Reverend Vincent H. Dang celebrates the closing Mass for Holy Family Parish in Sugar Notch on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

SUGAR NOTCH – With a turn of the key, parishioner Agnes Munley ceremonially locked the doors of Holy Family Church on Sept. 19, 2021.

Prior to the locking ritual, dozens of parishioners gathered for a closing Mass for the church at 1:00 p.m. Father Vincent H. Dang, pastor, celebrated the Mass. Father Joseph R. Kakareka, pastor emeritus, concelebrated.

As parishioners processed out of the church for the final time, they sang “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.”

Holy Family Parish was established in 1903 to serve Polish immigrants who came to the United States around the turn of the century. Many settled in the Sugar Notch area for jobs in the coal mines. The coal altar inside the church was purchased in 2000 in memory of those men.

Over its 118-year history, the parish educated students in its own elementary school and underwent numerous renovations – which included new entrances, interior painting and the addition of the coal altar. Holy Family Parish’s current brick building took three years to build and was dedicated on Sept. 13, 1913. The parish’s first wooden church was destroyed by fire after being struck by lightning in June 1910.

Parish restructuring has been part of the history of Holy Family Parish – as the community faced the closure of Ss. Peter & Paul Church in 1995 and Saint Charles Borromeo in 2009.

With the closure of Holy Family Parish, parishioners will now belong to Saint Leo the Great Parish in Ashley, and the territory boundary of Saint Leo the Great Parish will now include the previous territorial boundaries of Holy Family Parish.

May God’s Blessings be upon all of the parishioners of Holy Family Parish and the newly formed Saint Leo the Great Parish.