Demolishing Two Churches and a Convent

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ASHLAND -- It's been a few years since a mass was celebrated at St. Mauritius Catholic Church in Ashland.

Dorthy Zerby was a member of the church for years.

"Everything in there was so perfect. It was like heavenly. We really loved it," said Zerby.

Soon, the church that can be seen across town will be gone.

Zerby said, "it's heartbreaking. It hurts to see that."

The Diocese of Allentown decided to tear down two churches and a convent in the Ashland area for safety reasons.

Our Lady of Good Counsel in Gordon is already more than half way gone, crews are working to demolish the former convent for St. Joseph's Church, and up next is St. Mauritius which is more than 100 years old, but has been closed for the past three years.

"I think it's about time for it to go now. It's been empty for a couple of years now," said Don Barndt of Ashland.

Even though the diocese will knock down the church, the rectory next door will stay standing. The diocese will put the rectory on the market and hopes that a family will move in.

"It's very nice. Very big house, garage and everything," said Barndt.

The demolitions and sales are the last steps of a church consolidation.

Back in July, five parishes, including the two in Gordon and Ashland, merged into the new St. Charles Borromeo parish in Ashland.

Since only one church is regularly used, there's no point to keep the other buildings.

"We looked at the condition of them and the decision was made that they're not salvageable and they really should come down for safety factors," said the business manager for St. Charles Borromeo, Patrick Reilly.

Gabrielle Brennan lives in the former rectory of Our Lady of Good Counsel. She's glad the demolition next to her house is almost done.

"I'll be happy when it's down and my house is out of danger."

The demolition in Gordon should be finished by the end of the week.

After that, crews will start to tear down St. Mauritius in Ashland.

1 Comment

  • Rick

    Anyone bothered to ask the “business manager” home much of a kickback he’s getting for demoing the churches. He has his hands in the collection plate somewhere along the line.

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