About the St. Francis Xavier Church
by Robert J. Moran of FAIRMOUNTONLINE.COM
The grand Romanesque structure adorning the northeast corner of 24th and Green Streets
is the oldest church in the neighborhood. Completed in 1898, this building replaced the
old church that was located at 25th and Biddle (approximately where the Art Museum steps
are today). The parish itself began in 1839.
While the building has many striking features, the tower is the most prominent. The spire
is one hundred, fifty-two feet tall. It is one of the most recognized landmarks in the
neighborhood. The stained glass windows are beautiful, especially the circular one above
the main entrance. It was given to the church as a gift from Archbishop Ryan. It's 22 feet
in diameter, and its fine stonework reminds one of lace.
The building was the victim of a fire in 1906. Luckily, most of the stone structure remained
intact and the interior was rebuilt.
The Church serves as The Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. The Oratory tries to duplicate the
beginnings of the Church through simple prayer meetings. St. Frannies (as it is called by
many) also has an active Grief Ministry.
Photo by Michael Weinberg Photography of Scranton and Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.