More than 500 people filled the new Most Holy Trinity Church in Cresco for a Dedication Mass on Sunday, May 15, 2022. The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, served as principal celebrant and homilist. (Photo/Eric Deabill)

CRESCO – As parishioner Cheryl Lynott handed over the keys of the new Most Holy Trinity Church to the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, she acknowledged the significance of the moment.

“Although our road has been long and our journey rout with obstacles, we come today realizing our dream. We began as several mission churches and three distinct parishes, ultimately merging to become known as Most Holy Trinity Parish,” Lynott said. “Our congregation’s resiliency was demonstrated time and time again when we moved from one temporary worship space to another but our faith remained steadfast.”

Immediately following the presentation of the keys to the bishop, that faith was on display as at least 500 people raised their voices, singing “Let the King of Glory come.” That song began the Dedication Mass on Sunday, May 15, 2022.

“What a glorious day that we are privileged to experience in praise of God and with gratitude for all that God has done in our lives and in this wonderful parish community of Most Holy Trinity,” Bishop Bambera said. “This magnificent dwelling place for God is a tribute to all of you who, in so many and different ways, have served to build not merely this worship site – but the Church – the People of God.”

The new church for Most Holy Trinity Parish is located in the former gymnasium/auditorium of the now-closed Monsignor McHugh School located on Route 390 in Paradise Township.

During his homily, Bishop Bambera noted that a Mass of Dedication for a new church does not take place often. In fact, the bishop noted it is only the second he has celebrated since becoming shepherd of the Diocese of Scranton.

Using the Scriptures, including the First Reading from the Book of Nehemiah, which is required for a church dedication Mass, Bishop Bambera spoke to the reality of the moment.

Rev. Brian J.W. Clarke, pastor, Most Holy Trinity Parish, opens the door of the new church before the processional hymn.

“Look at the journey that brought you from three distinct communities – Saint Mary of the Mount, Saint Ann and Saint Bernadette – and countless other parishes to this great day and this sacred space,” Bishop Bambera noted. “Many of you have said to me today and in recent months, ‘Finally, our dream of a church is realized.’ It has been realized and it is beautiful to behold, isn’t it? But, my brothers and sisters, this dream has become a reality only because from your earliest days as Most Holy Trinity Parish, you have first been committed to building CHURCH – not a building – but the people that God has called you to be!”

To further illustrate his point, the bishop quoted Saint John Paul II, who said, a parish is not just a structure but rather “the family of God, a fellowship afire with a unifying spirit, a familial and welcoming home, the community of the faithful and the place where the mystery of the Church is present and at work.”

As he ended his homily, the bishop reminded all those present that their journey of faith is not over with the dedication of their new building.
“While we have much for which to be grateful this day, this church building will only shine forth as a vibrant sign of love and hope to all if you, who have given it life, continue to live your faith in service of the Gospel of Jesus,” the bishop challenged them.

Following his homily, the bishop prayed the ‘Prayer of Dedication.’ He also anointed and incensed the altar and walls of the church, preparing the building for the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

For many parishioners, the Dedication Mass was the first time they have seen the new worship space.

“It’s beautiful. It’s stunning. It’s amazing to see how far it has come and how much work has been done. It’s really breathe-taking. It’s beautiful,” parishioner Kelly Ann Devita of Tobyhanna Township said. “This is something that we can all be proud of. So many people had a piece in bringing this all together and we are all proud to be here and be a part of it.”

“This is the day the Lord has made and we are rejoicing and we are truly glad,” parishioner Jeannine Lotito of Tobyhanna added, quoting scripture. “Everybody gave their best, whatever their talent was, and I’m just excited that everybody did what they could.”

Michael Trombetta of Easton grew up across the street from the Most Holy Trinity school complex and graduated from what was then Pocono Central Catholic High School in 1979. As he reminisced about all of the events that had taken place in the same gym decades ago, he was amazed at the transformation.

“This was our second home. We did everything in here. We graduated from this space and now look at it, it’s our new church and it’s unbelievable and I can’t thank everybody enough, from the bishop and everybody in the diocese who worked hard to put it together to all the local people,” Trombetta said. “It is glorious!”

Many of the items in the new church – including the pews, stained glass windows, presider’s chair, marble Stations of the Cross and more – were all taken from the old church buildings that closed.

At the conclusion of Mass, Father Brian J.W. Clarke, pastor, Most Holy Trinity Parish acknowledged all of the people who made the renovation project and liturgy possible. He echoed the words of the bishop, saying the “real story” here isn’t the building but the people of the parish. He especially highlighted the work of the Most Holy Trinity Parish Building and Grounds Committee.

“So many of you volunteering countless hours, day in and day out, it’s rare to see that kind of dedication,” Father Clarke said.

As the Mass ended – the most poignant words came from Bishop Bambera – who continued to be visibly struck by the nature of the crowd and their faith-filled witness.

“For all the naysayers in our world, who say that faith doesn’t matter anymore, for all those who say Catholics or Christians are just grasping at straws, let them come to Cresco and let them look at this community of faith. What a blessing!” the bishop boasted.

Following the Dedication Mass, parishioners lingered throughout the new church taking photographs. They also enjoyed food and fellowship in the Narthex and hallways of the building.

Most Holy Trinity has daily Mass each weekday at 8 a.m. It also has a Spanish Mass on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. The parish’s weekend Mass schedule includes a 4 p.m. Vigil Mass on Saturday and Masses at 8 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and Noon on Sunday. The Noon Mass is celebrated in Spanish.