Church Bell in Throop Chimes Final Time

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THROOP -- A church bell that has rung for generations in part of Lackawanna County chimed for the final time on Monday.

It was close to noon in Throop and a crowd showed up across the street from the former St. John's Catholic Church. While demolition crews cleared debris from what once was the parish rectory. Sue Baka trained her camera on the church before it's torn down.

"It's depressing to think this stuff will be demolished and put into a dumpster," Baka said.

The borough owns the property and expects to tear down the church this week and for one final time, the church bell rang, marking the end for a building that meant a lot to families including Bakas.

"Since they're not here, I want to be here for the ending. They were here at the beginning. I want to be here for the conclusion," Baka said.

"They should be building churches, not tearing them down. It's sad, many people buried here, Christened here, married here," said Trudy Delawder.

St. John's in Throop closed eight years ago and ever since the borough has used it for training. Even though the church is expected to come down within the next few days, there are still no plans for what will go in its place.

"For the people who have been members for so many years, it's awful to see the building, to see it in the shape it's in," Rose Liesiefsky said.

While some wish the borough had saved St. John's from the wrecking crew, others -- including John Stedina, baptized here 87 years ago -- plan to hold onto the memories.

"Just like walking into heaven, everything was so beautiful," said Stedina. "Sorry to see it go."

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