By Annaleigh Gidosh

On the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, four Catholic entities came together to consecrate the corner of 4th and Chew Street in Allentown. 

The organizations involved, St. Luke’s – Sacred Heart Campus, Allentown Central Catholic High School (ACCHS), Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and Catholic Charities in Allentown, are considered the “Heart of the City,” remarked Director of Admissions at Allentown Central Catholic High School, Cara Meskill. 

Here at this “Heart,” our Church can clearly be seen fulfilling Its mission to provide the sacraments, educate its youth, serve the community through spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and evangelize. 

Msgr. Daniel Yenushosky (Vicar Forane of Lehigh Deanery and Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Whitehall), Fr. Remy Coly, M.S.C. (Chaplain of St. Luke’s – Sacred Heart Campus), Msgr. John Gibbons (Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Allentown) and Fr. David Kozak (Parochial Vicar of Sacred Heart Parish, Allentown) led the consecration. 

The ceremony came one year after Bishop Alfred Schlert and diocesan priests consecrated the Diocese of Allentown and its parishes to the Sacred Heart on the same Solemnity. 

Carolee Gifford, a Staff Chaplain at St. Luke’s – Sacred Heart Campus, said that the inspiration for the consecration came after leaders like Frank Ford, President of St. Luke’s – Sacred Heart Campus, reflected on the Catholic identity of the Hospital and its relationship with the greater Catholic community in Allentown. 

Sacred Heart Catholic Church was established in 1869, and Sacred Heart Hospital was founded in 1912 by Msgr. Peter Masson and the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Allentown Central Catholic High School was established in 1926, contributing to the strong Catholic community emerging in the neighborhood.

According to Meskill, the hospital has a close relationship with ACCHS. Together with nurse Haya Jacqui Howells, she recounted how students served people experiencing homelessness who entered the hospital through the Laundry Ministry, Love Bank, and other programs. Likewise, ACCHS students often attend Sacred Heart Parish services and initiatives. 

A newcomer to the corner, Catholic Charities, which used to be located next to St. Paul’s in Allentown, looks forward to its relationship with Sacred Heart Parish, ACCHS, and the hospital. ACCHS students have already taken advantage of opportunities to engage with Catholic Charities’ work in the community. 

It was clear that the Church’s mission is alive in the community as attendees of the June 16 event gathered over a continental breakfast, shared stories, and prayed that all who are served and learn at the corner of 4th and Chew continue to feel the warmth of the Heart of Christ through His Church.