AUBURN---Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Auburn will celebrate the 50th anniversary of St. Philip Church, located on 2365 Turner Road, with a special Mass on Saturday, September 22, at 4 p.m., followed by a reception in the parish hall.
The anniversary celebration commemorates the first Mass of the church community, which was held in a vacant store on Summer Street on September 18, 1968. The founding pastor, Fr. Edmond Hache, celebrated the Mass.
Soon after, an agreement was reached to use the United Methodist Church building on Park Avenue for Masses, an arrangement that lasted for over two years while a church was constructed on a tract of land on Turner Road. Nestled at the foot of Mt. Giles opposite Lake Auburn, St. Philip Church hosted its first Mass on May 11, 1971, the Feast of St. Philip. It was officially dedicated on August 29 of that year.
By the 1980s, the facilities, initially build to accommodate 450 families, were deemed too small to serve a growing Catholic population, which now included over 1,000 local families. In 1987, under the pastorate of Fr. Renald Labarre, a campaign entitled “Called, Gifted, and Growing” was launched and, thanks to the generosity of donors, a parish center was constructed two years later. The center, still in use today, includes meeting rooms, offices, a parish hall, a library, and other amenities.
All are welcome to gather for the celebration, and former parishioners are encouraged to join current parishioners at the Mass.
For more information about the celebration on September 22, contact Stephanie Thibodeau at (207) 754-0788.