Archbishop Henry J. Mansell greets parishioners after celebrating Mass on June 10 at St. Patrick Parish in Farmington. (Photo by Lenora Sumsky)
FARMINGTON – Members of St. Patrick Parish celebrated 150 years of Catholicism in Farmington Valley on June 10 with Archbishop Henry J. Mansell.
The archbishop celebrated Mass at St. Patrick Church in honor of the church’s 90th anniversary and the more than 150 years that the Farmington Valley faithful have gathered, initially in homes or clock shops, to worship, celebrate and pray.
"We are tenants in time," said Archbishop Mansell in his homily, which focused on the connections between people today and those who have gone before. He called to mind many joyous occasions that center around religious celebrations, such as baptisms, first holy Communions and weddings, and the timeless role local churches play in centering "the patterns of our families and the patterns of our Sunday mornings."
He encouraged parishioners to, as time goes on, "continue to proclaim God’s marvelous deeds and continue to be God’s marvelous deeds."
The church was built of stone hauled from nearby fields and quarries by many of the Italian immigrants who had moved to the town. Its marble altar was consecrated and the building dedicated on June 11, 1922.
Other special events, such as a wine and cheese party and golf tournament and dinner, were part of the year-long celebration.
"The Mass celebrated by Archbishop Mansell was a most memorable occasion," said Mr. Anthony DiBiasio, an 85-year-old parishioner who has considered St. Patrick Church his parish home for all his life.
"Meeting Archbishop Mansell, was a once-in-a-lifetime occasion," said Mr. DiBiasio.