Freeland Church Coming Down

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FREELAND -- A Roman Catholic church built in the 1800s is being demolished in Freeland.

For more than 100 years, St. Casimir's served the community and stood tall on Ridge Street. Now demolition crews are tearing it down.

"I'm very upset about it. Believe me. It breaks my heart, you know, seeing a church like this well-constructed be knocked down," said Former Parishioner Joe Zawatsky.

Over the years, Zawatsky has watched many Catholic churches consolidate, close, and then come crumbling down. This one is personal. St. Casimir's was his childhood church. Zawatsky was baptized there when he was one year old, and worked in the church for decades.

The church closed in 2005 and then the Diocese of Scranton sold the property to the borough, for just $1.

"At least they could've gave them to the community where they could've utilize them. Instead of letting them get run down, because people worked hard for these parishes," said Zawatsky.

"I imagine a lot of people are disheartened, and a lot of people can't make it to the churches that are open," said another former parishioner Thomas McBrearty.

McBrearty grew up not only going to St. Casimir's, but living next door. He worries people are losing their faith with more and more churches disappearing.

"Pretty soon there wont be anything left for us. There's only one church left in town, you know of the Catholic religion. So what happens after, if they decide they can't keep that open," McBrearty added.

The church should be leveled by next week, and Freeland borough plans to make the former St. Casimir's church open space.

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