Today we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Mother of God Church. We have talked about this day and planned for this day for a long time. I am very excited about this great moment in the history of our parish.

To me it is astounding that an immigrant community, just a few years after the Civil War, were able to create such a remarkable structure for the worship of our God. The American economy was still in the early days of recovery, and the people who made up this parish were certainly not wealthy. Yet, they so loved God and their Catholic faith that they made the sacrifices that were necessary to build Mother of God Church, and we are the beneficiaries today of that great act of faith.

Those of you who attend the celebration this afternoon will see the new documentary that describes the architecture and artwork that make up the church. Sometime next week, I hope that we will be able to put the documentary on the parish website for all to see. It really is a wonderful testimony to the beauty of our church but also the deep spirituality and faith that is taught and proclaimed by it.

There are a number of people I need to thank for their work in putting this celebration together. First of all, those planning the dinner and the celebration at Summit Hills Country Club—Mary Ann Kelly, Carol Fausz, Maureen Eiting, Cindy DeAngelis, Cindy Hassan, Angie Kiger, Mary Margaret Kindel, and Jeannie McKinley.  Those who put together the video are Paul Tenkotte and Vic Canfield (authors) and Rick Sacksteder (narrator).  Parish Pastoral Council approved a new bronze plaque commemorating the anniversary, which will be on the front porch of the church. It will be blessed as part of the Masses this morning. I want to thank Steve Oberjohn for his work in coordinating the casting of the plaque and Cindy Duesing for composing the text.

This Sunday will be the first performance of our new choir at the 9:30 am Mass. I want to thank Andrew Allen, our organist and choir director, and those who have joined in the choir. Also, our Contemporary Ensemble will be playing for the 11:30 am Mass, and, as always, I am sure they will do a fantastic job. Thank you to all of them.

I am sure that there are others who have been involved in some way in the work to prepare for this day, and if I have neglected to include your name, please know that it was unintentional. If you contact me, I will be glad to include your name in next week’s bulletin.
Fr. Mike Comer