On Laetare Sunday, March 11, 1956, Rt. Father Msgr. Cyril J. Vogel, Chancellor of the Diocese of Greensburg, representing Bishop Lamb, laid the cornerstone of the "new" St. Sebastian Church. The ceremony was attended by over 1,000 priests, nuns, parishioners, guests, and non-parishioners. Father Harkins served as deacon at the services and Father Charles Ribick, pastor of St. Edward in Fayette City, served as sub-deacon. Monsignor Vogel sealed into a cornerstone on the gospel side of the altar a copper receptacle containing a history of the church, names of the members and church groups, medals, papers, and other souvenirs.
Our joy, however, was short-lived when Father Martin died on April 10, 1956 following a siege of pneumonia. Although he did not live to see his plans become reality, he was there in spirit as Bishop Lamb permitted his funeral Mass to be the first offered in the new church.
St. Sebastian was without a pastor for two months following Father Martin's death. Father Henry Murphy, appointed a second assistant here on September 24, 1954, was named acting pastor by the Bishop and handled the pressing spiritual and temporal needs of the parish aided by Father Thomas McDonald, first resident assistant. Father Henry F. Hanse of St. Mary Church in Freeport was named the sixth pastor of our church and arrived on July 5, 1956. Father David Fisher arrived with Father Hanse as a new assistant replacing Father McDonald who was named pastor of St. Mary Church in Parker. Father Murphy was retained at the church by Bishop Lamb.
The parishioners were immediately informed by Father Hanse that he intended to carry out the plans for the new church and school which Father Martin had envisioned prior to his death. Sunday Mass was said for the first time in the new church on July 15, 1956. Sunday Masses were continued in the new edifice while weekday Masses were offered in the old church, as were the other services except on Holy Days of Obligation when Masses were also said at the new church. The new church was solemnly dedicated by Bishop Lamb on December 9, 1956. In subsequent years, the original pipe organ was dedicated, and a carillon, air conditioning, and stained glass windows were installed. The school opened for the first time on September 11, 1957 with 67 students, and in 1960, a house was purchased on Broad Avenue to serve as the Convent.
The parish continues to grow, now numbering over 1650 households and families. Currently over 250 students from Saint Sebastian and neighboring parishes are enrolled in the school. The former rectory now serves as the Parish Center, providing office space for the staff and meeting rooms for various parish organizations and groups.
The ministries, activities, and programs have increased over the years to meet the needs of the parishioners and the members of the local community. In 2001, a Capital Campaign raised over $1,000,000 for renovation of existing parish facilities to ensure that the people, who are Saint Sebastian Church, may continue the ministry and mission of Jesus Christ today and into the future.