91-Year-Old Church Closes in Shenandoah

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Members of the Holy Ghost Polish National Catholic Church headed inside for one last service on Tuesday.

This time it was to say goodbye.

This church is Shenandoah has had hundreds of members over the last 91 years, and some say it's a place that feels like home.

"From the very day that I walked in, I was welcomed. I was treated as a brother, an equal, from the minute I first came here," Lance Nelson of Frackville said.

Members of the church in Shenandoah say over the years they have noticed declining members at their congregation.

Members say they were hoping it would not get to this point.

Leaders of the Polish National Catholic Church deconsecrated the church on Tuesday. It's a service which removes the church's blessings.

"It's just heartbreaking to know that we lost so many parishioners and there is no younger parishioners because there is no work in the area, and they're moving away and people are dying off. We just have to move on," Joseph Petrusky, the church committee chairman said.

Church leaders tell Newswatch 16 the church will now become a new house of worship.

Officials say it will become a Mennonite church.

Members we talked to say even though it's a sad time for them, it's a fresh start for another denomination in Shenandoah.

"I think it's the start of something new. I think everything will work out," Jeannie Tyrrell of Frackville said.

Members tell Newswatch 16 that they will now go to churches in either Frackville or Hazleton.