DUPONT — In April 1916, Holy Mother of Sorrows Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) became a part of the Greater Pittston area.
Now, the church is getting ready to celebrate its 100th anniversary and the church’s pastor since 2000, the Very Rev. Zbigniew Dawid, could not be more thrilled.
“For me, the 100 years means that the hard work of the people here and the dedication of the many individuals came to fruition,” he said. “Things were accomplished over so many years and so many generations because of the hard work of the people.”
To celebrate, there will be a special 4 p.m. Mass on Sunday, April 3 at the church that will feature Polish National Catholic Church Prime Bishop Anthony Mikovsky and Right Reveran Bishop Bernard Nowicki, Bishop of the Central Diocese PNCC.
After Mass, there will be a banquet at the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center.
Holy Mother of Sorrows PNCC operates under the Polish National Catholic Church in Scranton, which was founded in 1897 by Bishop Franciszek Hodur.
Dawid called the formation of the Polish National Catholic Church a movement from Polish immigrants coming to the United States looking for freedom and religion.
“Our church is just a part of the grass roots movement that started in the 1800s to create a Catholic and Democratic church,” said Dawid. “When they came here a big part of them was religion. So, they found jobs, found freedom and they kind of accommodated themselves at the time to the churches already in existence.”
When Holy Mother of Sorrows PNCC first formed, services where held in the old church until 1930 when the new sanctuary was constructed. The former building was later converted and is presently known as the Frank Bednash Memorial Hall.
The church is currently undergoing renovations, adding a storage area, new restrooms, a new roof, adding a handicap ramp, refurbishing the crosses on the church roof, repainting the inside of the church and remodeling of the Frank Bednash Memorial Hall.
Dawid said most of the renovations are already completed as the entire process began last year and that he anticipates everything to be done by April 3.
One aspect of the church that makes it different is it is governed by a committee of 14 parishioners who are elected, or re-elected, every year and meet monthly to discuss decisions regarding the church.
“We discuss what’s good for the parish and help with better understanding some of the areas like the teachings of the church and pass on the community involvement,” said committee member and Parish Chairman Paul Kaspriski.
The management of the material matters of the parish is executed by the parish committee with Dawid.
“I do not run the church myself and they do not run the church themselves,” he said. “We all do it together.”
It was the committee members’ decision to go ahead with renovations to the church.
“It’s like re-doing your home,” said committee member Wanda Stash.
With 100 years down and many more to go, Dawid is eager to see what the future brings for Holy Mother of Sorrows PNCC.
“What I’m looking for is to continue, not the same things because that’s hard as every generation is different,” he said. “My desire is to have more young people and more kids so we can look forward to the new centennial. But, again, 100th anniversary is a moment where we really say thanks to God for the people who work here and the people who have sacrificed.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher