OSWEGO — St. Stephen the King Church, located at 138 Niagara St., celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the parish and church building.
On Saturday, Oct. 24, a 4 p.m. Vigil Mass was celebrated by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, along with Father Andrew E. Baranski, pastor of St. Stephen’s; Msgr. George Sheehan and Father Joseph E. Scardella. Deacon John Lalande and Deacon Joseph Chillemi were also present at the altar.
Establishment of the parish for the Polish residents of the city of Oswego formally began on Feb. 3, 1908. Excavation for the church building began on April 4, 1910 and the actual laying of the cornerstone took place on Sunday, July 24, 1910. The first Mass was celebrated in St. Stephen’s in April of 1911 by Father Pniak, who blessed all the articles necessary for the services. Then on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1911, Mass was celebrated in the presence of a congregation that filled the church to capacity.
St. Stephen’s Parish has just completed repainting the inside of the church. The church was also beautifully decorated with flowers for the celebration.
Bishop Cunningham began Mass with the blessing and sprinkling of holy water, and blessed the parishioners during a procession to the altar.
Two children, Jade Parker and Jude Parker of St. Stephen’s Faith Formation Program dressed in Polish costumes and presented Bishop Cunningham with roses at the beginning of Mass.
The combined choir of St. Stephen’s Parish and St. Joseph’s Parish, under the direction of Thomas and Cheryl Castilano, sang Polish hymns during Mass.
After Mass, a dinner, prepared by some of the parishioners, was held in the church hall.
The parish would like to thank Bishop Cunningham for celebrating Mass with them and thank those who volunteered their time planning the 100th anniversary celebration and preparing the food.