LIMERICK — The 100th anniversary celebration at St. Matthew Church, located on 19 Dora Lane in Limerick, is being held throughout the 100 days leading up to the actual anniversary of the church. The celebration will begin prayerfully with eucharistic adoration on Friday, July 9, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and conclude with an anniversary Mass and dinner with Bishop Robert Deeley on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 4 p.m.
Here is a packet with all of the events set for in between: www.portlanddiocese.org/sites/default/files/files/Limerick100.pdf.
“Since 1921, Catholics in Limerick and the surrounding area have gathered as a family of faith to worship, pray, serve, and to socialize,” said Fr. Bill Labbe, pastor of St. Matthew Parish as well as St. Thérèse of Lisieux Parish in Sanford. “Our community, founded on faith, has been a witness to all that happened in these hundred years. Through it all, St. Matthew Parish has been a welcoming home for friends and family. Over the next hundred days we will be celebrating our anniversary in many ways. There will be times of prayer, movie times, suppers, craft fairs, and a host of other events.”
Many opportunities to learn, serve, and be part of this special parish community are planned to honor the 100 years of love, mercy, and faith that have defined it. Highlights include:
Super Raffle Drawing
The annual raffle raises money for the parish and includes prizes of up to $1500 with 44 winners overall.
“The Roots of Catholic Social Teaching: Scripture and the Fathers of the Church”
This presentation will be held at 6:30 p.m.
Community Yard Sale
Rosary for America
Aug. 12 and October 14
Praying of the Rosary led by the Knights of Columbus at 6:30 p.m.
“Come Back to Me”
A presentation on substance abuse, incarceration, and addressing impacts on families and the community at 6:30 p.m.
Fall Family Fun Day
“Go, You Are Sent”
A presentation on the social mission of the parish at 6:30 p.m.
Additional day long adoration gatherings will be held on Aug. 6, Sept. 3, Oct. 1 and Oct. 9. Multiple blood drives will also be hosted by the church on July 9, Aug. 11, Sept. 4 and Oct. 16. On July 10, Aug. 7 and Sept. 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., massive outdoor vendor and craft fairs will be held. There will be bean suppers on July 17, Aug. 14 and Sept. 11 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Bingo, bonfires, and outdoor movies will be shown on the church lawn on July 24, Aug. 21, Sept. 18 and Oct. 2.
“All of these events are open to the entire community,” said Fr. Labbe. “We hope to bring our parishioners back to our church, to open our doors, and provide some fun and normalcy to the entire community.”
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.
“I hope and pray that many will be able to participate in these events over the summer. It will be wonderful to see one another, to chat, to pray and to just spend time together,” said Fr. Labbe.
As events are confirmed, they will be added to the parish website in the anniversary section: www.stmatthewlimerick.org/centennial-celebration.