For any organization to exist for 150 years there must be a great deal of hard work, dedication, trust and faith involved on behalf of the members.
All of those adjectives can be used to describe the parishioners and clergy who have served and attend St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Sedalia.
To celebrate and commemorate the milestone of their 150th anniversary Oct. 23, the church is planning several special events, one of which is the publication of a book that will record the history of the church and St. Patrick’s school.
“When we started thinking of ideas for the anniversary, one thing we knew we would like to do was record the history of the Church,” Tina Mattingly said. “In 1951 Mrs. Miles (Esteen) published a book about the history of the parish to that time and it was updated once since then but with the 150th anniversary we want to update the history and tell the story of the church.
“Dee (Snurr, parish secretary) and I are trying to collect and gather as many pictures of the church and events that have taken place here and at the school as we can but we haven’t been having a lot of luck so far,” Mattingly added. “One of the problems we have been facing is finding anyone who can remember the stories of the church’s beginnings or who has pictures from our past.”
Both women said not only are they having difficulties with finding photographs from the early decades of the church but even ones from more recent events and traditions are proving to be difficult to acquire.
Mattingly provided a list of events they would like to contain in the book, which Father Mark Miller describes as a coffee table edition.
“We won’t actually publish the book until after the celebration in October because we want to include that in the book,” Miller said. “It takes a lot of time to assemble a book like this so we needed to start early.”
The book will contain the history of the church and the various ministries and outreach programs that they have sponsored.
They also plan to record the history of St. Patrick’s school and a photographic history of the current members of the church.
“We have two weekends, July 14 through 16 and Aug. 4 through 6 when we will have a professional photographer here to photograph families who wish to be included in the book,” Mattingly said. “We also hope to include a page where individuals or business can make a donation and have their name listed as sponsors to the book project.”
Snurr said she had received a few pieces of memorabilia from the church and school and the committee would be grateful to accept other items of a similar nature if individuals would like to donate or loan them to the Church.
The committee is working to finalize the plans for the book and the celebration.
“Bishop (John) Gados will offer mass at 2 p.m. on Sunday, the 23rd of October and we will have a dinner to follow the mass,” Miller said. “We are hoping to have the meal in the gym at the former school (now the Sedalia Community Center located across the street from St. Patrick’s Church).”
The three said they are expecting a large group of parishioners, friends and family to attend.
“I think we can expect between 500 to 600 people to be here for the Mass,” Miller said. “Half of the parish at St. Patrick’s are members of the Hispanic community, and they have become a very welcome addition to our services and the Church.”
As for Mattingly, she has been on a lot of treasure hunts lately hoping to find the photographs and documentation needed to tell the stories of the history of all the individuals and cultures that have helped to make the church the blessing it has become to so many.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time looking online trying to find information and pictures that we can use,” Mattingly said. “I have a lot of ideas in the back of my mind that I would like to try to do.
“Finding the photographs is a big part of that,” she added. “I know someone has them stashed somewhere and I truly believe we will find them.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484