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If you attended Mass on Sunday, November 6 at St. John’s Catholic Church, Susquehanna, and later dinner at the Starrucca House, in honor of the Church’s 125th anniversary, you saw an event that you, no doubt, will never see again in your lifetime.
The event, one of the most spectacular seen here in a long, long time, drew a large crowd to a Mass celebrated by the Most Reverend Joseph Martino, Bishop of Scranton, assisted by former St. John’s Pastors, Very Rev. William Flynn and Very Rev. Charles Connor. At the Mass were two native sons, Reverend William Culnane and Rev. James Lowery (Rev. Lowery starred on several Laurel Hill Academy basketball teams). Also attending were Sister M. Roselle Salvato, IHM; Sister Jean Marie McAuliffe, IHM; Sister Robert Mary, IHM; Brother Patrick McNamara, TNS.
None of the above was possible without long hours, paperwork, phone calls, letters, soliciting ads, and putting together a book on the history of the church and school by St. John’s Pastor, Father Robert (Bob) Simon and his so-many volunteers. In order to publish the book, Father Bob accumulated many, many photos and history of the church and school from many senior residents of the community.
Meetings were held monthly, for several months, with Father Bob and the committee. First on the agenda was the soliciting of ads for the anniversary book. Then came the call for “any old piece of history of the church and school,” then the big job, getting the book printed.
After that, Father Simon and his committee volunteers tackled the task of who to invite as guests. That wasn’t too difficult. First came to mind all of the former priests and nuns that taught at Laurel Hill Academy, and all of the young men and women who aspired for the priesthood and becoming nuns, and other clergy of the Diocese.
There was so much to do for an event like this. But the committee (and Father) left no stone unturned. Getting facts and photos for the anniversary book and taking care of the dinner celebration was no easy task. But as you witnessed, Father Simon and his committee deserve a heap of praise for having a “birthday party” for the church, St. John the Evangelist.
The Starrucca House was beautifully decorated by members of the church, along with the help of St. John’s Men’s Club.
Students, both boys and girls of Susquehanna High School, served the guests all evening, and a great job they did.
Karen Grausgruber was the “official” photographer for the event, both in church and at the Starrucca House.
We must compliment all the people that supplied desserts “of all kinds” for the more than 275 guests present.
Brother Pat McNamara served as Master of Ceremonies, calling on several guests who described “when and where” the Catholic Church and the schools had their beginnings.
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