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Monessen church parting with statues, stained-glass windows, kitchen supplies and more

August 20, 2018
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Yvonne Turkovich, 79, looks for a memento to remind her of the church’s history.

Singer sewing machine: $40. Four-foot-tall statue of St. Lucy, patron saint of eye diseases: $350. Fire suppression system for a commercial kitchen: $3,000. Glasses and stemware: four for $1.

Those items and more are part of the Epiphany of Our Lord estate sale taking place this weekend at the Monessen church.

In 1991, Monessen’s five Roman Catholic parishes -- St. Anthony, St. Cajetan, Holy Name of Jesus, St. Hyacinth and St. Leonard -- combined to form Epiphany of Our Lord, said the Rev. Michael Crookston, pastor.

Many items removed from those buildings and associated residences were stored in the Epiphany of Our Lord building on Knox Avenue, he said. With that location closing, Crookston said it was time to clear out some of those items.

“Rather than just discard them, I thought the best way to do this was form this sale,” he said.

The Epiphany of Our Lord location on Pennsylvania Avenue, near Grandview Cemetery, is still operating with a congregation of about 1,200 families, according to Crookston. The church is part of the Greensburg Diocese, which includes 78 parishes and about 137,000 members across Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.

Among the most expensive items for sale is a multipane painted glass window that once hung in the Holy Name of Jesus Convent Chapel, about a block from the Knox Avenue church. The building now houses a daycare and community center, Crookston said.

The window depicts Mary, her arms outstretched, crush­ing a serpent against a deep blue background.

It is priced at $3,200.

Also for sale are boxes of prayer cards, in both English and Italian, and other statues, pictures and religious items. Kitchen and household items -- rolling pins are $8 each, kitchen cabinets and other storage units are available for various prices -- are plenty.

This is the first time Caring Transitions, the company managing the sale, has handled an estate sale for a church, owner Michael Adametz said.

The high volume of religious items made the sale a bit challenging, Adametz said. But what truly made it unique is the depth of local history many of the items represent, he said.

“That’s the big thing for a lot of folks for this particular sale; they’re coming for the memories,” Adametz said.

That’s exactly what 10-year-old Sydney Dudas and her sister, Victoria, 8, both of Monessen, came to the sale looking for.

Both were baptized and made their first communions at the Knox Avenue church. Their parents were married there 13 years ago, and the sisters came looking for a souvenir to give their mom and dad. Their wedding anniversary was in June.

“Because it was closing down, so he wanted something to remind him of where they got married,” Sydney said, holding the silver crucifix she picked out for her father.

They came with their grandmother, Cindy Kotch of Rostraver. She was married at the former Holy Name of Jesus parish in 1977.

“It just brings back a lot of memories,” she said of walking through the church basement, browsing the items on sale and remembering the celebrations that were held there.

“I think as we get older, we think about things in our past,” said Barbara Mandarino, a member of the former St. Leonard parish who has worshipped at Epiphany of Our Lord since the consolidation.

The sale is a chance for worshippers to preserve a piece of their history, she said.

“Remembering what was and what we hope will be again,” Mandarino said.

The estate sale will continue from 8 to 2 p.m. Saturday at Epiphany of Our Lord Roman Catholic Church, 618 Knox Ave., Monessen. A “discount day” will be held from 9 to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Liturgical items will not be sold.

Proceeds will go toward Epiphany of Our Lord, Crookston said.

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