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Shenandoah Church To Celebrate 100th, Last Anniversary

Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Shenandoah is getting ready to celebrate their 100th anniversary. However, it'll also be the last because the church is closing later this month. Parishioners have one more big send off planned for the church.
Shenandoah, Schuylkill County - Sue Probition had had everything from her First Communion to her wedding at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Shenandoah.

"It was a regular Italian wedding," she recalled. "Everybody and their brother came. We had a beautiful ceremony."

Probition considers the church her family.

This week the church will celebrate its 100th anniversary. However, it'll be bittersweet because it's also the last one.

The church will close at the end of this month. As a celebration the church will hold its Italian Festival starting on Friday night.

"When we were planning everything we were not aware it was going to close," Probition said. "So, it coincides very nicely that were going to have this huge celebration."

Ann Marnell-Lehman, a parishioner at the church, said people will be coming from as far as California to say goodbye to the church.

"It's disheartening that the church is closing," she said. "At least we made it to 100 years and we could give our roots a little bit of thank you for everything they did for us."

This is the first time in seven years the church has had it's festival which also celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Jim Pellegrino is planning the menu. He said it'll be traditional Italian fare.

"We're having porketta sandwiches, meatball hoagies, sausage hoagies, spaghetti and meatball platters, pasta fagioli," he said.

Probition said she hopes it's the biggest church festival in Schuylkill County this summer. But if nothing else she said it'll be special because of everyone coming back to town.

"The families are going to be here," Probition said. "That's what's going to make it."   

The festival wraps up on Sunday with a fireworks celebration.
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