life church bethlehem
We are almost ready to begin renovations of St. John Capistrano church in Bethlehem. St. John’s will become the permanent HOME for our Bethlehem location and be an outpost of hope for the city of Bethlehem.
Until renovations are complete, we'll be meeting at Life Church Allentown for English and Español services:
English: 9:00am, 11:00am
Español: 11:00am (in upstairs chapel)
OF ST. JOHN CAPISTRANO
St. John Capistrano Parish was established in 1903 when Archbishop Patrick Ryan of Philadelphia appointed Father Alexander Varlaky to organize the first Hungarian parish of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Early services were held in the stone basement church. In 1909 a school and convent were added to complete the building. Sisters of the Mission Workers of the Sacred Heart were placed in charge of the school. In 1918 Father Joseph Reseterics was appointed as pastor. The cornerstone of the new church was blessed on August 20, 1922. Formal dedication of the completed church took place on September 3, 1923.
The Polish sisters were replaced by the Hungarian nuns Sisters of Divine Charity in 1920. A major remodeling of the school and church began in 1969. Four frescoes were painted in the sanctuary and changes were made to the pulpit and the main altar. Founders Hall was built in the church basement in 1978. In June 1981 St John Capistrano School was closed followed by the convent in 1985. After city inspectors condemned the school building the structure was demolished in the fall of 1986. Father Edward Bolez THF served as the last pastor of St. John Capistrano Parish. [source]