SHAMOKIN, Pa. (WHTM) – A church in central Pennsylvania received the gift of heat this year after its boiler gave way. A Harrisburg man whose family attended church restored the heat using his skills and connections as an HVAC specialist.
Twenty-five years ago, five Catholic churches merged to become the Mother Cabrini Church. It has become a hub for the Catholic community around Shamokin in Northumberland County.
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A fire in the early 1970s caused the roof of the church to collapse. It was rebuilt in the 1970s, but “as the buildings get older you have to take care of them, and the boiler decided to go up in February. But it was a big box – I called it a locomotive. It was a huge thing, it was 50 years old technology, ”said Father Martin Kobos, pastor of Mother Cabrini Church.
“It was cold here. I told people you can bring your salamis, we can hang them here because it was like a refrigerator, ”Kobos said. Parishioners said the cold helped them stay awake, saying the temperature was “a bit more than cool,” especially in February.
“A gentleman stopped me after mass and said, ‘Father, don’t you remember me? I am Bill Yeager. I make boilers, ”Kobos said.
Yeager, who works at H&H Service Company, spent 300 to 400 hours working evenings and weekends during the summer to replace the boiler. The work was completed just after Labor Day.
“This is our family church. There was a need. I felt very passionate about taking care of the church, ”Yeager said.
“Don’t be afraid to donate your time, your talent and your treasure. It’s the old story – the more you give, the more you get, and it really does come back, ”Kobos said.
Yeager also installed new wi-fi, so the pastor is able to monitor and control the boiler from anywhere in the world.