Andrew Arnold Lambing

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ANDREW ARNOLD LAMBING, A.M., LL. D., pastor of St. James ' Roman Catholic Church, Wilkinsburg, near Pittsburgh, Pa., was born in Manorville, Armstrong Co., Pa., Feb. 1, 1842. He is the son of Michael Anthony and Anne (Shields) Lambing, the family being of German extraction on the father's side , and Irish on the side of the mother.

Christopher Lambing emigrated from Alsace, Germany, and landed at Philadelphia, from the ship "Edinburgh," James Russell master, Sept. 15, 1749. After spending some time in the eastern part of Pennsylvania, he settled in Bucks county, four miles west of the Delaware river and sixteen miles south of Easton, Pa., the spot being called Nockamixon, an Indian word meaning "Where there are three cabins." Here Christopher married Anne Mary Wanner, his second wife. He died in 1817 at the advanced age of ninety-one years. He had a numerous family, one of the sons, Matthew, being grandfather of Father Lambing.

Matthew Lambing drifted down into Adams county, Pa., where he married Mary Magdalena Kohl, reared a family and then moved to Armstrong county, in September, 1823. He settled finally at Manorville, where he died in 1851. His son, Michael Anthony, married Anne Shields, great-granddaughter of Thomas and Mary (O'Neill) Sheilds, who emigrated to this country from the southern part of Donegal, Ireland, about the year 1745, and settled in Amberson's Valley thirty-five miles north of Chambersburg, Pa. Her father, William C. Sheilds, came to Armstrong county in 1798, and soon after married Mary Magdalene Ruffner, of Westmoreland county.

Of the family of nine children two were priests, one a sister of charity, and three were soldiers in the Civil war.

Andrew arnold Lambing, the third son and child was born in Manorville Feb. 1, 1842, and had but four months of schooling each year, being obliged to work on the farm. in a brickyard and an oil refinery during intervals. After a term in Kittanning Academy and much private reading and study he entered St. Michael's Preparatory and Theological Seminary, at Glenwood, Pittsburgh, Feb. 2, 1863. Here he made a brief course, owing to the the great need for priests at the time, frequently rising at three o'clock in the morning to pursue his studies, and spending four of his vacations at hard work to defray the expenses of his education. He was ordained in the seminary chapel by Bishop Domenac, August 4, 1869, and sent to St. Francis' College, Loretto, Pa., to teach, with the additional obligation of attending the little congregation of St. Joseph's, Williamsburg, Blair county, forty miles distant, one Sunday in the month, and assisting the village pastor on the others.

On Jan. 5, 1870, Father Lambing was appointed pastor of St. Patrick's Church, in the eastern part of Indiana county, where he remained till April of the same year, when he was transferred to St. Mary's Church, Kittanning, with its five monthly out-missions, ranging from two to twenty-two miles distant. Here he made considerable improvement and also built the Church of the Holy Guardian Angels, eight miles across the river in South Buffalo townhip. On Jan. 17, 1873, he was appointed to St. Mary's Church, Freeport, with the additional charge of the congregation at Natrona. In July of the same year he was named chaplain of St. Paul's Orphan Asylum, Pittsburgh, but the advent of the panic prevented any bettering of the financial condition of the institution. He was accordingly made pastor of the Church of Our Lady of Consolation at the Point, in Pittsburgh, where he placed the school in charge of the Sisters of Mercy and remodled a Protestant church, which was later dedicated under the invocation of St. Mary of Mercy. He also built a pastoral residence and was for some years president of the Catholic Institute, the forerunner of the present Duquesne University. In 1885 he was placed in charge of St. James' Church, Wilkinsburg, and has done much for the parish, having erected the present church and school building, which replace those destroyed by fire shortly after his appointment to the charge.

Father Lambing has written innumerable articles for newspapers and magazines on historical and religious subjects, and has been the author of eight works of great value to students of our history. He wrote a considerable part of of the "History of Allegheny County," part of the "Standard History of Pittsburgh," and was the founder of a Catholic historical monthly. He is at present at work on a history of the deceased priests of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, part of which has been published. For a long term of years he was president of the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, is a trustee of the Carnegie Institute and the Carnegie School of Technology, Pittsburgh, was president of the board that prepared the school exhibit for the Columbian Exposition at Chicago, and is present censor of books for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. Notwithstanding these many duties and labors he has never been two Sundays successively absent from his congregations. In 1883 the University of Notre Dame conferred on him the honorary degree of Master of Arts and three years later that of Doctor of Laws.

Source: Pages 413-414 Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 1998 by Rodney G Rosborough, for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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