ILION — The Church of the Annunciation in Ilion is marking its 150th anniversary this year and plans are underway for a Mass and dinner to celebrate the milestone.
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of the Albany Catholic Diocese will be on hand for the occasion, which will include Mass at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23, with an anniversary dinner and program to follow at Francesca’s Banquet Hall, said Beverly Tutty, who is working on the preparations with Fran Retzloff and Jane North.
Committee members visited the site of the parish’s original church on East Main Street, Tutty said. There now is a car repair shop there, but some of the old church remains.
“I took a brick that we’ll use on the display," she said. "We’ve had the best time researching the old church.”
A cash bar and hors d’oeuvres will be available before a roast turkey dinner is served at the anniversary event. Those in attendance also will have a chance to view memorabilia, a video and a memory book. The Rev. Matthew Frisoni will be the guest speaker and Scharfenberger will offer closing remarks. Paul Thibault, a church trustee, is scheduled to give the welcome. The Rev. Paul Catena, parish priest, will offer a prayer.
Tickets for the dinner are $25 per person and may be purchased after all weekend Masses from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at Annunciation Rectory and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Parish Office in Frankfort.
According to the 1981 book “Prayer and Praise” by Emily Denton, construction of the Annunciation Parish’s first church on East Main Street was started in April 1868. The church was dedicated in August of that year. The Rev. William Howard had arranged for the purchase of a house and lot for the church in 1857. The present Gothic-design building on West Street was dedicated March 27, 1938.
The first Mass in Ilion was celebrated in 1840 at a home on East Main Street. The Rev. John McMenomy established a mission for Ilion, Herkimer, Mohawk and Frankfort in 1845 with headquarters in Little Falls. Howard took over in 1856.