|Assumption of the B.V.M. Greek Catholic Church, Centralia|
The church in Centralia was selected to have one of the special Doors of Mercy in the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia for the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy inaugurated by Pope Francis.
CONYNGHAM TOWNSHIP, Columbia County — Centralia is the spookiest and saddest place in Pennsylvania. An unquenchable 54-year-old underground coal fire compelled the relocation of virtually the entire population of the borough through federal government buyouts in the 1980s.
From a population of more than 1,000 in 1980, only a half-dozen holdouts remain in the Columbia County community — residents who struck an agreement with the government allowing them to stay until they die.
Improbably, however, there is life beyond their scattered homes. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church — perched on a hilltop just outside the borough line — is still active, drawing congregants from afar on Sundays and holy days.
This Sunday, the church will host a daylong event welcoming the faithful for liturgy and prayer. It's the first such event since Assumption was declared a holy pilgrimage site. (Morning Call, Aug. 26, 2016)