Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

St. Mary, Sullivan, Celebrates 150th Anniversary

The Message photos by Tim Lilley

Deacon Albert Frabutt of St. Mary Parish in Sullivan read Matthew’s account of Jesus’ founding of the Church during the 11 a.m. Mass at St. Mary on Aug. 26, which celebrated the 150th anniversary of the founding of Sullivan County’s only parish:

“And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church,*and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

“We always celebrate two different histories,” Pastor Father Jeff Read said during his homily. “Today we celebrate the 150th anniversary of this church, but we also celebrate the Catholic Church in general. In the Gospel we see the founding of the Church – and Jesus picks its first vicar.”

Father Read mentioned a number of former pastors who served the parish – including Father Ray Brenner, who returned to concelebrate the anniversary Mass. Father Brenner, now pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Jasper and Dean of the Diocese of Evansville’s East Deanery, served as pastor of St. Mary from 1978 to 1986.

He also mentioned the late Father Kenneth Graehler, and former Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend Herman J. Alerding, who served St. Mary during its earliest years in the 1860s. He then mentioned a number of parishioners who served the parish through the years.

“So Many people here have helped strengthen the body of Christ,” he said. “We remember the many sacrifices they made … and their faith. As we gather, let’s ask” What can I take from the founding of this church and the founding of the Catholic Church to be that great witness?”

Following Mass, St. Mary Parish hosted a dinner for the parish community.