Visit cemetery by appointment only
Recently I met Ann Giannangeli of Boston, Massachusetts. She was visiting Lansford and the surrounding area during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Ann’s father was Air Force Lt. Colonel Anthony Giannangeli who has been missing in action since April of 1972. A Vietnam War era veteran and Lansford native, a memorial to him is in place on the church property of St. Katharine Drexel.
Ann asked me to accompany her to visit the memorial. She wished to place flowers and an American flag at her father’s memorial. Since the property is chained off to pedestrian traffic, I contacted the office of St. Joseph of the Panther Valley regarding her request. The secretary informed me that Ann would have to schedule an appointment to do so.
I am at a loss of words for the unkindness and lack of feeling shown to Ms. Giannangeli’s request during her short visit by this parish office.
I believe Ann eventually placed flowers inside the gate and an American flag at the memorial by having to climb over a cement wall at the church. Great effort Ann for showing how much respect you have for your father.
While on the subject of apparent uncaring response that Ms. Giannangeli received by her request, another seemingly cold and aloof attitude toward the feelings of the people in the Panther Valley affected by church closures was Diocesan spokesperson Matt Kerr’s recent Blue Ridge TV-13 appearance. So Lansford, as well as Coaldale, Nesquehoning and Summit Hill were among many small town’s in the coal regions that had too many churches.
Just once I’d like to hear the Diocese begin to praise the people of this area for their faith, devotion and yes, pride for establishing these too many churches.
Rather than allow them to die naturally due to changing demographics, the business model of the hurtful closing and mergers began.
Again, I find myself at a loss for words in the destructive path we are on!
John J. Zonca