Southwestern Indiana's Catholic Community Newspaper

St. Peter Parish Prepares For Bicentennial

Father Jim Koressel leads prayer during the blessing and dedication of St. Peter Parish's Garden of Sorrow and Joy in 2017. The Message photo by Tim Lilley

St. Peter Parish in Montgomery will observe the 200th anniversary of its founding this month. The celebration will begin July 15 and conclude on July 22.

Special events during the week will include an opening Mass on July 15 at St. Peter Church with a homily by Father James Connelly, C.S.C., archivist at Notre Dame University and author of “The Chronicles of Father Edward Sorin.” During the Mass St. Peter Pastor Father Jim Koressel will wear a special vestment which is more than 75 years old. Following the Mass, members of St. Peter and invited guests will enjoy breakfast.

A Euchre tourney will be held on June 16 in the St. Peter School building. Anyone is welcome to participate. The entry fee is one pie of the donor’s choice.  Prizes will be given the top players as well as lots of pie during the tourney.

The St. Peter Parish community invites the general public to a July 18 organ concert in St. Peter Church. It will feature St. Peter’s magnificent pipe organ, with organist David Lamb at the keyboard. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. EDT and is expected to last approximately one hour. There will be no admission fee or free will offering.

Coincidentally, July 18 happens to be the 149th anniversary of the dedication of St. Peter Church.

On June 20th, the St. Peter Parish community will share a fish dinner for the citizens of Montgomery and invited guests. Serving will begin at 5 p.m. EDT and conclude at 7 p.m. or when the food runs out.

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel will celebrate the closing Mass on July 22. Following the Mass, the members of St. Peter and invited guests will enjoy a hog roast. The men’s club from St. Martin, Whitfield, will prepare the hogs. St. Peter Youth Group (W.A.T.Y.) will organize games of various kinds for the young people in attendance.

Several beautiful and original comforters also will be raffled off on July 22.  Tickets will be available all week long at St. Peter Church.

During the weeklong festivities, a display of antique religious artifacts will be available for viewing. These are items from the archives of St. Peter and are more than 100 years old. Through the generosity of Notre Dame University, a bell that Father Sorin and his companions took with them in 1842, when they headed north from Montgomery, will be on display.

The St. Peter Parish community invites people of all faiths to wander its historic campus during the 200th anniversary celebration or any time. The recently completed “Garden of Sorrow and Joy” is open for visitation all year long, but it is especially beautiful during the growing season.  It is a place of peace and quiet contemplation. Two bronze statues state the purpose of the garden: sorrow at the death of a loved one and joy that our deceased find new life on the other side of death.

During the Bicentennial celebration, commemorative items will be given away as long as the supply lasts. Other commemorative items will be sold to those interested. Copies of the most recent Pictorial Directory as well as a history of the parishes of St. Peter, St. Patrick, St. Michael and All Saints can be purchased during the festival.

Golf carts will be used to taxi people who need assistance from their parking place to the church grounds.