Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 26, 2008
Fort Sask. begins centennial celebrations
- photo by Emile deMilliano
Archbishop Joseph MacNeil receives the blessing of priests and the congregation who had gathered May 17 to mark the 100th anniversary of the first Mass in Fort Saskatchewan.
By MARY-ELLEN and
Special to the WCR
On Sunday May 17, 1908 the first Roman Catholic Mass was celebrated in Fort Saskatchewan. The community of faithful met at the home of T.M. Sullivan and Franciscan Father Arthur presided over the Mass.
One hundred years has elapsed since then - "One hundred years of Faith, Love and Joy," as the parish centennial committee proudly proclaims.
To commemorate the centennial of that first Mass, Our Lady of the Angels Parish came together on Saturday May 17 to celebrate the Mass and to have an "olde-tyme" picnic on the church grounds.
Archbishop Emeritus Joseph MacNeil was the main celebrant. His co-celebrants were: Father John Reddy, the parish's current pastor; Father Francis Mariappa, associate pastor; former pastor Father Duncan MacDonnell and Franciscan Father Don MacDonald.
MacNeil reminded those present of the countless Masses, Baptisms, First Communions, marriages that have been celebrated since 1908.
He remarked upon the many changes that have been experienced in the last 100 years and he reminded the community that despite this, the Mass celebrated 100 years ago is the same Mass today.
When Father Arthur presided over that first Mass in 1908, in Latin and without the aid of a public address system, Jesus Christ was present then. Similarly today and always, Jesus is present in the Mass and the priest puts his voice at the disposal of Jesus.
At the closing of the Mass, the congregation paid tribute to MacNeil who will celebrate 60 years as a priest this year.
The parish is looking forward to the weekend of Sept 27-28, when the centennial of the Church of Our Lady of the Angels will be commemorated more completely - 100 years of faith, love and joy.