MECHANICSBURG – Excitement is running high at Mechanicsburg’s St. Michael’s Catholic Church as it looks forward to Sunday, Sept. 13 and the celebration of its 150th anniversary as a parish.
That occasion received extra special importance recently when Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr confirmed that he will travel from Cincinnati to be the celebrant of the Mass that will be held at 10 a.m. The Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus will be present for the ceremony. After the Mass there will be a reception in the parish hall.
At one time St. Michael’s was a member of the Columbus Diocese before being transferred to its present affiliation with the Diocese of Cincinnati.
St. Michael’s Church on Walnut Street was built in 1886. In 1904 the residence to the south of the church was willed by Bridget Tully to be used as a rectory. In 1966 the church purchased the old American Legion Hall which was located south of the rectory. That structure was demolished and the present 40’ x 80’ Parish Hall was erected.
St. Michaels is one of five Mechanicsburg churches listed in 1985 on the National Register of Historic Places.
The second reading for the parish’s 150th commemorative Mass states: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?” The church’s parish council is working on a major expansion of its food pantry program. Currently this monthly volunteer effort meets the needs of approximately 100 needy families. This is just one example that typifies the long history of caring and involvement that the current parishioners hope to pass on to many more generations to come.
Father Larry Gearhart is the pastor of St. Michaels and Father Matthew Lee is the Parochial Vicar.