Tearing Down St. Joseph’s Church in Nanticoke

NANTICOKE, Pa. -- St. Joseph's Church in Nanticoke is being torn down. The building is about 100 years old.

"It's a sad day," Lorraine Beck of Nanticoke said. "We watched as our St. Francis Church which we belonged to was torn down and demolished and now again watching this. It's hard to watch."

Crews are also tearing down the church's rectory. The demolition drew a crowd.

"(I came) just to see it," Peter Rynkiewicz of Nanticoke said. "I've seen them tear St. Francis Church down. The Hotel Sterling, I saw that go down, so just interested in watching it."

St. Joseph Church closed in 2010 and was consolidated with several other churches to form St. Faustina Church.

"I was a member of the choir," Beck said. "(I) still am a member of the choir and was able to participate in a lot of beautiful services, communions, confirmations, and even weddings."

Beck is now a member of the parish of St. Faustina. She said the church's pastor had been working over the last few years to save the building, but ultimately, the Diocese of Scranton decided the best option was to tear it down.

"He did everything he could possibly do to save this church, and unfortunately, it didn't work out," Beck said.

The construction crew said the most difficult and time-consuming part of the demolition will be trying to tear down the steeple. Once the whole building is down, the crew hopes to have all the debris hauled away in about a week.

"It's sad because there's very few churches in Nanticoke left," Rynkiewicz said. "There's only like two actually."

The diocese said it plans to sell the property after the demolition is complete.

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