A Brief History of Gate of Heaven Church and School

A Brief History of Gate of Heaven Church and School

1923 –  Our Lady of Victory Chapel, a mission of St. Ignatius Church, Kingston, built. Dedicated on Labor Day 1923 by Bishop Hoban.

Aug. 1, 1926 – Rev. John J. O’Leary installed as first pastor of Our Lady of Victory.

June 1928 -Erection of St. Therese’s Church began. First Mass sung on Christmas Eve. Nov. 4, 1929  St. Therese’s Church dedicated, and Our Lady of Victory became a mission of St. Therese’s Church.

1945 – First piece of property on Machell Ave. and Spring St. where Gate of Heaven building now stands purchased. Shortly thereafter, two additional nearby parcels of land were purchased.

Nov. 12, 1950  –  Ground broken for building of Gate of Heaven School April 1951   Steel work for building erected after considerable delay

Fall of 1951 – Decision to build a new parish church along with a school

Sept. 1951 – Gate of Heaven School opens for its first academic school year with 168 students in grades 1-6. The faculty consisted of six Sisters of Mercy and one lay teacher under the leadership of Sr. Mary Ignatius, principal.

Nov. 18, 1951 – Dedication of Gate of Heaven Church (with a membership of 20 families) and school. Rev. Francis A. Kane was appointed administrator of the parish. Our Lady of Victory Church became a mission of Gate of Heaven Church. Ceremonies included a parade from the triangle in Dallas Borough, with members of the Dallas American Legion Post, St. Therese’s Junior Court of the Catholic Daughters of America, Explorer and Boy Scout Troops, and St. John’s (later Seton Catholic) Band participating. Bishop Hafey presided at the ceremonies, and members of St. Therese’s Holy Name Society served as an honor guard for the bishop.

Jan. 27, 1952  – Rev. Francis A. Kane appointed as first pastor. Grade seven added to school.

1953 – Gate of Heaven Church membership increased to 80 families. Grade eight was added to the school.

June 1955 – First graduation class at Gate of Heaven school

Nov. 17, 1957 – Dedication of new two story school wing which housed eight additional classrooms and a multi-purpose cafeteria/auditorium/gymnasium. Ten sets of pews were added to the church.

1962 – Rectory on Machell Ave. and Convent on E. Terrace St. acquired.

Sept. 3, 1969  – Our Lady of Victory Mission, Harveys Lake, established as a separate parish; Father Patrick D. Healey appointed pastor.

June 1964 – Largest graduating class Gate of Heaven School (80 students)

Sept. 8, 1970 – Msgr. Kane left Gate of Heaven for a new assignment . Rev.Thomas M. Jordan appointed pastor of Gate of Heaven Church. Gate of Heaven Parish membership totaled eight hundred families.

1968 & 1972 – Boys’ basketball team from Gate of Heaven School won the Wyoming Valley Catholic Grade School League Championship.

March 1971 – Establishment of the “coffee house” recreation center through the initiative of assistant pastor Fr. McGough.

May 1, 1973 – Homemade bomb exploded in a stairwell near the front of Gate of Heaven School shortly after 9 p.m., almost two weeks to the minute after a similar device exploded at the Irem Temple Country Club. No damage was reported.

May 20, 1973 –  The Shalom Singers, a liturgical folk group from Gate of Heaven Church performed at the Parish’s celebration of Fr. Jordan’s silver jubilee. The group would sing weekly at 9 a.m. Folk Masses at Gate of Heaven Church.

1974 – Girls’ basketball team from Gate of Heaven School won the Wyoming Valley Catholic Grade School League Championship.

1975 – Erection of outdoor shine to Our Lady, Gate of Heaven; dedicated May 25th.

Nov. 18, 1976 – Gate of Heaven Church observed its Silver Jubilee.

Jan. 19, 1978 – Rev. William F. Kusick appointed pastor of Gate of Heaven Church.

Sept. 1983-  School closed for renovations, and church was redecorated.

Nov. 25, 1983 – First Mass celebrated in renovated church.

May 6, 1984 – Church bulletin indicates that there were six weekend masses to choose from: Sat. at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m.; Sun. at 7:00, 8:30, 11:00 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

1986 – Kindergarten program added to the existing eight grades.

March 1989 – Construction begins on middle school building.

Sept. 1989 – Construction of middle school building completed. On Sept. 17th, ceremonies commemorating the opening of the new school included an open house, a dedication and blessing of the new school by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, a brief reception and school tours.

A new after-school extension program was added, and the school changed its operation to interparochial status to include St. Therese’s, Shavertown; Our Lady of Victory, Harveys Lake; St. Frances Cabrini, Carverton; Blessed Sacrament Mission, Centermoreland, in addition to Gate of Heaven Parish.

1990 – Sisters of Mercy discontinue their association with Gate of Heaven School after being associated with the school for 40 years.

Late Fall 1996 – Father Cusick leaves Gate of Heaven Church due to illness.

May 1, 1997 – Death of Father Cusick

July 1, 1997 – Rev. Jack Lambert was appointed pastor of Gate of Heaven Church, succeeding Rev. David P. Cappelloni.

May 5, 1999 – Death of Msgr. Francis A. Kane, founding pastor of Gate of Heaven Church, at the age of 90

Nov. 18, 2001 – Church bulletin indicates that church membership was 1,003 families.

June 2003 – Rev. Kevin Mulhern appointed pastor of Gate of Heaven Church

Fall 2005 – Completion of extensive church renovations, including installation of stained glass windows

August 2007 – First Summer Music Camp held at Gate of Heaven Church. The Gate of Heaven Summer Music Camp is the only summer music camp in the Diocese of Scranton that is devoted exclusively to liturgical music.

July 15, 2009 – Fr. Toomey appointed pastor of both Gate of Heaven and Our Lady of Victory, as parishes became linked due to Diocesan restructuring

June 15, 2011 – Gate of Heaven School closed

2015- Extensive renovations made to Middle School in order to turn it into a parish center

2018 – Current membership of Gate of Heaven is 861 families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018-08-23T14:29:49+00:00Parish News|Comments Off on A Brief History of Gate of Heaven Church and School