St. Elizabeth Ann Seton will celebrate its 38th anniversary on Sept. 14. In 1975, the Dunkirk parishes of Sacred Heart and St. Mary's came together to form one new parish in the center of Dunkirk.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was canonized by Pope Paul VI on Sept. 14 of that year. She was the first American born saint. The new parish would bear her name and she became the patroness of the parish.
On Sept. 14, 1975 the parish held a Eucharistic celebration at 3 p.m. Bishop Edward Head was the chief celebrant. He concelebrated the Mass with the newly named pastor, the late Rev. Monsignor Kenneth Menge and the associate pastor the Rev. James Walter.
The Pastoral Council, led by the Adult Education and Liturgy Committees will celebrate the parish anniversary with a Eucharistic celebration at 4 p.m. Parishioners have been asked to pray a 3-day novena to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton prior to this day. This saint is known as a powerful witness to the gospel of life. This novena suggests the promotion of life in our country and in our Church today.
The Eucharistic celebration will be conducted by the current pastor, the Rev. Dennis Riter and concelebrated by the Rev. Walter Werbicki and the former pastor, the Rev. Thomas Wopperer. Area priests and deacons will attend as well as parishioners and friends. The youth of the parish will lead a procession and place flowers at the statue of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.
During the liturgy, members of the parish council will be installed and commissioned to assist the pastor to carry out the parish's mission, which is to become a vibrant and diverse faith community. The recessional hymn "Christ Be our Light" will lead the congregation to a celebration at the school hall.
The hall will be decorated in a fall harvest theme. A short program highlighting the life of St Elizabeth Ann Seton will be presented. Following the program, those gathered will recite a prayer calling for the saint's intercession. Food will be blessed and a light supper served. After supper, there will be the traditional singing of Happy Anniversary and cake and ice cream will be served. A social will follow.
For more information, call the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish office at 366-1750.