WILKES-BARRE — Former parishioners of the Blessed Sacrement Catholic Church in Wilkes-Barre held a makeshift memorial before demolition crews move in.
The sounds of a bagpipe echoed through the Miners Mills section of Wilkes-Barre two days after St. Patrick’s Day. But this gathering was not to celebrate a holiday. It was to mark the final chapter of the former Blessed Sacrament Church on East Main Street.
“The pipes mean so much to those of us who are Irish. I just thought it needed a nice Irish funeral, so to speak, a farewell,” explained Jackie Boyle.
Former parishioners gathered on the front steps of the church to take pictures and share memories.
Blessed Sacrament closed in 2010 as part of parish consolidation through the Diocese of Scranton.
“I love this church,” said Francis Herbert. “I worked for Father and everything, helped take care of it, cut the grass in the back of the church.”
Demolition crews are expected to start tearing down the former Blessed Sacrament church later this week. People who live nearby this former house of worship tell us they will miss it.
“(I) received all of my sacraments here, sounds silly, but I was hoping that I was going to have my funeral here. But they decided that it wasn’t needed, so that’s the end of that,” said Tish Crahall of Dallas.
Younger parishioners who only spent a few years at the church also took some time to say goodbye.
“Just a little (bit sad.) But everybody else is here and that makes me feel happy,” said Brennan Keefer of West Pittston.
Some of the pews and stained glass windows have already been salvaged from the building.
Work to tear down the 93-year-old church is only expected to take a few days.