Submitted by Father Jason C. Hage
St. Mary’s Church in Hamilton is currently celebrating the 150th anniversary of its presence in Southern Madison County. This local Catholic community was founded in Hamilton in 1869, and the current church structure was erected in 1875. Earlier this year, parishioners rallied around an aggressive capital campaign to save its three church towers. Their “St. Mary’s Sesquicentennial Campaign” was so successful that they were able to engage in a complete interior restoration of the church. The last time the church saw a major renovation was 50 years ago.
The recent restoration included refurbishing the pews and kneelers, installing new flooring, uncovering the original 1875 oak wainscoting and historic choir loft railing, repainting the interior with a bold Victorian-era color scheme, and also investing in a state-of-the-art hearing loop system to assist the hearing impaired. All three towers were fully restored with attention being given to the large gold cross and historic wood dormers as well as replacing the 144-year-old slate with ornate shingles.
To mark this historic moment in the life of the community, St. Mary’s has invited Bishop Douglas J. Lucia to preside over the rededication of the church. The rededication will take place on Thursday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
The parish will also be hosting a Sesquicentennial Gala at the Colgate Inn on Saturday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. Colgate University President Brian Casey will be the keynote speaker. All members of the local community are encouraged to attend.
Lastly, St. Mary’s will be hosting a community-wide Open House on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. During this time, all will be welcome to take a look around the newly restored church.
If you have questions about any of these events, please contact the rectory office at 315-824-2164, visit the parish website (stmarysandstjoans.org) or parish Facebook page
(@StMarysStJoans). You can also call the parish office to register for the Sesquicentennial Gala. A cash bar will be available, and dinner will be served, along with an evening program including games and raffles. Cost is $32 per person, $16 for children ages 6 to 10, and children ages 5 and under are free. Registrations for the Gala must be received before Sept. 20. Sign up soon, as there is limited seating.