LIMERICK---A century after Fr. McLaughlin arrived and led community members in building a church across from Sokokis Lake in Limerick, St. Matthew Church will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a Mass and celebration on Saturday, October 16. Bishop Robert Deeley will preside at the anniversary Mass at the church, located on 19 Dora Lane, at 4 p.m. A celebration dinner is scheduled to be held after the Mass.
During the 100 days leading up to the anniversary, the parish has hosted a variety of special events to commemorate its centennial, including outdoor movies, service presentations, workshops, adoration and the Rosary, yard sales and fairs, raffles, bean suppers, bonfires, and much more. In addition, the parish has hosted blood drives, including one on October 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“There have been many opportunities to learn, serve, and be part of this special parish community while honoring 100 years of love, mercy, and faith,” said Fr. Bill Labbe, pastor of St. Matthew Parish as well as St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish in Sanford.
From 1912 until 1921, priests from St. Ignatius Parish in Sanford served the Limerick area as a mission of that church. They celebrated Mass in the shipping room of Holland Mill, commuting once a month on the train in the winter and twice a month in the summer. Fr. McLaughlin, the first resident pastor in Limerick, dedicated the original church on October 21, 1921. The church was enlarged in 1939 before a new church on Dora Lane, a short walk from the original church, was dedicated on June 28, 1987. In December of 1989, a fire destroyed the church and rectory. The current church was rebuilt in 1990 and dedicated on June 2, 1991.
For more information about the centennial celebration, including schedule information and updates, click here.