Religious sisters seek to relocate Abingtons Cemetery

BY DAVID SINGLETON

The Times-Tribune, via AP

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Over more than a century, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd buried dozens of religious sisters and others in a small, relatively secluded cemetery in the Abingtons.

It apparently will not be their final resting place.

A Lackawanna County judge will hear a petition today by the Diocese of Scranton to relocate 57 graves from the Sisters of the Good Shepherd Cemetery on the grounds of the former Lourdesmont School to St. Catherine’s Cemetery in Covington Twp.

The hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. before Judge Vito Geroulo.

Filed in cooperation with the Sisters of Good Shepherd, the request comes almost a decade after the religious order closed Lourdesmont following 81 years of operation and sold the sprawling campus on Venard Road, now home to the Scranton School for Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Children.

The cemetery lies along one edge of the property, not far from the school building.

“The petition basically speaks for itself,” attorney Jenna Kraycer Tuzze, who represents the diocese, said. “The sisters just no longer have a presence up here … so there is basically no maintenance for this old cemetery.”

Relocating the gravesites to St. Catherine’s will ensure they receive perpetual care, diocesan spokesman Eric Deabill said. The desire to provide perpetual care is cited in court documents as the primary reason for the move.

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