front title



The diocese of Allentown has applied for a permit to demolish St. George's, the historically important church to all Lithuanian-Americans and to the Lithuanian-Americans of Shenandoah, PA, in particular, alleging that the church cannot be repaired economically, an allegation disputed by the former parishioners. On behalf of the Lithuanian-American community of Shenandoah, attorney Paul Domalakes filed for an injunction to stop the demolition until alternatives to demolition are better explored. The injunction hearing was held on October 7, 2009 at 9:30 AM at the Schuylkill County Courthouse in Pottsville, PA. The judge ruled that he will not get involved with church affairs because of the separation between church and state. However, the judge ruled that he will hear about the historical recognition of St. George and about donations made to St. George for specific purposes on December 1, 2009.

Comments by Parishioners and Friends of St. George:
(1) The Diocese will NOT allow our longtime WJP Structural Engineers and Houck Specialty Contractors to update their proposal ($360,000) for 2004--there was NO safety issue.
(2) The Diocese cancelled the work to be done in 2004 because they claimed the work was not needed.
(3) The Diocese cancelled our Sunday Masses and funds were sent to the Diocese in 2004.
(4) There was NO shortage of priests--there was a shortage of $$$ in the Diocese.
(5) NO one working at St. George wore Hard Hats--what safety hazard are they concerned about???
(6) Thomas McCune (of Foreman Group), who was hired by the Diocese to conduct the "study" of St. George Church, is a Health Professional NOT an Engineer.
(7) The Diocese caused a delay in the Schuylkill County court hearing until December 1, 2009. However, they are taking the church apart before December 1, 2009.
(8) St. George is the only church in Shenandoah on solid ground according to the Bureau of Mines. The foundation is over 36 inches wide.
(9) If there was a problem with the towers, they can be removed and the church can remain. NOTE: The towers are NOT over the top of the church, they are in front of the church.
(10) We need our longtime WJP Structural Engineers to evaluate the entire situation at St. George Church.

No hard hats being worn: no danger.
Copy of the court order.
Important citations of support for St. George Church.

To contribute to the defense of St. George's church, please see the instructions at the bottom of this webpage.


In spite of the pleadings, protests, and prayers by parishioners, the spiritual home of the oldest Lithuanian parish in United States, St. George's of Shenandoah, PA, was closed in May 2006. It may still be possible to reverse this decision by the Roman Catholic Church, but the time to act is now!

Statement by Dr. D. Paul of Friends of St. George of Shenandoah.
Photos of St. George church and Lithuanian cemeteries.
STG Heritage organization's update.


(1) The Lithuanian Parish in Shenandoah was established in 1872, the cornerstone of the present church was laid in 1891.
(2) Since 1891 the church has continuously served the spiritual needs of the Lithuanian-Americans of the region.
(3) According to the 2003 Spiritual Report filed in March 2004, the Parish had over 1,200 registered dues-paying parishioners.
(4) Parish finances were very sound. All bills were paid.
(5) St. George's administered and managed two other smaller parishes - Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and St. Stephen's.
(6) St. George's was completely refurbished in 1988 under the supervision of Rev. Robert J. Potts.
(7) Rev. Potts was transferred out St. George's in 2004. Even though adequate funds were collected, new pastors refused to authorize needed repairs.
(8) St. George's was closed in May 2006.
(9) Work on the containment of St. George church towers was completed in June 2007, but the church remains closed.
(10) The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) has determined that St. George Church is of statewide and national historical significance. (This is a quote from the PHMC.)

More on the history of St. George Parish.


Please write to express your concern about the closing of St. George's Parish and to inform how historically important St. George's is to all Lithuanian-Americans to:

His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali, J.C.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1299
fax: 215-587-3907

The Most Reverend Pietro Sambi
Apostolic Nuncio in the USA
3339 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20008-3687
phone: 202-333-7121
fax: 202-337-4036


If you want to obtain more information about St. George's Parish, about the struggle to save the parish and to reopen the church, or if you want to contribute ideas and support, please contact:

P.O. Box 364
Shenandoah, PA 17976

To help STG-Heritage (a not-for-profit organization) financially by ordering gifts or making a donation, please link to and print the following order form:

Gift order and donation form Internet home of Arizona Chapter of Lithuanian-American Community, Inc.