Sunday was a celebration of faith and the history of devotion of the parishioners of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
For 150 years the church has been one of the foundations of the Catholic community in Pettis County and an estimated 450 people attended the 2 p.m. Mass offered by Bishop John Gados to mark the occasion.
“I am always moved and strengthened when I consider how deep the roots of faith are in this community,” Bishop Gados said after the Mass, prior to the meal in the gymnasium of the Boys and Girls Club which was the former home of St. Patrick’s School. “When I think of the founding of this Church 150 years ago and the sacrifices of the people who were just coming out of the Civil War to build this church and spread the good news of Christ our Lord I am humbled.”
A combined 15 priests and deacons were present Sunday afternoon to participate in the celebratory Mass.
Five sisters of St. Joseph’s Carondelet of Kansas City were also in attendance at the Mass.
Sister Clara Vincent (Rita Clara Slatinsky) was born and raised in Sedalia and went to both church and school at St. Patrick’s and although she did not teach at the school she said she had fond memories growing up in the parish.
For Sister Mary Catherine, (Ruth Baudhuin) memories of her teaching experience at St. Patrick’s also remain clear.
“I had such a wonderful experience during my time here in the 1960s,” Sister Mary Catherine said. “A lot of things changed both during my years here and since I have been gone but I do have so many memories of the children.”
For the sisters and many who attended Sunday’s celebration one of the fondest memories of St. Patrick’s is their tradition of giving.
“I went to school here until they closed it when I was in the sixth grade,” Charles Mattingly said. “I always liked going to school here and of course now continuing to attend Church because I always feel a sense of community here.
“St. Patrick’s is a very giving community and we have been in part because we are involved in so many things,” he added. “The Open Door was started right here in the basement of this building and we continue to be involved with their work and that of other organizations.”
Mattingly’s wife Tina Mattingly also spoke of the caring nature and spirit of generosity that is a part of the church.
“I am one of six generations of my family, including my granddaughters who have attended church here,” Tina Mattingly said fondly. “I am so very thankful for today and the opportunity for us to be together.
“For me one of the blessings of St. Pat’s is seeing the growth of our community and the different cultures that have come together here,” she added.
Mattingly along with St. Patrick’s parish secretary, Dee Snurr have been working the last six months to create book chronicling the history of the church and school.
“I am very sad to see today end, but in a way there is a great sense of relief that we have almost completed the book,” Snurr said. “In a way it is like Christmas, because you see all of the build-up and anticipation but you know the day will have to end.”
Father Mark Miller, priest of St. Patrick’s and Sacred Heart also commented on the work and anticipation leading up to the day.
“We have spent almost a year in the planning for today,” Miller said. “We are thankful for the wonderful help we have had throughout.
“Today has been a true blessing,” he added. “To have everyone here for this celebration has been a joy.”
Copies of the 150th anniversary book celebrating the history of St. Patrick’s may be pre-ordered until Nov. 7. The coffee table books are $20 and may be ordered by calling the church office at 826-2062.
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484.