Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary History

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In the late 1800’s our Polish ancestors began settling in the Northeastern United States, primarily working in the steel mills and the coal mines of Pennsylvania.  These early settlers began arriving in our area, settling in Nanticoke in 1870 where the Diocese of Scranton established the first Polish Parish, St. Stanislaus.   In the ensuing years, our forefathers arrived in great numbers and settled in surrounding communities of Kingston, Edwardsville, Ashley, Georgetown, Hudson, Duck Pond and Parsons.  It was rather difficult in those days to travel to Nanticoke, but these Polish immigrants who were a truly religious people with a particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary thought nothing of walking the entire ten miles to attend the celebration of the Mass. 

In 1884, a small, but determined group of newly settled immigrants banded together in their desire to have the Diocese form a Polish speaking parish in this area.  Records indicate that this plan was spearheaded by Mr. Gawlas and Mr. Bednarkiewicz.  A meeting had been called at the home of Mr. Valentine Borys when it was unanimously decided to establish a new parish for the Polish speaking people. 

Eighty families, newly arrived in the United States, of meager means and not having the necessary finances to acquire land or a building of their own for the purpose of worship in their native language and culture sought the support of Father Nagle, pastor of the German parish, who was sympathetic to the plight of these immigrants.  Father Nagle permitted the founders of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish to conduct Sunday services in the parish school belonging to his parish at the corner of South and Canal Streets.  In fact, Father Nagle even pleaded with Bishop O’Hara, then the Bishop of the Diocese, to appoint a newly ordained priest, Father Teofil Klonowski, to be his assistant for the purpose of administering to the Polish speaking people.   

The celebration of the first Mass of this parish was in the summer of 1885.  Instead of just the original 80 families who had joined the new parish, so many other people attended, that it was truly unbelievable and heart warming.  This enthusiasm prevailed and in a very, very short time, the parishioners had amassed a total of $1,500 in their treasury for the establishment of their own church.  Our founding fathers soon purchased a plot of land on Park Avenue and Hancock Street and proceeded to build a small wooden church on the site.   

In 1886, the Bishop appointed Father Pelczar as the first pastor of this parish and on March 25, 1886, the first Mass in the newly completed church was celebrated.  The parish roles had risen from the original 80 families to 300 families.



  

Pastors of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

   

Rev.   Adalbert Pelczar

 

Rev.   Raphael Tomaszewsiki

 

Rev.   Theophilus Klonowski

 

Rt.   Rev. Msgr. Jacob J. Kowalewski

 

Rt.   Rev. Msgr. Wenceslas A. Losieniecki

 

Msgr.   Edward S. Manikowski

 

Rt. Rev. Msgr. Alexander   T. Kulik

 

Very   Rev. John S. Terry, V.F.


Asst. Pastors of Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

   

Rev. Edmund Adamkiewicz


Rev. Joseph J. Losieniecki

 

Rev. Mark Balcezniak


Rev. John A. Madaj

 

Rev. Joseph M. Brozena


Rev. Clement A. Markowski

 

Msgr. Anthon Drogowski


Rev. John C. Masakowski

 

Rev. Charles Edunk


Rev. Edward M. Masakowski

 

Rev. Ralph N. Ferraldo


Rev. Joseph Mroziewski

 

Rev. Edward L. Fundalewicz


Rev. Theodore L. Obaza

 

Rev. Leonard F. Gajewski


Rev. Albert E. Oldfield

 

Rev. Louis S. Garbacik


Msgr. Joseph Pilny

 

Msgr. Roman L. Gizara


Rev. John F. Poplawski

 

Rev. Gerald Gorka


Rev. Carl T. Prushinski

 

Rev. Anthony Halicki


Msgr. Clarence J. Sikorski

 

Rev. Thomas R. Hudak


Rev. Francis P. Skitzki

 

Rev. Emil M. Hussack


Rev. Ladislas Skurski

 

Rev. Vincent Jakubowski


Rev. Phillip J. Sladicka

 

Rev. Louis Kaminski


Rev. Stanislas Slominski

 

Rev. Chester Kolakowski


Rev. Edward V. Sokolowski

 

Rev. Ladislas Kolebuk


Rev. Stanislas Stungis

 

Rev. Ladislas Kozuszko


Rev. Peter Zardecki

 

Rev. John S. Krafchak


Rev. Victor C. Zawadzki

 

Rev. Felix Lafaj


Rev. Charles Zawol

 

Rev. John Lipski