Christian community established in 1924, in the Eldorado area of Altoona.

Blessed with the gifts of faith, hope and love, we are called to share the life of Christ and continue His ministry, as we reach out to our community and the world.

We strive to be true to gospel values and faithful to the inspiration of our patroness.

As concerned individuals and caring families united in this Household of God, we are impelled to use our gifts and talents, to foster growth, a sense of belonging and collaborative spirit as we seek to bring about the Kingdom of God.

Core Values

  1. We manifest our love of God by:
    1. Active participation in the sacraments, regular worship, sponsoring retreats and catechesis;
    2. Loving service to God's people through ministries, recruitment, advertisement (communication,) and participation;
    3. Opportunities for variety in celebrating the Liturgy and the Sacraments including ecumenical services and projects.
  2. We care for our community by:
    1. Perpetuation of a sense of community through social events, home visits, and participation in the ministries;
    2. Respecting each other by valuing diversity;
    3. Respecting each other through valuing others' time, needs, and hopes.
  3. We educate our community by:
    1. Living the Ten Commandments and Beatitudes;
    2. Living the spirit of the Scriptures;
    3. Educating our children and adults by: Religious Education, Parochial school, Christian Initiation of Adults and of Children, Adult Faith Formation, Bible Study, Disciples on Mission, Liturgy Planning, and Sacramental Preparation Classes.

Parish Registration

Thinking of becoming a parishioner at Saint Rose of Lima? If you wish to participate fully in our parish life, we will welcome you! Please, register in the rectory office, Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM or contact us with our online form.

To volunteer for parish ministries or to discuss how Saint Rose may be present to your faith journey, kindly schedule a meeting with our pastor or contact us with our online form.

Our Patroness

Saint Rose of Lima holding a cross Rose's life was hidden and tormented but, docile to the Holy Spirit, she attained the loftiest peaks of holiness. The message she continues to communicate to the devout who call on her as their Patronness, not only in Peru and the Latin American Continent but also throughout the world, is clearly expressed in one of the mysterious messages she received from the Lord.

"Let all men know", Jesus entrusted to her, "that grace comes after tribulation. Let them know that without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. Let them know that the gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase. Let men take care not to stray or to be deceived. This is the only true ladder to paradise, and without the cross, there is no other way in which to ascend to heaven".

These words prompt one to think of the demanding conditions which Jesus imposed on his disciples.

"If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.... For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life" (Mt 16:24, 26).

Therein, precisely, lies the paradox of the Gospel, the true wisdom of the Cross, the scandal of the Cross.

"The word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (I Cor 1:18). May St. Rose help us to embrace the cross confidently as she did, even when it brings suffering and what seem to be apparent lack of successes.  Taken from EWTN.


It's been a journey of faith, as we prepare to celebrate 100 years as a parish community. Our Saint Rose of Lima parish family has grown from a few dozen members in 1924, to several hundred families today.

Our Journey of Faith began in early 1920's. The Eldorado section of Altoona was growing, and Catholic residents yearned for a neighborhood church of their own. In the first months of 1924, Bishop John McCort purchased a building lot on the corner of 56th Street and Roselawn Avenue. Interested area residents were invited to a planning session at the home of Clarence and Pauline Lockard, who lived at 5506 4th Avenue. They met with Father John McAllister, who was Secretary to the Bishop. All were in agreement to move forward with planning the new parish, to include building a chapel of worship.

The small chapel arrived at Roselawn Avenue in segments, and was erected with volunteer labor. The first Mass for this new parish was offered by Bishop McCort on Sunday, August 17, 1924. Father McAllister, who had shepherded this project from the planning stages through construction, was fittingly appointed to serve as the first pastor. Perhaps more significantly, Saint Rose of Lima was selected as the patron saint and parish namesake, because she was the first canonized saint in the Americas. The church was located on Roselawn Avenue, therefore the new name seemed a natural choice.

A decade later, the parish family had outgrown the small church, and Father McAllister purchased a convent down the street, that had formerly housed the order of Discalced Carmelite nuns. The convent's chapel was expanded and renovated to serve Saint Rose of Lima's growing congregation.

In 1955, a parish dream inched closer to reality, with the launch of a major fund drive to build a new, much larger church and elementary school to educate the children of Saint Rose. Our current church was dedicated on December 4, 1958. Saint Rose of Lima Catholic School opened its doors in September of the following year, staffed by the Sisters of Divine Providence.

In the remaining forty years, the parish family had swelled to more than one thousand families, and the school census had reached its full complement. The elementary school served children through the eighth grade, and had added kindergarten and pre-kindergarten programs. A building program in 1977 added a new rectory to Saint Rose, and additional school facilities to include a library, administrative offices, and more classrooms. In 2001 a new wing was added to the school building, adding an additional four classrooms. With this addition, the outdoor devotional setting was moved to the front of the church, and is a place for quiet meditation and prayer. In the fall of 2023 the former school library was converted to a community room for the parish.

The Saint Rose of Lima campus has grown with the acquisition of a private home on Roselawn Avenue, to become Saint Martin's House, the new parish center for meetings and adult education activities. Other properties purchased adjacent to the church ground has created space for a new basketball court, playground, and more parking.

In 2003 Saint Martin's House was sold and moved when The Maria Parish Center was erected on the corner of 56th and Roselawn Avenue. This new building serves both the parish and the school as a reception hall and gymnasium.

Around 2010 Saint Rose of Lima purchased the home between our parking lots on Sixth Avenue. It was rented out for a few years before it was sold and moved off of the property in the fall of 2015.

Mostly taken from: "St. Rose of Lima 75th Anniversary: The Journey of Faith Continues"

Saint Rose of Lima school graduated its last eight grade class on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Saint Rose of Lima school joined with other schools and parishes in the area to form Holy Trinity Catholic School. The Saint Rose of Lima school building became, and continues to be today, the Middle School site, with the first day of school held on August 29, 2016.

Saint Rose of Lima church interior has seen several renovations, beginning with the sanctuary area, carpeting in the pew area, followed by replacement of the cushioning and upholstery for the pews and kneelers. After many months of reviewing bids and selections, work began in mid-May 2022 and was completed the week of September 11, 2022. Additionally, the sanctuary was renewed with wall three canvas wall panels from New Guild Studios, with the work completed by Christmas 2023. The lettering around the center canvas, the cross, is defined by New Guld Studios thusly: "This insignia is used in a lot of early Christian, Romanesque sacred artwork. It comes from the Greek phrase “IHCOYC XRICTOC NIKA”. The Christogram for it, in Slavonic lettering, is “IC XC NIKA”, which means, —Jesus Christ is Victorious (or Conquers).— Traditionally, the NI and KA are split to create the balanced lettering in the design."


Here I am, Lord!

What is ... a Ministry?

Ministry, simply put, is serving God's will. There are Ordained Ministers and Lay Ministers; both sharing and expressing God's love for us by reaching out to those in need, be it by celebrating together at Mass, serving the needs of our Parish, or going a step further outside of our Parish to touch the lives of others.

God has blessed each and every one of us with special talents. It is up to us to identify and develop these talents and then to use them in God's stead. When we use these talents for the benefit of others, with God as our focus, we become ministers and what we do becomes our mission in life; hence, a ministry is born, forming a glorious trinity.

Each is served in unique ways; God, by spreading His good Word to others and using the blessings He bestowed upon us; the minister, by utilizing our God given talents to reach out and touch the lives others, making their life, hence ours, a little bit brighter; and the ministry, those whom receive the benefit of our presence in their life, in body or in spirit, in dollar or in deed, are renewed in their faith with God and with the world.

Saint Rose of Lima has many ministries and affiliations, including, but not limited to:

  • Altar and Rosary Society
  • Altar Servers
  • Cantors
  • Catholic Daughters of the Americas (Serving all 11 local Altoona parishes.)
  • Choir: Adult and Children
  • Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
  • Gift Bearers
  • Lectors
  • Parish Library
  • Prayer Chain
  • Pre Baptism Team
  • Pre Cana
  • Pro Life
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society
  • Ushers
  • Vacation Bible School
  • Walk of Faith
  • Website

If you would like to participate in any of the ministries above, or if you have an idea for a ministry, please contact us.

Local Community Links

National Community Links


Here at Saint Rose of Lima, we have several councils: parish, finance, and liturgical. If you would like to participate in any council or if you would like to bring a topic of interest to any of our councils, please contact us.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?" "Here I am," I said; "send me!"
Isaiah 6:8
A Gold Dove ~ The Holy Spirit bids you a great day!

Thank you for visiting!
In peace and unity with Christ and one another ...
we hope you have a wonderful day!

Development Began (parish and school): Monday, January 6, 2003
Go Live Date (parish and school): Sunday, March 7, 2004
Latest Website Redesign (parish): March 16, 2024