St. James Kicks Off Anniversary Celebrations

Parishioners gather for Mass at War Memorial Park in Sewickley to mark the 150th anniversary of the church and 100th anniversary of the school.

Parishioners and friends of St. James Church gathered Sunday at War Memorial Park to officially kick off the 1 

Sunday's Mass included alumni lectors and music by the St. James Choir, and began a year-long celebration of events.

"What a great day. We're here to celebrate 150 years of and 100 years of . That's awesome thats huge," the , pastor, said in his homily.  

Burke said the parish, founded in 1863, was began by Saint James Reid, a missionary priest who traveled on horseback. He likened the beginnings to a mustard seed that started out small and flourished to the church and school that now has a longstanding tradition in Sewickley.

"It gives me great pleasure to be a part of this anniversary celebration," said Sewickley Mayor Brian Jeffe, who read a proclamation honoring the church and school. Jeffe also declared Sept. 9 as St. James Day.

Marisa Tobias, a St. James graduate, who attended the service, said she could remember always having an outdoor Mass every year in the park. 

"This is nice that they brought it back," she said. 

The anniversary Mass was followed by a picnic celebration.


Events are planned through 2012 and 2013 to celebrate the milestones:

Sept. 21 – Grand Opening of the Historic Photo Gallery

Oct. 6 – Progressive Dinners

Nov. 24 – SJS Reunion, Classes of 1986 to 2004

Nov. 30 – Open House for Community Light Up Night

Dec. 1 – Sewickley Parade

Jan. 23 – Ecumenical Event

Jan. 27 to Feb. 2 – Catholic Schools Week

March  – Parish Mission

April 6 – SJS Reunion, Classes up  to 1985

April 26 – Sewickley Spring Gallery Walk

May 27 – Memorial Day Parade

May 2013 – Eighth Grade Graduation

June 2 – Closing Mass with Bishop Zubik . Banquet to follow

Aug. 10 – SJS Reunion, Classes of 2005 to 2013


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