The parish family of Mother Cabrini warmly welcomes you to our Church. Located at 214 North Shamokin Street in Shamokin, PA, Mother Cabrini Church is a result of the merger of the former Assumption BVM, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Edward the Confessor, St. Michael the Archangel and St. Stanislaus Kostka Churches in the Shamokin area. Dedicated in 1995 under the patronage of St. Frances Cabrini, Mother
Cabrini Parish is rich in it's many blessings, faith-filled people and ethnic heritage. Our church is staffed by
the Conventual Franciscan Friars of St. Anthony of Padua Province. The first pastor of Mother Cabrini Parish was Fr. Dennis Grumsey, OFM. Our current pastor is Father Martin Kobos, OFM.
We are happy that you have chosen to spend some time sharing the beauty of our Church through this tour in cyberspace.
We invite you now to take a virtual "walking tour" of Mother Cabrini Church. During the renovation of our church
in 1998, a serious effort was made to incorporate sacred goods from all of the former churches so that the blending of sacred goods would truly reflect the blending of the faithful into this new community. Most of the religious items that you will see were carefully selected from their former churches to welcome all of the people of Mother Cabrini "home".
Upon approaching the front doors of the church, we are welcomed by all five patrons of the former churches and Mother Cabrini. Above the doors are symbols of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Franciscan Coat of Arms. Statues of Saints Peter and Paul flank both sides of the center doors as you enter. These statues of the founders of the Church of Rome, purchased in the 1920's, had resided on the high altar of St. Michaels Church for many years. The vestibule is now wired for sound, separated from
the nave of the church by clear etched glass doors.
A beautiful replica of the San Damiano crucifix hangs on the inner wall of the vestibule. This cross is made of mosaic tiles and was purchased for our church by Fr. Dennis in Italy in 1997. The history of the San Damiano crucifix is a vital piece in the story of St. Francis. In the year 1205, Francis visited an old, semi-abandoned church just below Assisi. There he saw the Byzantine image of the crucified Christ.
Francis was enthralled with the unusual image because Christ is alive on the cross. It was this crucifix which "spoke" to Francis and asked him to repair His Church. The story of the San Damiano crucifix is particularly meaningful to us at Mother Cabrini as we, too, have been called by God to rebuild His church.
We enter the nave and, looking upward, notice the beautiful stencils and symbols throughout. These were applied in the 1970's by Fr. Woody Jones, then pastor of St. Edward's. "You can give anyone a capsule course in Christian history just from the
columns", he remarked. The right wall depicts Creation, the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, the Covenant between Abraham and God, the Burning Bush, the Ten Commandments and the Prophecy
that a Virgin would conceive. The left wall depicts the Birth of Christ,the Visit of the Maji, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension and the Holy Spirit.
The corporal and spiritual works of mercy can be viewed on both sides of the ceiling in the nave. The
rear walls of the church are graced with framed murals of the Annunciation and Nativity which had previously been affixed to the ceilings of Assumption BVM Church and are over one hundred years old.
Restored in 1997, they now complement the original symbols in the nave. During the church renovations in 1998, the church was repainted and stencils were added by H.A. Smith, Inc. of Wilkes-Barre.
The focal point of the sanctuary
is the altar of sacrifice. The altars are the original anthracite coal altars that were commissioned for St. Edward's Church in 1972 and, in 1998, they have been enhanced by the addition of oak trim. The altars represent a tribute to the mining heritage of the people of the area. Directly above the altar of sacrifice is an inscription that is indicative of the work ethic and love of church which are, and always have been, very important to us: "Come to me all you who labor and are burdened."
Our patron, Mother Cabrini, stands in the corner of the vestibule. Frances Xavier Cabrini is the first citizen saint of the United States and is known as the patron saint of immigrants. Because of the varied ethnic backgrounds in our area, she was chosen as the patron and protector of Mother Cabrini Church by Bishop Nicholas Dattilo. Her statue was the first item purchased for our church following it's dedication in
1995. The statues of Mary and Joseph which are within the arch on the right side of the sanctuary came to us from Assumption BVM Church and were purchased in 1953 by the Marcinek siblings in
memory of their parents.
The baptismal font which stands beneath Mary and Joseph is the original font from St. Stanislaus Church and is known to be over one hundred years old. The
crucifix which hangs behind the altar of sacrifice is also from St. Stanislaus and is known as the "Mission Cross" from that church. The corpus is also over one hundred years old, however, the original cross was replaced in 1963. In 1998 this cross was refinished, the corpus restored and moved into Mother Cabrini.
The coal lectern was also modified in 1998 by the
addition of gold rails on either side. These are the original altar rail gates from pre-Vatican II St. Edward's Church.
The Venetian tiled mosaic which hangs above the tabernacle came to Mother Cabrini from St. Anthony's Church. Designed by then pastor Fr. Matthew Swizdor, the mosaic was assembled by artisans in Venice, Italy in 1975. It depicts the wheat and vines, bread and wine, at the base. The chalice and host
are centered, rays of light emanating heavenward, all symbols of the Holy Eucharist. The mosaic is composed of small pieces of colored marble and a special type of glass. As beautiful today as it was in 1975, the mosaic was carefully removed from St. Anthony's Church and reinstalled in Mother Cabrini.
The tabernacle, the angels that flank it, the statues in the crucifixion scene and the sanctuary lamp were purchased in 1998 during the renovation of the church. The statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus which stands in the left corner of the sanctuary next to one of our two reliquaries came to us from St. Michael's Church. Purchased in the early seventies by Oblate Fr. John Cleary, this statue, as well as the murals throughout the church, was repaired and repainted by liturgical artist Judith Dotzell in 1998.
All of the sacred items which you see within Mother Cabrini Church are representative of both our past and our future. Although individually beautiful, like pieces of a mosaic they have been joined to form an exquisite new picture. This new faith community now worships together under the patronage of Mother Cabrini. With her help and intercession and the blessing of Almighty God we continue to grow as a parish family and look toward a future filled with hope and promise.