Save St. Michael’s Church
The inside of the former St. Michael the Archangel Church in Lansford. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
An open letter to the Most Rev. Alfred A. Schlert Bishop of the Allentown Diocese:
If you have such compassion for the people of Paris, can you demonstrate the same compassion for the people in your own Allentown Diocese; especially for the people who built and maintained the Gothic-type church of St. Michael the Archangel in Lansford.
While it was an accidental fire that damaged the Cathedral Church of Notre Dame, you are planning to deliberately destroy our Gothic-type cathedral church with a wrecking ball. A church that was built with no financial help from the diocese.
A church that was built by coal miners like our grandfathers and fathers. These miners gave their own money and time to build this beautiful and magnificent structure to praise and glorify their God. This historical and cultural church should never be destroyed for financial profit to the diocese.
Just as you find it difficult to comprehend this tragic loss of Notre Dame Cathedral to the cultural patrimony of the world, I find it equally difficult to comprehend how you can allow the intentional destruction of our cultural patrimony. Our magnificent stained-glass windows are already on sale for approximately $350,000; really nothing compared to their true value to individuals who actually paid for the windows and those individuals who felt closer to their God because of the beauty of those windows. Next will be the sale of the life-sized Stations of the Cross; if they have not already been sold. Then will come the wrecking ball and destruction of magnificent works of art that graced our church ceiling. And finally the pillaging of the church structure itself for its valuable granite.
Bishop Schlert, we are asking you to reverse the decisions of the former bishops. Reopen St. Michael’s Church on a permanent basis. If you are truly a man of your word and a true shepherd of the flock, you can preserve a magnificent Gothic-type structure both on the exterior and interior. While everyone’s church is special to them, no other church in the diocese can compare to St. Michael’s.
We challenge you to just walk in the door of our church and let our life-sized stations, ceiling paintings and main altar with the Last Supper make your decision for you.
You have the power to correct a mistake before our cultural patrimony is lost forever.
Coal Region Catholics for Change