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Holy Saviour


1895 - 1919

"Memories of Wilkes-Barre"
by Father J.J. Curran
First Pastor of Holy Saviour Church

1995 to Present

Father Kelly was followed by Father William Karle. During Father Karle's tenure. the parish entered into Bishop Martino's "Called to Holiness and Mission" and was combined with the parishes of North Wilkes-Barre to form a new parish community. Father Karle was instrumental in working with the implementation Committee which laid out plans for the new parish.

In 2009, Father Kenneth Seegar was appointed administrator of Holy Saviour and in 2010, pastor. In his time as administrator and pastor Father Ken tended to the spiritual needs of the parishioners, implemented fiscal responsibility, increased parish donations and undertook the much needed renovation of the church, which continues to be ongoing.

In addition, Father Ken was also given the added responsibility for the churches of North End namely Sacred Heart-St. John's and St. Stanislaus Kostka.

In several difficult months, Father Ken has restructured parish staff, established a parish office that is capable of meeting the needs of a larger parish and set about implementing the consolidation of the three parishes into a new parish community. A solemn Mass of Transition, celebrated on June 21, 2011 marked the end of Holy Saviour Parish and ushered in its corporation into the Parish of St. Andre Bessette. The long and rich history begun by immigrant will not be forgotten, but will be woven into the fabric of a history yet to unfold.

“The Holy Saviour Merger”

The consolidation/linkage of numerous parishes in the Scranton Diocese took place over seven years, from 2010 to 2017.

I served on the Holy Saviour Review Committee which eventually combined with the Sacred Heart and St. Stanislaus Committees. This new committee recommended the consolidation of the three parishes covering the North End and East End sections of Wilkes Barre and The Church of St Christopher on Route 115. Having gathered multiple times over prior years, the Consolidation Committee was ready in the fall of 2010 to recommend a name for the new parish to Bishop Bambera. However, by the time the Committee finished its work, the names which our members were considering were assigned to other parishes which had finalized their consolidation processes earlier.

It was early October 2010 when I suggested to our committee to consider having our new parish become the Parish of St. Andre’ Bessette. St Andre’ Bessette of Montreal was a brother in the congregation of the Holy Cross (a French order of priests and brothers.) I mentioned to the members that “Brother Andre’ of Montreal” had been canonized October 10, 2010.

As Father Robert L. Epping, C.S.C., Superior General of the Congregation of Holy Cross, noted on that occasion … “Who could have imagined this lowly boy would become our first canonized saint. Frail at birth, orphaned at 12 years of age, and not well educated… this pious young man made his perpetual profession on February 2, 1874, and became the porter (doorkeeper) at Montreal’s Notre Dame High School.

From there, his legendary healing ministry, and reputation for holiness and miracles grew.” I further noted the following in support of my recommendation:

1. Founded in 1946 by the Holy Cross Fathers from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend Indiana, the mission of King’s College was to provide an education “for the sons of coal miners.

2. The King’s College campus borders our new parish.

3. 4 or 5 young men from East End joined the C.S.C...

4. St. Frère Andre’/St. Brother Andre’ was an unassuming caring individual whose background was not wealthy or privileged. These attributes are not unlike those of our past and current parishioners.

The committee members supported my recommendation, and Bishop Bambera approved the new parish’s name soon thereafter. The opening Mass of the Parish of St Andre Bessette was con celebrated, by Father Kenneth Seegar, Pastor; Father Tom Looney C.S.C., recently (2021) named President of King’s College, and other members of the clergy on June 11, 2011. Given my maternal French-Canadian heritage and fluency in French, I was privileged and honored to read to those assembled a congratulatory letter in French from the Rector of St Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal. Father Seegar read the letter in English.

Finally, in keeping with St Brother Andre’s vocation on earth, the inscription ”A Community of Hospitality, Healing and Holiness” tops the entrance doors of the parish worship site (St. Stanislaus Church) on North Main Street.

Appreciatively submitted by Jim Morpeth

1968 - 1995 << Back

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Click the play button below to hear the song Old East End created by Pat Boyle