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Former Catholic school in the Poconos transformed into church

The former Monsignor McHugh School near Cresco is now home to Most Holy Trinity Catholic Parish.

CRESCO, Pa. — On the outside, the former Monsignor McHugh School in Paradise Township, near Cresco, still looks like a school. On the inside, it has been transformed into a new worship space: Most Holy Trinity.

Over the past couple of years, parishioners have come together to volunteer their time to help make the new worship space. Mike Ziobro of Canadensis is one of them.

"Things were taken down to the bare things, cleaned up. The building was altered slightly in places. You saw bathrooms were redone. We built the chapel. It's just a labor of love, is the way to say it," said Ziobro.

The new church features pews, stained glass, and holy pieces from St. Ann's in Tobyhanna, St. Mary's in Mount Pocono, and St. Bernadette's in Canadensis – all of which have been closed for several years.

"There's no greater mission than to build a home for the Lord, and it was a true way to unify the three parishes that had separated into one congregation," said Cheryl Lynott of Paradise Township.

Parishioner Cheryl Lynott says that for her, this space has an extra special place in her heart because she attended high school here.

"This gym that always had a lot of fond memories for me now is something that I can share with friends," Lynott said. "Like you get goosebumps, and you're just overwhelmed when you see the beauty."

"This room used to be an old classroom but has since been transformed. Parishioners now come to daily mass her every day."

"You do it because you want to do it because you want everybody to be here and to worship together," said Ziobro.

Old bleachers from the school have been repurposed.

The cafeteria has been turned into a temporary worship space, and the old gym and auditorium will become the new sanctuary.

"When people would get upset that we were worshipping in a gym, when we were worshipping outside, when we were worshipping in here, I think for people that have attended here to see it all tied together is just heartwarming," Lynott said.

Fr. Brian Clarke, the pastor of the parish, says they are looking to debut the new sanctuary to parishioners on May 15.

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