Harrisburg man replaces broken boiler at family’s Shamokin church

Something Good

SHAMOKIN, Pa. (WHTM) — A Central Pennsylvania church received the gift of heat this year after its boiler gave out. A Harrisburg man whose family attended the church restored the heat using his skills and connections as an HVAC specialist.

Twenty-five years ago, five Catholic churches merged into the renamed Mother Cabrini Church. It became a hub for the Catholic community around Shamokin, Northumberland County.

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A fire there in the early 1970s caused the roof to collapse into the church. It was rebuilt in the ’70s, but “as buildings age, 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-year-old technology,” said Father Martin Kobos, pastor at Mother Cabrini Church.

“It was cold in here. I told folks you could bring your salamis, we could hang them in here because it was like a refrigerator,” said Kobos. Parishioners said the cold did help keep them awake, saying the temperature was “a little more than chilly,” especially during February.

“A gentleman stopped me after mass and said, ‘Father, don’t you remember me? I’m Bill Yeager. I do boilers,” Kobos said.

Yeager, who works at H&H Service Company, spent 300-400 hours working during the evenings and weekends over the summer to replace the boiler. The work was finished just after Labor Day.

“It’s our family’s church. There was a need. I felt very passionate about taking care of the church,” Yeager said.

“Don’t be afraid to give of your time, talent, and treasure. It’s the old story — the more you give, the more you receive, and it really comes 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.

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