October 6, 2010 // Local

St. Michael parishioners celebrate 100th anniversary of church’s cornerstone

Bishop Rhoades celebrated Mass in honor of the parish’s 100th anniversary of laying the church’s cornerstone. The parish will celebrate its sesquicentennial in 2012.

By Ida Chipman

PLYMOUTH — The 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of St. Michael Church, Plymouth, was celebrated with a special Mass by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades and a buffet dinner for parishioners and friends on Wednesday, Sept. 29.

“We are also celebrating St. Michael’s Feast of the Archangels Day,” Father William Kummer, pastor of the church since 2002, said, “Every year, we try to do something special on our name day,” Father Kummer said. “Last year we dedicated our school’s new playground.”

Bishop Rhoades concelebrated the 6 p.m. Mass with Father Kummer, Father Eloy Jimenez and former pastors of St. Michael — Father David Voors and Father Laurence Tippmann.

Bishop Rhoades said in his homily, “For 100 years, the faithful have gathered in this sacred place in Plymouth, Indiana.”

Bishop Rhoades said, “Having a church under the title of an archangel is a wonderful reminder that when we worship God, we are joined to the angels in praising the Lord. We sang in our responsorial psalm: ‘In the sight of the angels I will sing your praises, Lord.’ At every Mass, before we sing the Sanctus, the ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’ we appeal to the angels and the archangels when the priest at the end of the Preface says words like ‘we praise you, Lord, with all the angels and archangels.’ We realize at that moment that what we are doing at the altar is somehow mysteriously part of the heavenly liturgy. In fact, the earthly liturgy of the Church is indeed joined with the heavenly liturgy. In a mysterious way, we are united with the angels and the saints in adoring God as we sing with them ‘Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, Lord God of power and might. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.’ St. Michael and the angels behold that glory face to face.”

Bishop Rhoades added, “The angels, as you know, are creatures of a spiritual nature. Like us, they are endowed with intellect and free will, but in a degree superior to us. They too are personal beings and, as such, are also ‘in the image and likeness of God.’ Sacred Scripture, therefore, refers to three angels with their own proper names, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.

“On this special anniversary of your parish church,” Bishop Rhoades said, “it is good to reflect on your patron, St. Michael. He is named in the Old Testament book of Daniel and also in the New Testament book of Revelation and in the letter of St. Jude. His name means ‘Who is like God’ Devotion to St. Michael even predates Christianity. In the book of Daniel, the prophet assured the Jewish people who were being persecuted under the tyrant Antiochus, that in the archangel Michael they had a ‘great prince who has charge for your people.’ — Dan 12:1. When we think of St. Michael, we often think of him as our protector. It is an appropriate way to invoke him.”

“May the parish, under the protection of St. Michael, continue to grow and flourish as a sign that God’s love is in Plymouth and Marshall County,” he added.

People lined Center Street as Bishop Rhoades blessed the memorial plaque honoring the 100th milestone and rededicated the original cornerstone.

A roast turkey dinner, provided by the parish pastoral council in the school’s activity center, followed the Mass. Dinner music was played by Cynthia Boener, Beth Pare and Kelly Filson.

Father Kummer said that the church’s parishioners are looking forward to early planning of the sesquicentennial in 2012.
“The parish’s establishment history dates back years before the most turbulent times of our nation: the War Between the States, in 1862,” Bishop Rhoades said.

The parish of St. Michael is a living testimony to the Catholic faith of Marshall County’s pioneer citizens.

“Never be ashamed of your religion,” Bishop Rhoades said. “Be proud, be strong and be faithful.”

“In two more years we will celebrate that faith and those people,” Bishop Rhoades said. “I look forward to coming back to be with you all in this beautiful church.

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