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Wilkes-Barre church with mining roots to close

Published May 11. 2014 02:54PM

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — A northeastern Pennsylvania church whose first pastor helped union coal miners win a key labor victory against mine owners in the early 1900s is set to close.

The Diocese of Scranton says the last Mass will be celebrated June 29 at Holy Saviour Church in Wilkes-Barre.

The church has been a worship site of St. Andre Bessette parish, which was formed when Holy Saviour and two other parishes consolidated three years ago.

The parish of Holy Saviour was formed in 1895 and the church building to be closed was dedicated in 1909.

In between, the church's first pastor, the Rev. John Curran, lobbied then-President Theodore Roosevelt in 1902. That led to a presidential commission resulting in binding arbitration, which helped the United Mine Workers of American win better wages and safer working conditions.

 

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