Sacred Heart - St. Joseph's Parish History
Page Three of History

          The renovation of the interior of Sacred Heart Church next occupied the attention of the parish as the effects of time began to take their toll. In June 1960 the entire church was replastered, with marble sills and new doors being installed. The major change took place within the sanctuary, which was completely renovated, and a new addition made to the sacristy. The new altars of the church were donated by the Altar & Rosary Society and the communion railing by the Holy Name Society. These new appointments, in addition to a new tile floor, and the redecoration of the church, transformed Sacred Heart Church into a simple but beautiful sanctuary, dedicated to the honor and glory of God.
          The same year an addition was made to St. Joseph's Church to provide a kitchen for the hall already provided. This has proved to be an invaluable asset to the social life of the parish. The following year the Grotto, dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, was built at St. Joseph's. This beautiful stone shrine has already become a landmark of the area. The Grotto was donated by the Holy Name Society and St. Joseph's Altar & Rosary Society. The statue was donated by a generous friend. The Grotto was dedicated on Sunday, May 14, 1961.
          In preparation for the Jubilee celebration twenty-five years ago, it was decided to renovate the sanctuary of St. Joseph's Church and to improve the lighting in both churches. To carry out these plans, new altars were installed, the sanctuary was paneled in a matching blond oak with a carved reredos and baldachino. These appointments were donated by the Altar & Rosary Society of St. Joseph's Church. The altar railing, designed to accentuate the tile floor, was donated by the Holy Name Society. The pulpit was donated by the Sodality of St. Joseph's.
          In 1966, Father Meier was transferred to St. Boniface Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA., and was succeeded by the Rev. Carl G. Ulrich. The parish rectory in Nuremberg was sold in 1967 to Joseph Yurcho. The choir loft in St. Joseph's Church was remodeled.
          In 1969, Father Ulrich was transferred to a parish in the Poconos and was succeeded by Rev. Francis Kramer. Father Kramer was pastor for a very short period. In 1972, he was transferred to a parish in the Poconos. He is now deceased.
          Father Kramer was succeeded by Rev. William Penn. Father Penn realized the inside of both churches needed to be painted. He organized a group of volunteers and the job was completed in a few months. After a short stay, he was transferred and succeeded by Rev. Joseph Weber.
          Father Weber did an excellent job fulfilling his obligation in the parochial affairs of the parish. In St. Joseph's Church, the stain glass windows were replaced. In 1977, Father Weber was transferred to Good Shepherd Church in Drums, PA., and was succeeded by Rev. Francis Corcoran.
          Father Corcoran made minor repairs to both churches. In the rectory a heat pump was installed. Father also had a magic touch with flowers and had a beautiful rose garden on the side of the rectory.
          On June 19th, 1983, Father Corcoran celebrated his silver jubilee. A Mass of Thanksgiving was celebrated at St. Joseph's Church, followed by a dinner at Carmen's Country Inn. 1983, Father Corcoran was transferred to Lady of Lourdes, Montoursville, PA. He was succeeded by Rev. Martin Gaiardo.
          Father Gaiardo was only here a short time when he found both churches were in need of extensive repairs. He started with St. Joseph's Church by completely replacing the old roof, guttering and down spouting. The interior of the church was completely painted, including the pews, stations and several statues. New rugs were installed in the aisle and altar areas. Beautiful stained-glass doors were installed in both front entrances to the church. A new awning was installed covering the main entrance to the church. The rear door was replaced leading to the fire escape. New circulating fans were installed and new vestments were purchased. The painting of the church was done by volunteers and the new doors, awnings, fans and vestments were donated by members of the parish in the name of the deceased members of their families. The Sacred Heart Church also was completely painted, new front doors, circulating fans and new carpeting were installed. The work was performed by volunteers and many of the items were donated by parishioners in the name of deceased members of their families. Father Gaiardo was transferred in 1985 to Our Lady of Grace Church in Hazleton. He was succeeded by Rev. Joseph Bonner.
          Father Bonner realized many of the repairs were still to be completed. He added new lighting to the rectory basement and the C.Y.C. building. A new furnace was installed in the rectory and an awning enclosure to the side door. The old roof of the church was replaced, the parking lot was completely repaved and a new cement walk was installed in the rear of the rectory.
          On September 10th, 1988, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph's Parish celebrated their 100th Anniversary. The celebration began at 5:00 P.M. with a Mass of Thanksgiving in the Sacred Heart Church. The Most Rev. Francis C. DiLorenzo, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, was the principal celebrant. The choir, children and several parishioners participated in the ceremonies. The celebration continued with a dinner and dance at the American Legion Hall, with two hundred parishioners in attendance. James Palushock served as toastmaster and the Rev. Martin Gaiardo, a former pastor, presented a bouquet of flowers to Josephine Marchetti, the oldest parishioner, who dedicated most of her life to the church. Highlighting the dinner program was a recitation by Frank Bott, the general chairman of the anniversary celebration, who gave the history of the parish.
          In 1991, Father Bonner had a chapel constructed in the basement of the Sacred Heart Church, and it was used for daily Masses for many years. It is now the location for classes for our yearly First Holy Communion children. In 1996, the furnace in St. Joseph's Church had to be moved to meet government specifications. Father Bonner retired on July 1st, 1998. He was succeeded by Father Patrick McDowell.
          Father McDowell added a parish web site - - and soon met with the ladies and men of the parish to re-organize our Altar & Rosary and Holy Name Societies. At the request of the Altar & Rosary Society, the votive stands were restored in both churches. Our two societies have taken the responsibility of sponsoring our various yearly fund-raisers, breakfasts and the annual September Social Picnic. At the request of the Diocese, a Pastoral Council was formed to work together with our Finance Committee, and a Cemetery Association was recently formed. Last year new roofs were installed on both our churches. A building & maintenance committee was formed a couple years ago, and they planned and carried through with the re-surfacing of the Sacred Heart parking lot. About three years ago, our parish core team had their first meeting with core teams from St. John Bosco (Conyngham) and Good Shepherd (Drums) to form a cluster committee, overseeing the necessary changes involving our three parishes. At the present time these teams, serving as an implementation committee, are meeting regularly to carry out the plans put forth by our Diocesan Planning Committee.
          Our parish has had two parishioners enter the priesthood. The first was Father Victor C. Yannes, who was born and raised in Nuremberg, son of Camillo and Philomena Yannes. His early education was received at Holy Trinity German School in Hazleton, PA. Later he entered Villanova Seminary, where he was ordained a priest in June, 1915. He said his First Mass in St. Joseph's Church, Nuremberg, Pa. July 4th, 1915. He served as priest in New York and New Jersey and Pecos, Texas, Deming and Messila in New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, devoting himself to teaching Spanish children. Father Yannes died in El Paso Hospital March 2nd, 1950 and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, El Paso, Texas. A requiem Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph's Church, Nuremberg on Saturday, March 10th, 1950.
          Father Michael H. Marchetti, the second young man to enter the priesthood from our parish, was born June 16th, 1945, son of Leon and Marie (Enama) Marchetti. His early education was in Nuremberg Grammar School and then in West Hazleton High School.
          He received his college education at University of Scranton (B.S.) And Pierce Junior College, Philadelphia (A.B.S.). He spent four years in the US Air Force.
          His seminary training was at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, MA and St. Pius X Seminary, Dalton, PA. He was then ordained April 24th, 1982 at St. Peter's Cathedral, Scranton by Bishop J. Carroll McCormick, D.D.
          Father Michael's first assignment was St. Mary of Mount Carmel, Dunmore, PA in 1982. He was then transferred to St. Mary of Assumption Church in Old Forge in 1983. His last assignment as assistant pastor was Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Peace in Hawley, PA in 1988.
          Father Michael was given his first pastoral assignment in 1991 at St. Joseph's Church in White Mills, PA, where he remained until being assigned to Holy Name of Jesus Church, Scranton in 2002. Next he was made pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Montoursville, PA in 2007. In 2009 he was assigned to St. Joseph's Church in Wyoming, PA and Our Lady of Sorrows Church in West Wyoming.
          Miss Loretta Lescowitch, who was born December 6th, 1915 and baptized December 19th, 1915 in St. Joseph's Church, Nuremberg, daughter of Leopold Frank Lescowitch and Elizabeth Saudner Lescowitch, immigrants from Hungary, entered the Sisters of Christian Charity convent in Mendham, New Jersey, with the name "Sister Leopoldine" on August 21, 1935. She became a novice on August 21st, 1938 and made her profession of Final Vows on August 20th, 1944.
          On Saturday, June 26th 2010, following the directives of the Diocese of Scranton, St. Joseph's Church in Nuremberg will close it's doors for the last time, after the celebration of the 4:00 P.M. Mass by Rev. Patrick McDowell and con-celebrants Rev. Joseph Weber and native-son Rev. Michael Marchetti, along with Deacon Robert Roman. The doors will be locked for the final time by our oldest active parishioners, Joseph & Antoinette Palushock and the Blessed Sacrament will be transferred to Sacred Heart Church in Weston.
          Our parish is 122 years old, years that have seen it struggle to remain alive in its infancy, isolation, poverty and hardships in its youthful years, years that have brought strength, honor and dignity in its mature years. In all these years there has been a constant devotion to God and to Country that was the goal of pioneer parishioners who came to this country seeking that which they were deprived of in the land of their fathers. This history, brief, lacking many details, is not meant to be a completely detailed account of all the events that have transpired in the past 122 years. Many are not mentioned at all, but the purpose of the parish has been at all times to give greater honor and glory to Almighty God and to assist in the salvation of souls. May the events that have been mentioned be a source of many memories for the older members of the parish, many of whom have been closely associated with them, and may prove to be a source of inspiration to our younger parishioners, serving as an example to them of the wonderful and sacrificial deeds of those who went before them providing much that they might worship Almighty God in beauty and dignity. May they in turn take up the burdens and carry on the good work so well established by those who have gone before, so that the future generations may look back on them with love and honor that we today confer upon the pioneers of our parish!

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