4 churches in Greensburg diocese hold last Masses before merger
Since she was 5 years old, Diane “Penny” Durinzi, 61, of Republic has worshipped at Holy Rosary Parish.
“It means everything to me,” she said. “I was married here.”
On Tuesday, the church she cherishes will close permanently.
Holy Rosary Parish in Republic held its final Sunday Mass this weekend, as it will close its doors this week, along with Madonna of Czestochowa Parish, Cardale; Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Leckrone; and St. Procopius Parish, New Salem, as part of a six-parish merger by the Diocese of Greensburg.
“We all wonder what's going to happen to this building,” Durinzi said. “We've lost everything in this town: a grocery store, a bank, two drugstores. This church and the post office are all we have left.”
St. Thomas Parish in Footedale and All Saints Parish in Masontown will serve as the worship sites for the merger's newly formed St. Francis of Assisi Parish.
Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt announced the consolidation in May, enumerating declining population and funds, and a shortage of priests as the issues behind it.
According to data on the diocese website, the parishes on average had five first Holy Communions, two confirmations, six baptisms, three weddings and 17 funerals in 2012. The numbers reflect the area's aging population of the parishes: Holy Rosary had six baptisms but 22 funerals.
The Rev. William C. McGuirk, who has been at Holy Rosary Parish for nearly three years, thanked his church members for their support and cooperation on Sunday. He has been appointed pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Youngwood.
Ron Carlotti, 70, of Grand Rapids, Mich., drove to Republic to say goodbye to the church.
“We're sad,” he said. “My wife and I were married here 44 years ago.”
According to Richard Brosky Jr., 29, of Republic, the church means the world to its members.
“It's the heart and soul of the community,” he said.
At St. Thomas Parish in Footedale, the Rev. Peter Peretti celebrated his final Mass as pastor of the church after six years of service. He has been assigned to St. Mary Nativity Church in Uniontown.
“We look to Jesus in these changing times,” he said. “What unites us is our faith.”
Dolores Franczyk, 69, of McClellandtown has attended St. Thomas Parish for 49 years and feels sorry for the closing churches, calling the changes “heartbreaking.”
“These older people got baptized and married at these churches,” she said. “Now they don't have their church.”
Madonna of Czestochowa Parish held its final Mass on Sunday evening, with a vigil afterward.
The newly formed St. Francis of Assisi Parish will host a Mass of welcome and remembrance at 6 p.m. July 13 at the Footedale church. The new pastor of St. Francis of Assisi, the Rev. William B. Berkey, will be installed by Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt.
Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Westmoreland County tourism grants promote banana splits, breweries, trolley, railroad
- Laurel Mountain Ski Resort discusses planned revival
- Forbes: Night at the Races planned at sportsmen’s club
- Hempfield infant fights rare disease
- Blaze guts South Greensburg home, kills 2 dogs
- Ligonier doctor’s appeal to practice rejected
- Foreign clergy mitigate shortage of priests in Diocese of Greensburg
- Pittsburgh man’s bid to delay trial rejected
- Westmoreland officials fear loss of impact fees
- Westmoreland County Transit Authority to buy 12 minibuses
- Westmoreland judge offers Court in the Classroom