Monday, November 24, 2008

Nanticoke churches in the news

Erin Moody of the Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice wrote an article on The Stained Glass Project that featured several of my photos, including one on the top banner of the front page!

Erin Moody: Framing Stained Glass Snapshots - Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice, November 24, 2008

Meanwhile, in other Nanticoke church news...

Nanticoke church will open its doors to Goth community with service

St. George's Episcopal Church is the cool little building described here. According to the article, the Goth service will be held this Saturday, November 29, though I am unclear on the time.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Last Chance to See: Stained Glass Edition

In 1985, Douglas Adams (the bestselling author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series) and Mark Carwardine set out on a series of expeditions to locate and document some of the world's most endangered animals. The book that was later made of these adventures was called Last Chance to See, a title that urged readers to recognize the imminent threat of extinction faced by these animals. See them now, it urged, before it's too late. Save them now, before it's too late.

It was too late for some of these animals. The Baiji Dolphin was probably past the point of no return well before Douglas and Mark made their trip to the Yangtze River, but the Three Gorges Dam sealed its fate. The Northern White Rhino was still "in with a chance," as they say, as long as intensive conservation efforts could be maintained and something like, say, intensive poaching efforts could be avoided. The Northern White Rhino is now extinct in the wild.

Sadly, Douglas Adams died in May of in 2001. But others carry on his work. Mark Carwardine and Stephen Fry are shooting a sequel to the original expeditions, and Gareth's Another Chance to See has kept the torch burning and the updates coming.

Animal species aren't the only things that go extinct.

Catholic churches in the Diocese of Scranton and throughout the U.S. face the prospect of imminent parish consolidation. Populations have shifted, fewer men are becoming priests, and economic pressures are making it financially infeasible to keep underperforming parishes open.

When parishes consolidate, churches close.

Some of these churches are well over a century old. Many of them retain aspects of their original construction that may very well qualify them for historical landmark status. Some, like my own church of St. Mary's (Our Lady of Czestochowa) in Nanticoke, contain works of liturgical art that are both priceless and highly immobile, like the stained glass windows that line the walls and bear the names of the donors - many of them historical figures who played major roles in the history of our region.

What fate awaits these churches? Some will remain open. Some will be kept inactive but in reserve, spending most of the year closed to public and parishioners alike and opened only for special occasions. Others will be closed permanently. Some will be deconsecrated and sold, after their liturgical ornaments - such as their stained glass windows - are removed. Some will fall into disrepair, fall victim to fire or vandalism or the ravages of entropy.

In another place and time, the stained glass windows of St. Mary's church in Nanticoke would be a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from far and wide to marvel at their beauty and the skill of their manufacture and the richness of the symbolism built into each image. (That fellow in the window on the left in the picture above is St. Leo. Read up on him to find out who the dog-dragon at his feet might be.) But in the here and now, these are just ornaments in a church that is probably slated for closure.

In the Hudson Valley of New York there is a tiny church known as the Union Church of Pocantico Hills. This small, simple structure is exceptional for two reasons: its construction was partially funded by the Rockefeller family, and it contains nine stained glass windows by Marc Chagall and one by Henri Matisse. Visitors come from all over to see them. I've been there, twice. They're beautiful. They're worth the trip.

So are the windows of St. Mary's.

St. Mary's, however, is not set up as a tourist attraction. For security reasons it is usually kept locked when services are not being conducted. But the Union Church of Pocantico Hills literature notes that the best time to observe and fully appreciate the beauty of church windows is during a service, in the company of the congregation.

How much longer does St. Mary's have to be open? How many more services will be held under its steeple? How many more opportunities will people have to visit this church and marvel at the beauty of its windows?

The answer is, I don't know. I have no idea. Not yet, anyway.

In The Stained Glass Project I am making an effort to photograph and document these windows, to save them for posterity and share them with the world. This started out as a personal wish, a "...wouldn't it be nice if somebody..." sort of plan, which only started to become a reality almost on a whim when I found myself in the church, camera in hand, waiting for my cousin to begin her march down the aisle. At the moment I'm doing it entirely on my own, without official approval from either the parish priest or the Bishop of Scranton. I will carry on with it as long as I am able. I encourage others in other parishes do do the same thing, for as long as their churches are open and the opportunity exists.

It may be a matter of weeks, or months, or perhaps years, but someday the doors of St. Mary's will be closed and locked for good. And then the only way to appreciate these works of art will be from the outside, looking in.

So hurry, hurry, hurry. Do not miss what may be your final opportunity to gaze upon these works of art with your own eyes. Masses at St. Mary's are currently held Saturday evenings at 5:30 PM - too late to appreciate the windows at this time of year - and Sunday mornings at 11:30 AM. Directions to St. Mary's can be found here. Stop in, attend Mass, throw a few dollars in the collection basket. On the way out at the end of the services tell the priest how much you appreciate having the opportunity to see St. Mary's stained glass windows for yourself.

This may just be your last chance to see.

In a different light

I was able to get some decent images of the twelve major stained glass windows at St. Mary's Church in Nanticoke this past Sunday. The one above is of St. Hedwig and St. Edward (also known as King Edward the Confessor.) To get the image full length and relatively undistorted I had to take the picture from the central aisle of the church, while bracing myself against the pews - something that would not have been possible if I were not the only person taking advantage of the open Day of Prayer at 1:00 on Sunday afternoon. (And yes, I did spend some time in prayer before, during, and after the taking of these photos.)

These full-length images capture every major part of the windows, which is what I was trying to accomplish. I don't know if there are technical names for each of these parts, but if there are I expect I shall be learning them over the next few weeks. In the meantime I'll just use my own terms.

For now I want to focus on the lower part of the window, which is where the sponsor tag is included when it is actually still attached to the window.

This window - well, pair of windows - has a single tag that extends across both windows and reads "PRESENTED BY" (under St. Hedwig) and "K.M. SMITH" (under St. Edward.) Anyone familiar with Nanticoke will recognize the name K.M. Smith, which has been memorialized in the K.M. Smith school located just a few blocks from St. Mary's church. Unfortunately, references to the school dominate the results for any online search for "K.M. Smith," so I may have to resort to more old-fashioned means of investigation. The Nanticoke Historical Society may be able to help me locate information on this donor, as well as information on other donors (like "WILLIAM EVANS") whose names are not distinct enough (like, for example, "F.H. KOHLBRAKER") to provide a clean hit online.

I made a quick attempt to gather the names of the window donors / sponsors / presenters on Saturday evening after Mass, but by then the light had faded enough that I needed to use my flash to get the images. Which meant that I captured images of the windows by reflected, rather than transmitted, light. So while the image above shows what the bottom of the St. Edward window looked like with the sun shining through it at 1:20 on Sunday afternoon, here's what that same window looked like at 6:30 Saturday evening:

Notice the very unsubtle stripes of color, particularly in the middle of the row of five tablet-shaped panes, and how these fade to nuances and subtle distinctions of color once the sun shines through. I never did like seeing these windows after sunset, or when the sun was clouded over. But as a kid I served plenty of evening Masses and Masses on rainy days, so I got to see these windows under all different lighting conditions.

(Note for the uninitiated: "ORA PRO NOBIS", which can be seen under most (possibly all) of the images of the saints, is Latin for "Pray for us." While many outsiders believe that Catholics treat saints as a pantheon of demigods and pray directly to them, in reality Catholics pray only for the intercession of the saints - they ask the saint to put in a good word for them with the Big Guy. I know that saints are not unique to the Catholic church, though I have no idea how other Christian sects deal with the relationship of the individual to the saint.)

The Stained Glass Project

I've already given a little preview of this project in Angel, Dark Angel. Actually, this post was supposed to be the preview, but I couldn't wait to post the images of St. Michael (visible in context in this detail of a wedding photo.)

This project is starting to grow, and some people have expressed an interest in it. Here's how I summed it up in response to one inquiry:

I grew up in Nanticoke and have lived here most of my life. I attended St. Mary's Church and School as a child, so I've spent nearly every Sunday (and lots of other days back in grade school) in that church looking at those windows. I suppose being in such frequent proximity causes you to take things for granted. I have traveled many miles to see Marc Chagall's stained glass windows at Union Church of Pocantico Hills in New York, and I must say I like our little windows more!

With the possibility of the closing of St. Mary's looming into a probability, I have started to look at all these things I have taken for granted in a new light. Often I have thought that it would be wonderful to arrange for some professional photographer to come into the church with a specially-designed rig to capture detailed images of the windows. But as I sat in the pew before my cousin's wedding last week, camera in hand, I thought "Well, why not?" and started taking pictures.

St. Mary's isn't the only church in this area with beautiful stained glass windows or other works of art. Nor is it the only church in this area slated for closing. (Or potentially slated; Bishop Martino is now advising the people of the diocese that nothing is decided yet, though - but as we saw with the school closings, and the bishop's fight with the teachers, once Bishop Martino has made up his mind, no appeals to reason or mercy will sway his decision.) I'm sure there's at least one person in each congregation with a camera. I think it would be fantastic on so many levels if the people of this area were to take it upon themselves to photographically document the things that mean so much to them, so that these things are not lost forever when they are gone. Or, perhaps, so future generations might understand just what has been lost.
So that's what I'm doing. Beyond just photographically documenting the windows, I will also try to dig up as much information on them as I can. When were they installed? Where were they made? Who are the people whose names are listed at the bottoms as donors?* The church itself may have records that will answer these questions - but if I wait too long, those records may be lost or discarded. Already many of the people with memories of the church stretching back decades beyond my mother's have passed from the scene. I guess I should have acted on another of my little projects sooner.

As I noted in the e-mail I quoted, there are a lot of churches in this area with art worth preserving, even if only photographically, and many of those churches are slated for closing. I wonder if I can generate enough interest to get someone from each parish to take on the task of photographing and researching the windows in their church?

*My mom thinks the answer to the second question may be Baut Studios, a local stained glass manufacturer. Until today, I had no idea there was a local stained glass manufacturer. But if they are the suppliers, then the answer to the first question would have to be "sometime after 1927." And the church is over 100 years old. I'll see if I can grab the priest after Mass this weekend.

Angel, Dark Angel

My parish church is closing. Probably. Maybe. Churches throughout the Diocese of Scranton are closing, and St. Mary's in Nanticoke (a.k.a. Our Lady of Czestachowa) is shortlisted for closing. Though Bishop Martino has recently stated that nothing is final, nothing is decided yet. Maybe he's waiting for election results to come in to let him know which parishes voted according to his directive issued last week.

I'm operating on the assumption that St. Mary's will be closed, and that we will be consolidated along with two or three other parishes into a single church with no air conditioning, poor handicapped access, and ample parking for up to 30 vehicles. Word is that St. Mary's will be a backup or secondary church to be used for special occasions, like when more than one Nanticoke couple wants to get married in a Catholic Church on the same weekend. Still, I worry that it will fall into disrepair while it is idle, and some things will be lost forever due to neglect.

Among these are the stained glass windows. These are magnificent works of art, perhaps as old as the church itself, more than a century old. They bear the names of their donors, and some of these names are familiar to anyone who lives in Nanticoke. For example, one was donated by a "K.M. Smith." For decades I have assumed that this means it was donated by the children of the K.M. Smith Elementary school. But only last week it occurred to me that this was donated by the school's namesake. Now I want to find out who K.M. Smith was.

I've started photographing these windows. This is something I have thought about for a very long time. Ideally a project to capture these windows as photographic images would involve a large-format camera on a rig that allows it to image a small section of each window at a time, and create a mosaic of the window that will avoid having any distortion due to perspective issues. Less ideally the project would be undertaken by some guy with a Nikon Coolpix L4 who was waiting for his cousin's wedding to begin. But, hey, it's an imperfect world.

So before the wedding, and after Mass the next day, and after Mass today, I have been trying to capture each and every stained glass window in the church. The pictures are not perfect: they are sometimes blurred, rarely encompass everything I would like to grab, and always involve some perspective distortion. But they're better than nothing. I will not let this church, and these windows, pass beyond the veil unremembered.

I've got them all, I think. I'll go back and get them again and again, as often as I can, trying to achieve quality through quantity. But I've got them all. Here's one that's been a favorite of mine since I was a little kid.

This window is remarkable for several reasons. It may contain the only image of the adult Jesus in the main church windows. (I think there's another in the baptismal font area, but I think that's a later addition.) It's the only window that I could see that shows signs of wear, on both the images of St. Michael and Jesus. (A cleaning attempt gone awry?) It's the only one that shows an angel, as far as I know the only angel who is also classified as a saint. (Gabriel is a named angel, but I'm not sure he/she/it is considered a saint.) It's the only figure in the windows holding a weapon. (Others hold miniature churches, books, staves, crowns, but only Michael gets a sword.) sure as heck looks like a black guy.

Try to understand: Nanticoke was a coal mining town, settled primarily by Roman Catholic Poles, though several other nationalities and religions were represented. Until the middle of the last century the population was fairly static: your parents lived here, you lived here, and odds were your spouse was someone from in town. Very few people moved into town. So very few black people moved into town. Having a black guy in a century-old stained glass window in church is a pretty big thing. (Though I cannot say for sure if anyone else has ever remarked upon it.)

Brightness and contrast enhanced to show detail
Of course, one could argue that St. Michael was an angel, and as we all learned from the St. Joseph's Baltimore Catechism, "Angels are spirits that ain't got no bodies." (Well, that's how I remember learning it. From the older children.) So the artist had pretty free reign to depict St. Michael in whatever way he wanted. As a black guy with an Afro or whatever. And apparently, that's just what he did.

Damn, he looks pretty pleased with himself.

For all these years, a black guy has looked over the Polish parishioners of Our Lady of Czestachowa, sword in his hand, wings on his back, crown on his Afro, a crocodile-lizard-serpent version of Satan under his feet.

Note the distinctly Medieval footwear here. I only just noticed the flipped-up
portion of the hem of St. Michael's skirt. Is he preparing to pee on Satan?
No wonder the crocodile-lizard-serpent looks worried.

It's a little thing. Just a window, just a detail in a building slated for closing. But it's part of the story of this Parish, of the city of Nanticoke itself. And it's something that should not be lost. Somebody needs to remember it.

Title Reference: "Angel, Dark Angel", short story by Roger Zelazny.

The Churches of Nanticoke, Part 4

For Part 1 of this tour, go here. For Part 2 of this tour, go here. For Part 3 of this tour, go here. For all parts of this tour, go here.

We now come to the final part of our tour of the Churches of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. While the other groups of churches have been clustered close to each other in certain parts of town, this last group is one that stretches all along Main Street, from close to the Nanticoke city limits on the East side to a point actually beyond the limits to the West.

Visitors entering or leaving Nanticoke along Main Street in the East will be familiar with a large tree that puts on a spectacular show of color each Autumn. While this tree is quite close to Janison's, the flower and garden shop, it is actually situated in front of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Located at 663 East Main Street, just off of Lawrence Street, this modest hall is one of the first buildings to greet visitors entering Nanticoke from the direction of Wilkes-Barre.

Farther West along Main Street, past the traffic light at Kosciuszko and Main, past the Mill Memorial Library and the Nanticoke Armory, lurks St. George's Episcopal Church at 408 East Main Street. This small building with a heavy wooden door set in* an archway topped by a stone engraved with the church's name has the appearance of a medieval chapel - appropriate, perhaps, for a church whose patron saint is a knight who, according to legend,slew a dragon!

Keeping with the Medieval theme is the First United Methodist Church, which resembles a large, yellow castle looming over the downtown at 267 East Main Street. Its yellow brick body and purple stone foundation closely resemble the materials used in the old Nanticoke High School, which used to be located at the bottom of Kosciuszko Street until it was torn down and replaced with a CVS.

Next door to the First United Methodist Church is the First Presbyterian Church of Nanticoke, at 229 East Main. Its rich red bricks and long flight of stone steps give it a simultaneous air of simplicity and majesty - though many a child's eye has doubtless recast this building as some sort of spooky haunted house!

Note the steeple of St. John's Lutheran Church visible in the background of this photo.

To reach the final church in Nanticoke proper we must continue West along Main Street past Nanticoke's other traffic light at the corner of Main and Market Streets, past the Old Post Office / current Senior Center (soon to be torn down to make way for a Culinary Arts annex for the local Community College) and Burger King, to 40 West Main Street and the Zion United Church of Christ. This small, simple structure is set back a bit in a residential area just off of the downtown, and is easily overlooked by passing drivers.

The final church in this series is actually located in Sheatown, which is a small satellite community technically a part of Nanticoke, though in practice thought of as its own entity. To get there we continue West along Main Street until we reach a fork in the road. Taking the right fork puts us on Old Newport Street. If we follow this to 135 Old Newport Street, across the street from Marty's Blue Room and just next to Guardian Elder Care, we come upon the tiny Holy Child Church, dwarfed by the nearby now-empty St. Stanislaus Orphanage.

I include this church not for the sake of completeness - there are actually still a few other churches on the outskirts of Nanticoke that I have not included here - but because this parish is currently facing consolidation with other Catholic parishes in Nanticoke. So while others may lament the loss of their neighborhood churches, parishioners used to walking to Holy Child will now have to drive several miles to attend weekly services.

This concludes our tour of the Churches of Nanticoke. At some point in the future I may go on another photo expedition to document all of the churches located on the outskirts of Nanticoke, including one on Middle Road, several in the Hanover Section, and one in a part of Nanticoke inexplicably located on the West Nanticoke side of the river. But for now, I close the book on this part of the story of my hometown.

Map showing the locations of the churches discussed
in this entry and previous entries in this series.

*Well, I thought there was a wooden door there. Turns out it's glass. I wonder how long that's been there?

The Churches of Nanticoke, Part 3

For Part 1 of this tour, go here. For Part 2 of this tour, go here. For all parts of this tour, go here.

Next on our tour of the Churches of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania we come to a cluster of churches located in the narrow lanes just off of Main Street, four on Prospect Street and two others near the intersection of Walnut and State Streets.

The first building we come to as we move North from the vicinity of Patriot Square is a small, humble place that does not look much like a church. In fact, it was the Nanticoke Library in the decades before the Mill Memorial Library was built on the corner of Kosciuszko and Main. Located at 112 South Prospect Street, the Nanticoke Christian Fellowship serves as a place of gathering for the local Mennonite population.

Continuing North along Prospect Street we come to the Holy Name of Jesus Polish National Catholic Church, located at 98 South Prospect Street. The church's name is almost as big as the building itself!

(Fasinating note: the Polish National Catholic Church was actually initiated in the United States by a priest from Nanticoke, Rev. Francis Hodur of Holy Trinity, in 1897! This tidbit is from this website, which I found by backtracking on a StteMeter search.)

Slightly farther North and across the street to the corner of Prospect and State Streets is the Nebo Baptist Church, one of two Baptist churches in this neighborhood. The back portion of this building, which is located at 75 South Prospect Street, was once Nanticoke's only Synagogue many years ago.

Moving back across the street we come to another Baptist church. The First English Baptist Church is located at 58 South Prospect Street.

As the map below shows, these four churches form a fairly tight cluster on Prospect Street. But there are still two more churches to see in the neighborhood.

At 120 South Walnut Street, the corner of State and Walnut Streets, we find a long, unadorned building whose only indication that it is a religious structure - aside from the small sign on the foundation indicating that it is the meeting place of the Tree of Life Christian Fellowship - are the stained glass windows set into the front and sides of the building.

Looking even further East along State Street we see a steeple rising up over a residential neighborhood. Moving closer we discover St. John's Lutheran Church, located at 231 State Street. This is actually one of two churches with very similar names - the other is St. John's Slovak Lutheran Church, located on Hanover Street near Holy Trinity Church.

This concludes the third part of our tour of the Churches of Nanticoke. In the fourth and (for now) final part of our tour we will look at the six churches located along Main Street, stretching from very close to the city limits in the East to a lone Catholic parish located beyond the city limits to the West - but one still considered very much one of the Churches of Nanticoke.

Here is a map showing the locations of the various
churches visited on this part of the tour.

Here is a larger map of the City of Nanticoke,
placing each of these first three groups in context.

The Churches of Nanticoke, Part 2

This is the second in a series of posts photographically documenting all of the churches of Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. Go here to read part 1.

Having visited the churches on the West side of Nanticoke, our tour now moves to the central section of the city. We begin with another of the city's six Roman Catholic churches, St. Francis.

St. Francis is located at 173 East Green Street and features a large attached school and community center, which in the past was rented out for graduation parties and wedding receptions. It was one of the few Catholic churches in Nanticoke not affected by the first wave of parish consolidations several years ago, and boasted a large congregation and lavish decorations both within and without. Ironically, in 2007 it also became one of the first to close - not due to any of the reasons affecting parishes throughout the city, but because a leak in the roof went undetected until it had compromised the structural integrity of the building to the point that the church was deemed unsafe to use.

The St. Francis community pulled up stakes and relocated several blocks South to St. Joseph's Slovak Roman Catholic Church, located at 107 East Noble Street. St. Joseph's is a smaller, simpler church, though its steeple rises majestically over central Nanticoke and is easily visible from throughout the city. Sadly, the nearby school has been closed for many years and has fallen into disarray, with most of the windows smashed out and boarded up.

(If you find yourself in the vicinity of St. Joseph's, be sure to cross the parking lot behind the church to visit the legendary Sanitary Bakery, which is located at 126 East Ridge Street.)

Moving North once again we come to the First Primitive Methodist Church, which according to the banner across the front is celebrating 125 years (since its establishment, I presume.) It is located at the corner of Church and Prospect Streets, just a few blocks East of St. Stanislaus.

Continuing North down Prospect Street we come to Nanticoke's central park, Patriot Square. This is a pleasant wooded park, featuring walkways and benches and a monument that resembles a missile rising from the center of the park. Across the street from the North side of this park is Diamond's Candy Shoppe, located at 4 East Broad Street - definitely worth a visit in the months when they're open. But the final church on this portion of our tour is located across from the Southwestern portion of the square, heading West.

The building at 2 West Green Street has housed several different congregations in its time. It is currently host to the Berean Lighthouse, and has been for several years.

This concludes the second part of the tour of the Churches of Nanticoke. So far we've only covered nine of the churches. Next we will travel slightly further North, and will look at six churches located just off of Main Street. In the fourth and (for now) final part of our tour, we will see all of the churches that are located on Main Street itself.

Here is an aerial view of the churches covered in part 2 of the tour, courtesy of Google Earth.

The Churches of Nanticoke, Part 1

This is a project I've been kicking around for several years, at least since this post. And thanks to a last-minute schedule change this morning, I was able to get the project started today.

Nanticoke has a lot of churches. How many, I'm still not sure - that depends on what your definition of "Nanticoke" is. Counting just the main body of the city itself, there are over twenty. And I have set out to photograph them all.

I think I got them, all in one day! But this is too much to mash together into a single post. So I've tried to break up the churches into semi-logical groupings, more or less by location.

I started my tour of Nanticoke's churches around 9:00 this morning with a trip to my own church, Our Lady of Czestachowa (also known as St. Mary's), located at 1030 South Hanover Street. I have written about this church before, and it is the initial focus of The Stained Glass Project, so I will be writing more about it in the future.

Heading North along Hanover Street, the first church we encounter is St. John's Slovak Lutheran Church. For some reason this church is not listed in the directory of churches on the Nanticoke City 2006 Community Guide & Map that I had hanging next to the 2008 Recycling Schedule.* It is possible that it was erroneously thought to be a duplicate entry for St. John's Lutheran Church, which is located several blocks away.

According to the sign in front, this church has been around for 120 years as of 2008. It is located at the intersection of Hanover and West Ridge Streets, on the other side of Ridge from Holy Trinity.

Holy Trinity, located at 520 Hanover Street, is a huge, impressive church with an incongruously small parking lot located on the other side of the busiest part of Hanover Street - a holdover from a time when churches were neighborhood affairs, and most parishioners walked to church each Sunday. It is imposing on the inside as well, with limited handicapped access and many stairs. The absence of a modern ventilation system results in a striking demonstration of what Purgatory might be like, particularly during long, hot Summer masses. This is the church currently slated to be the primary Catholic church in Nanticoke, post-consolidation.

Holy Trinity parking lot, across Hanover Street from the church.
Some people also park on Hanover Street itself.

St. Mary's parking lot, to same scale.
("Eye altitude" adjusted for difference in elevation.)

Sadly, St. Nicholas Ukranian Catholic Church, located several blocks further North at the corner of Hanover and Green Streets, is now closed, and has been for some time.

We now backtrack a bit for the last stop in the first part of our tour. St. Stanislaus is located at 38 East Church Street, just a few blocks East of Holy Trinity. For many years a special relationship existed between St. Mary's and St. Stan's, and for a while the two churches took responsibility for alternate grades of students - St. Mary's had Kindergarten, First Grade, and all the subsequent odd grades, while St. Stan's had the even-numbered grades. (Each retained its own basketball team, of course.)

This concludes the first leg of the tour of the Churches of Nanticoke. There are many more churches to cover, so I expect to spread this out over another two or three posts.

Map showing the location of the churches featured on this part of the tour. Note the location of this group on the larger map of Nanticoke.

*Also the schedules from 2007 and 2006, just in case those years ever come around again.