St. Jude’s Pastor Fr. Joe Evanko Celebrates 25 Years Of Priesthood
By ANDREA O’NEILL
Correspondent
Fr. Joe Evanko

St. Jude Catholic Church Pastor and Hazleton native, Father Joe Evanko recently celebrated a milestone in his life and career; twenty five years as an ordained priest on June 29. The occasion was marked on July 10 with a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Joseph’s in Hazleton where he was ordained, and a reception at Genetti’s followed.

“It doesn’t feel like 25 years at all,” says Father Joe. “I’ve had great assignments and met some great people, it’s a good thing to celebrate.”

A quarter century is a long time to be doing the same job, and throughout that time, most of us tend to reflect on the overall success of those years. While the work of running a parish is surely hectic and emotionally draining at times, and leaves plenty of room for self doubt, Father Joe says that there is nothing he wish he had done differently, nor anything that would have made his experience as a priest any better or worse. He credits his education and formation experience for preparing him in a very thorough way for the job of administering to the spiritual and emotional needs of a congregation.

“My family and my faith experience really prepared me pretty well. The formation system sets up a great foundation,” he relates.

That formation was a 10-year process that included a BA in Christian Traditions from the University of Scranton, an MA in Theology from

See Fr. Joe page 4