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St. Anthony of Padua - Throop, Pa

A parish history from the 1959 Jubilee Book

JUBILEES OF OUR PARISHES

What a joyous and happy occasion it is for a parish to celebrate it's 10thanniversary.

Still more joyous is the Silver Jubilee. Nevertheless when a parish reaches the Golden rung of the ladder, it is an occasion for all parishioners to set aside a day of Thanksgiving and prayer.

Such a jubilee, 50 years of its existance, the St. Anthony's parish of Throop, Pa.has realized.

Therefore on Sunday - November the 22nd, 1959 the St. Anthony of Padua parish celebrates its Golden Jubilee.

The purpose of the jubilee observances:

In celebrating solemn Jubilee observances there are three purposes:

First: we wish to express most heartily our gratitude to Almighty God for His bountiful graces, blessings and provident Guidance over the years extended to theparish and the families.

Secondly: to pay tribute and homage to the founders, the pastors and the priests who labored zealously in order to establish the imposing parish buildings, viz: the church, the school, the hall, the rectory, and the sister's convent. God only knows how much sacrifice and what hardships these first noble Pioneers had expended to erect these Sacred monuments! Many a time they had to deprive themselves of thebare necessities of life - even food - to realize these dreams. In Europe and of course Poland Ecclesiastical edifices (that is church buildings) were built by well-to-do classes of people, the wealthy such as Kings, princes, nobility - but here in America - these magnificent churches were constructed by the sweat and blood and hard toil of the Polish worker and farmer. And the Ministry of the priests, how difficult and discouraging! The enrollment of the people was multiplied: each year brought an increase but the laborers in the Lord's vineyard were few, unable to cope with the needs of the faithful.

The means of transportation - how primitive! for this reason the priest was compelled on horseback or on foot in rain and snow under most adverse weather conditions, to seek out souls, to bring the word of God to them and to administer the Sacraments.

It is most worthy, therefore to honor and pay tribute to these achievements of the founders, - the sacrifices of the priests! Can we refuse to bow our heads in humble admiration as we review their sacrifices which they had undertaken for the Glory of God, salvation of souls, and the welfare of the future generations!

Thirdly, to encourage the youth of the present generation to live a life based on faith and holiness, and also to nurture them in Catholic ideals - and principles.

This would serve as a reminder to preserve that which their fathers and grandfathers established, that which they hallowed with their lives and even wept not once, but often, with tears intermingled with the sweat of their streaming brow.

An encouragement to establish organizations, societies, Fraternal groups, which today as a result of the death of the older members are decreasing in membership and, in fact are on the verge of collapse.

Our Jubilees, therefore, should regenerate a new enthusiasm, a new life, and spiritual existence in the parishes. They should beget new, pious, valient leaders from the midst of our fathers, mothers, and our youths to instill in them the same interests that our fathers and forefathers had strived for so dearly.

History of St. Anthony's Church.

The Pioneers of St. Anthony's church came by far and large from the GRUDZIEN PROVINCE (GRUDZIENIAKI). There were successive waves of these who followed one another.

Originally they settled in PRIZEBURG (PREUSBURG) which became known later as Dickson City. From here they eventually migrated and settled in Throop, Pa.

Since these settlers possessed the qualities of ambition, Honesty, Reliability, Fearlessness and Physical prowess, they were very much in demcnd by the Coal companies in this vicinity. Hence so many of these settlers were employed in the mines.

THE GOLDEN JUBILEE

The fifty years of existence of the Roman Catholic parish named St. Anthony of Padua in Throop, Pa. have passed. Many moments of happiness and sorrow have been endured during this time of much self-denial and through hard work and perseverance the people conquered, and today we observe with honor and pride the completed work, which they have left to their future descendents. Through the parishioner's generous offerings, zealous work, certain anxieties and hesitations they accomplished a great task, building the House of God, to which we go to pray to the Almighty God asking Him for favors and blessings.

FIRST WORK

The year 1909 is a memorable year among the parishioners because it was then, that the Polish people of Throop and Boulevard began to discuss, the building of a Polish Roman Catholic Church, as the church report states that was shortly realized. A group of willing members began working enerqetically and with the help of God, and generous donations, they organized a new Roman Catholic Church named St. Anthony of Padua. A meeting was held on June 27 in a hall owned by Joseph Wisniewski, and a committee was appointed-Walter Wojno, president; Michael Markowski, vice-pres.; Paul Purta, Recording Secretary; John Walejko, financial secretary; Andrew Dolzyk, Treasurer. Directors: Anthony Mogilewski, Joseph Dabrowski, Mathew Olechne, Andrew Cimoch, Alexander Fiedorczyk; Controlers: Adam Iwaniczki  and  Thomas  Strzesniewski .

Even though collections and voluntary offerings were given, there were not enough funds to start building the church, therefore picnics and other church functions were held in order to increase the church funds which were then placed in the bank.

LOCATION AND PURCHASING OF LAND FOR THE CHURCH

Possessing a certain amount in funds they began to look for land and a place to build the New Church. A committee was elected: Frances Karolewicz, Walter Wojno and Andrew Cimoch. After a long transaction they bought ground from B. Estora for $3,250.00 with a down payment of a $100.00. On Sept. 16 they signed the contract, and on Sept. 24 paid $1,200.00. From the parish fund they took $600.00 and borrowed $600.00 from St. Hedwig Society. The remainder of $2,050.00 was to be  paid  on  April  I,  1910.

Generous thought directed the Members of St. Hedwig's Society, at their quarterly meeting which was held April 19th, to donate the borrowed $600.00 towards the new church. This great deed was a great joy and an ease on the parish debt.

ENDEAVOURS FOR A PRIEST FOR THE PARISH

To this time, the people from Throop and Boulevard attended the church in Priceburg where the late Rev. Joseph Dudkiewicz was the pastor. Through some misunderstanding, while deciding on a priest, the church services were to be held in the Slovak Church, Throop, during the building of the new church. For these matters a committee was appointed: Andrew Dolzyk, William Filipowicz and Walter Wojno.

At that time Rev. Francis Wieszak, who was a pastor in Olyphant, was willing to serve the Throop parish. To come to an understanding with the Bishop, a committee was appointed and the matter was taken up with the Bishop. The Bishop agreed with the committee and the first pastor to serve the St. Anthony of Padua parish was Rev. F. Wieszak who divided his work both in Olyphant and in Throop. He came on Feb. 15, 1910. As to the burial of the dead parishioners, the Bishop decided to bury them in St. Mary's cemetery, Priceburg. The children of the parish were to attend religious instructions every Thursday of the week. Rev. Francis Wieszak was the instructor. The Organization of the choir consisted of the following members; Anthony Rudzinski', Stanley Olechna, Anthony Rogawski, Theodore Eshmont, and Stephen Peko.

BUILDING'S ESTABLISHMENT

Not possessing their own church the Polish people of Boulevard and Throop attended the services at the Slovak church in Throop. At an unusual meeting held August 17, 1910 a decision was made to build an edifice in the basement of the church. They didn't have the fund to build the abode so they took the resolution to the Bishop asking for a loan of $5,000.00.

At this meeting a building committee was appointed: Rev. F. Wieslak, John Ginicki, and A!ex Fiedorczyk, in order that the work and payment would be accomplished according to the contract made with Wieland contractor -the building inspector was Adam Kupinski. The building was to be completed by Nov. 15, 1910 at the cost of $7,000.00. Contractor Wieland didn't finish his assigned building and that aggravated the people of the parish leaving them with loss in time and material.

The building of the church was nearing its finish, now it was the time to think of the liturgical furnishings for the church. Some furnishings were imported from Europe others from New York. The order of statues and other incidentals was through the Wildermann Co. Rev. F. Wieszak and Walter Wojno were responsible for the decorations. The altar which was supposed to be built before Christmas, was offered by Michael Markowski, Emil Waszczeniuk and Charles Dekar; purchase of bells - Alex Navrocki, A!ex Dziekonski and Walter Kaminski.

WORK AND ACTIVITY OF NEW PASTOR


Bishop M. J. Hoban transferred Rev. F. Wieszak to another Parish and left the Polish people of Throop without a priest. In order to procure a new priest a committee consisting of Stanley Zdanowski, Andrew Dolzyk, Walter Woino and Cyprian Uszakiewicz were sent to the Bishop. The Bishop appointed Rev. Roman Wieziolowski who began his duties in the parish, March, 191 I.

In need of a rectory, a meeting was held March 19, 1911 and a decision was made to move the old home from the real estate and build a new reotory in the Spring. The old home was moved and sold to Mathew Olechna.

Originally Mathew Olechna was supposed to build the rectory for the sum of $6,700.00 instead the Bucher and Babison contractors received the contract.

A meeting was held Dec. 3, 1911 and plans were made to purchase land for a cemetery for the Parish. Andrew Cimoch and Joseph Michalski were appointed for this task. Some question was brought at the meeting held on June 16, 1912 to purchase land in the vicinity of Priceburg. Joseph Pogorzelski and Stanley Zdanowski were appointed to the committee. As to the buying of the land, Wm. Filipowicz and Joseph Pogorzelski made the down payment of $100.00 and the balance of 400.00 was to be paid by March 1913.

Since Mr. Wm. Filipowicz was the rightful possessor of the property, in order to avoid paying income tax on the property, the lawyer transferred the deed of the cemetery to the parish.

At a meeting held Feb. 7, 1915, Rev. Roman Wieziolowski presented a thought, to build a church on the present foundation. To give that account and discuss the matter at large, a meeting was held on Feb. 28 and members unanimously agreed to build the church. A committee was appointed to get a sum of $20,000.00, namely, Rev. R. Wieziolowski, Wm. Filipowicz and Mathew Olechna. At the meeting held Aug. 27, 1916, a bid for building a new church was $25,000.00 and on Nov. 12, the contract was offered to Weiland, the lowest bidder. Building of church cost $24,213.00; Organ $2,000.00; Windows $1,650.00; Three Altars and pews $3,400.00 - total $31,263.00. Architecture and plans $1,442.00; Statues, candle holders and other accessories $3,000.00; Pulpit $600.00. The grand total of $36,305.00 was the cost of building.

The fund in the treasury was not large enough to pay the building expense of the church, therefore a loan was taken from the bank in the amount of $24,000.00. The loans from previous years brought the total to $29,500.00.

LAST 25 YEARS

St. Anthony's Parochial School and Sister's Convent was established in 1938.The first Mother 'Superior was Sister M. Keledonia. She died in Throop in May of 1939.

Rev. Ignatius Ritter, who was pastor since 1928, died on March 28, 1955. He was born on January 21: 189! and ordained to the holy priesthood on December 21, 1916.

Curate to Father Ritter in ! 953 was the Rev. Stanley Piorkowski, who is now on the teaching staff at the Orchard Lake, Mich. schools. After Father Piorkowski was reassigned, the Rev. Walter W. Poplawski became assistant pastor in 1953 and uponthe death of Father Ritter, he became administrator of St. Anthony's Parish. Rev. Poplawski is now pastor of St. Mary's Church, Blossburg, Pa.

Rev. Edward Makowski was appointed pastor of St. Anthony's Parish on October3, 1955. Previously he was pastor of St. Mary's Church in Blossburg.

The Mother's Club (PTA) was organized during Father Poplawski's administration and the Holy Name Society in 1944.

Young men who have taken up vocations to the priesthood include: Fr. Simon Yacyna, O.M.C.; Fr. Eusebius Wiencko, O.M.C.; Fr. Victor Maksimowicz, O.M.C. Those who are studying for the priesthood are: Friar Leon Kropiewnicki, O.M.C.; Friar Raymond Burkowski, O.M.C.; and Friar Stanley Scesney, O.F.M.

Since our school was organized, the following Mother Superiors have served at St. Anthony's: Sister M. Keledonia (1937-39); Sister M. Stephania (1939-41); Sister M. Jaroslaus (1941-47); Sister M. Spes 1947-53); Sister M. Judith (1953-59); and Sister M. Artemia 1959--).

EARLY RECORDS

The first baptism recorded in our parish books is that of Frank Kowalewski, born Feb. 14, 1910; baptized Feb. 20: 1910". He was baptised by Rev. Francis Wieszak. Mr. Kowalewski's 'mother is still living at the corner of Bellmen and Olechna St., Throop.

The second baptism performed was that of John Anzulewicz. He was born on Feb. 22, 1910; baptised Feb. 24: 1910. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Francis Wieszak. John was the son of Vincent Anzulewicz and Francis Wojtach.

First couple to be married in St. Anthony of Padua Church was Adolph Czyszczak and Mary Ann Brozga. They were married on April 26, 1910. Marriage was officiated by Father Wieszak.

The second couple married was Alex Kropiewnicki and Mary Ann Filipowicz on May 3, 1910. The ceremony was performed by Father Wieszak.

The first death was that of Isidor Wydrychewicz, an infant of 2 weeks old. Hedied on May 6, 1910.

The second death was that of the mother of the infant lsidor, namely, Mrs. Catherine Wydrychewicz (nee Przywilowski). She died at the age of 28 as a result of childbirth on May 7, 1910.

OUR JUBILEE DAY

Many of the early pioneers of St. Anthony's Parish didn't live to see the celebration of the golden jubilee of their parish, but emigrated to eternity and buried onthe Parish cemetery and are resting in peace.

Let the earth lying upon them be always light. Today with Rev. E. J. Makowskithe parishioners proudly consider the accomplished work and have confidence in the help of God to expect a brighter tomorrow.

Congratulations to the honored Parishioners. Congratulations to the Reverend Fathers.

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Last Updated on July 1, 2014