WILKES BARRE — Catholics in part of Wilkes-Barre said good-bye to a church that has stood for more than a century in Luzerne County.
Holy Saviour Church has been around since the late 19th century celebrating weddings and baptisms, and Sunday was its last mass.
For generations, Holy Saviour Church in Wilkes-Barre’s East End has brought people, families together for worship.
This would be the last time that would happen. The church is closing, and parishioners said it’s sad to see it go.
“This church was everything to us. The church, the school, the clergy. All friends and all kinds of people. We made good friends. Family has traditions here,” said Teresa Jemio of Laflin.
Catholics including Jemio have been baptized inside the sanctuary, married and even saw their children baptized.
Now, cracks both outside the church walls and inside are showing its age.
Parish leaders said the building simply has too many structural problems to stay open.
“Sad to see it’s deteriorated the way it has. Realistic, you have to move on, so we will,” said Jemio.
The building is up for sale and is expected to be demolished. So, this was the last chance for the faithful to share in one last mass at Holy Saviour. Some even went to school here.
“We went to Holy Saviour school, first through eighth grade, then Saint Mary’s High School. We had many processions here at the church. Very sad to see it won’t be here anymore,” said Aileen Dodson of Harveys Lake. “Of course it’s sad, very sad. Saint Stanislaus is our new church. We’ll be faithful to them. We know God is not in a building. He’s all around us.”
Church leaders said they will salvage and sell the stained glass at Holy Saviour in Luzerne County.