UPDATE: PROPOSED DEMOLITION
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:
To contribute to the defense of St. George's church, please see the instructions at the bottom of this webpage.
ST. GEORGE CHURCH IS THE HOME OF THE FIRST LITHUANIAN PARISH IN THE U.S.
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!
SOME HISTORICAL FACTS
(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.)
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.
The Most Reverend Pietro Sambi
ST. GEORGE OF SHENANDOAH HERITAGE ORGANIZATION
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:
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:
|lithaz.org: Internet home of Arizona Chapter of Lithuanian-American Community, Inc.|