By Dave Guthro, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland
BENEDICTA, Maine — In 1834, 45 pioneering families, united in faith, arrived in a wooded area in northeastern Maine.
Many were impoverished Irish immigrants who took up an offer from Bishop Benedict Joseph Fenwick, the second bishop of Boston, to purchase land at $1.25 per acre.
Along with log homes, a dam, and a few small mills, a rugged log church was built and ‘Benedicta,’ named after the bishop, was born.
In 1890, a Gothic-style structure replaced the original log church, but the spirit of togetherness remains. On Sunday, July 6, the parish will celebrate 180 years of St. Benedict Parish, located on 1063 Benedicta Road, with a day of free activities planned in the spirit of harmony that inspired the community’s creation.
The schedule is: community breakfast, 9-10 a.m.; rosary and ringing of the bell 20 times to celebrate 20 years of vacation Bible school, 10-11 a.m.; Mass, 11 a.m.; community barbecue, noon; softball tournament and family friendly activities, 1 p.m.; cemetery prayer, 2:30 p.m.; Divine Mercy Chaplet and benediction, 3 p.m.
For information about the anniversary celebration at St. Benedict Parish, contact the parish office at 365-4294.
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