Keeping A Memory Alive In Shenandoah

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SHENANDOAH -- A massive church in Shenandoah was torn down 3 years ago on orders from the Diocese of Allentown saying it was unsafe.
Some members of the house of worship are keeping the memory of the historic church alive in a special way.

As you travel into Shenandoah on Route 924, you may spot a billboard. It reads remember Saint George Church.

Saint George was a Catholic church which stood more than 100 years. It was torn down because Diocese of Allentown officials said it was unsafe. Jim Setcavage and others said they never believed the house of worship was a hazard.

"We had a Saint George Heritage Group which tried to save Saint George for many years and now we`re in a position to try and preserve the memory. It's the home of the first Lithuanian parish in the United States."

Several church members including Charles Vascavage paid for renting space on the billboard.

"I'm assuming when my grandparents came over from Lithuania helped in the building of the church, it was my idea to put the billboard on the highway. As long as I'm alive I will work to keep the church in people's minds" Vascavage said.

Bruce Popalis said seeing the billboard makes the loss of the church easier to bear.

"At least it`s something forward to as I used to drive into town and always looked forward to seeing the twin towers on the church. The picture on the billboard is a memory of that ."

A fence surrounds the property where the church once stood. There has been a website created in memory of the house of worship.

Video from one of the final masses at St. George Lithuanian Church:

Video from the tearing down of St. George Lithuanian Church: