Friday, April 29, 2011

Tidbit: St. Joseph (Scranton, PA)

The dedication of the people of St. Joseph's to their Lithuanian heritage was emphasized with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989. Suddenly released from behind the Iron Curtain, the people of Lithuania needed help re-establishing an independent nation.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tidbit: Holy Family (Scranton, PA)

At Holy Family's 1991 centennial, Monsignor Siconolfi said, "The founding members were all Slovaks who came mostly from Scranton's South Side and Pine Brook area."

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tidbit: St. John the Evangelist (Scranton, PA)

Bishop Timlin said at St. John the Evangelist's final Mass, "I loved St. John's. We thank God for all the glorious memories we have of this parish."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The 10 Churches

St. Mary of the Assumption
Scranton, Pennsylvania

St. Mary of the Assumption presents its rear façade and prominent central tower above a massive stone –ashlar retaining wall along the street. The finely crafted brick with limestone trim Romanesque Revival-style structure culminates in a stepped, Gothic spired bell tower. A central statue of the Blessed Mother occupies a shallow limestone apse above a limestone water table several feet above the main floor line. Windows are round-topped in form; at the street façade, they are paired in recessed limestone blind arches.

St. John the Evangelist
Scranton, Pennsylvania

St. John the Evangelist has served as a major South Scranton landmark since the late Nineteenth Century. Late Medieval English in its architectural inspiration, the imposing cruciform brick and limestone structure presents a single, square bell tower as the central feature of its massive façade. At the top, open through four pairs of low-Gothic arches, the turret-cornered belfry can be seen for miles across the cityscape. Below, a three-bay window atop a limestone backdrop intended for sculpture extends the framing for the central doorway. The three front entries are reached by an elevated brick podium that stretches along Pittston Avenue. Historically, these doors were accessed through individual cascades of stone stairs. The lower tower and nave walls are braced by brick and stone battered buttresses; side projections feature crenellated parapet walls. A continuous clerestory attenuates the volume of the nave. Enormous Gothic-arched windows accentuate the transept facades. This structure inspires religious sentiment in the traditional manner.

Holy Family
Scranton, Pennsylvania

A particularly decorated and expressive Romanesque Revival-style church, Holy Family remains a significant central Scranton landmark. Tightly built to the street edge, as many of these churches were, the front façade features a substantial, projecting central bell tower with a distinguished verdigris copper pulled dome cap. Quite visible from numerous vantage points, the tower gives the church geographical prominence within the city. A singular ocular window marks the tower’s façade. Below, three front doors share a monumental cascade of steps to the street. Stair towers flanking the narthex are flat roofed with brick and limestone paneled parapet walls, giving the structure the broad-shouldered effect of wearing epaulettes. All nave windows are round topped and the implied transept windows are of considerable size. The brick side walls feature brick pilasters and a corbelled entablature below the roof edge.

St. Joseph
Scranton, Pennsylvania

St. Joseph’s Church occupies a prominent North Scranton corner immediately adjacent to the historic North Scranton Junior High School building. Elevated above N. Main Avenue on a stone foundation, the brick nave exhibits elements of the Colonial Revival Style. The entry doors are reached via a symmetrical switchback monumental stone staircase. The original cupola has been replaced.

Immaculate Conception
Taylor, Pennsylvania

Immaculate Conception Church, a wood-framed Country-Gothic style structure, rests on an elevated stone foundation wall. The exterior has received aluminum siding. Windows terminate in Gothic-arch forms and the nave sidewalls express a series of structural buttresses. A modest gable-roofed bell tower caps the front end of the gable-roofed nave. Below at the façade, a raised gable-roofed porch shelters the central pair of entry doors.

St. John the Baptist
Taylor, Pennsylvania

St. John the Baptist presents as a low, square volume dominated by a double-pitched hip roof with a tapered central lantern. The broad overhangs and flared roof line depict a strong Asian or Polynesian influence. The lowered brick sidewalls topped by ribbon windows below the cornice belie the structure’s newer construction. The building’s pinkish brick and strongly abstracted art windows reinforce the contemporary style.

St. Mary of Czestochowa
Scranton, Pennsylvania

St. Mary of Czestochowa, a substantial, symmetrical brick and stone structure, features twin towers. The structure exemplifies the early 20th century Romanesque Revival style. Windows and doors are simple round-top shapes. Access to the elevated, gable-roofed nave is through three pairs of doors reached by an exterior brick podium with monumental stairs. Steeply-pitched and chamfered hip roofs cap the towers. A statue of the Blessed Mother, as St. Mary of Czestochowa, projects at the choir-loft level of the façade to create a central focal point.

Sacred Heart of Jesus
Mayfield, Pennsylvania

St. Michael
Old Forge, Pennsylvania

St. Michael’s Church a simple, wood-frame Country Gothic-style structure, occupies a corner site, and has been clad in aluminum siding. Nave windows are Gothic-arched in form and a four-sided, stepped tower with an octagonal spire dominates the front façade. A later-addition sloping roof covers the cascading exterior front staircase. A glass enclosure shelters the rear side entry. The entire structure is white.

St. Anthony of Padua
Scranton, Pennsylvania

The modest, but substantial, St. Anthony of Padua Church presents an asymmetrical façade marked by two square corner towers of unequal height. The brick and stone structure provides yet another example of the popular Romanesque Revival style. Common features of these revival buildings are round arches, semi-circular arched windows and brick or stone belt courses to accentuate exterior walls. The style was widely used for church buildings during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

**Text by: Richard J. Leonori, AIA, Lackawanna Historical Society trustee

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

We hope everyone had a blessed Easter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tidbit: St. Mary of the Assumption (Scranton, PA)

At the closing Mass of St. Mary of the Assumption in Scranton, PA, Ida Kalinich, one of the oldest parishioners, locked the church doors.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tidbit: St. Anthony of Padua (Scranton, PA)

Anthony of Padua was a Franciscan friar renowned as both a preacher and miracle worker. On one occasion, the appearance of an apparition scared a young novice into returning Anthony's book of psalms that he had borrowed without asking. Since then, Anthony has held a place in the Catholic canon as the finder of lost articles.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tidbit: St. Michael (Old Forge, PA)

St. Michael (Old Forge, PA): Father Brozena hosted successful ham dinners, where "parishioners, as well as visitors, came to taste the best ham, cabbage, mashed potatoes, green beans and applesauce."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tidbit: Sacred Heart of Jesus (Mayfield, PA)

Sacred Heart of Jesus (Jermyn, PA): Initially, the Italians were not considered parishioners, but they were welcomed in 1913 by Father Wilczkiewicz. He spoke conversational Latin, close enough to their native language that the Italian immigrants felt comfortable in the parish.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tidbit: St. Mary of Czestochowa (Scranton, PA)

St. Mary of Czestochowa in Scranton, PA was named after the Marian icon, a painting of Mary holding the Christ Child, was brought to Poland in 1382.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tidbit: St. John the Baptist (Taylor, PA)

Father Stas was also the editor of "Jednota," a Polish-language newspaper. He remained at St. John the Baptist in Taylor, PA until his death in May 1917.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tidbit: Immaculate Conception (Taylor, PA)

At Immaculate Conception in Taylor, PA, all the little girls wanted to be the May Queen, but were afraid to climb up the ladder. Consequently, whoever was chosen had to be talked into it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tidbit: St. Joseph (Scranton, PA)

St. Joseph's in Scranton, PA was completed in 1897, but the parishioners waited to have their new church consecrated until the Polish National schism had quieted.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tidbit: Holy Family (Scranton, PA)

Priests from the Cathedral said Mass at Holy Family in Scranton, PA until a resident pastor, Father Andrew Pavco, was assigned on April 16, 1897. He was dedicated to education, and he worked to keep Slovak tradition alive.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tidbit: St. John the Evangelist (Scranton, PA)

The name of St. John the Evangelist church in Scranton, PA was chosen by Bishop O'Hara, in honor of the "beloved disciple" of Jesus who stood by at the crucifixion.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Your thoughts and memories

Is one of the 10 churches featured in Framing Faith your former parish? Please share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tidbit: St. Mary of the Assumption (Scranton, PA)

St. Mary of the Assumption church grew out of the South Scranton parish of St. Bonaventure, the first church in Scranton.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tidbit: St. Anthony of Padua (Scranton, PA)

The residents of Bull's Head felt that a neighborhood church (St. Anthony of Padua in Scranton, PA) would deter violent criminal action.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Tidbit: St. Michael (Old Forge, PA)

Aid societies were originally formed to assist coal miners and their families if the men were injured or killed in the mines, and in 1901 they advanced the money the fledgling congregation needed to purchase land for St. Michael's Church in Old Forge, PA.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Tidbit: Sacred Heart of Jesus (Mayfield, PA)

For Sacred Heart of Jesus in Mayfield, PA - most parishioners were from the eastern provinces of Poland, but unlike other ethnic parishes, the church included families of different ethnicities.