Dates of the Jubilee

What do the dates on the Jubilee Logo represent? Here’s an easy history lesson.

 The 150 represents the years St. Francis de Sales has been in existence. The Church was built in 5 ½ months after ground breaking occurred. The cornerstone was laid on July 12, 1866 with James Cardinal Gibbons officiating. “The ceremony of laying the cornerstone took place in the presence of a large concourse of people on Sunday afternoon. This was an improvement to infrequent mass offered in the private homes of the village of Abingdon  The first Mass was held at 5 am Christmas Day 1866 by the Reverend Patrick Francis O’Connor of St. Ignatius, Hickory in  “ The Church on the Hill” or “Stone Chapel” as we call it today. The original Mass schedule was 1st, 3rd & 5th Sundays at 10:30 am and 2nd & 4th Sundays at 8:30 am. The church was not dedicated until March 27, 1887 after the Bell Tower was added and remained a Mission Parish of first St. Ignatius and later St. Stephens Bradshaw.

The 50 years approximate the designation of St. Francis de Sales as an independent  parish. A little less than 100 years after the original church was erected, it was declared an independent parish by the Lawrence Cardinal Shehan, Archbishop of Baltimore on May 26, 1964. Several days later, June 6, the Reverend Maurice J. Wolfe was appointed the first Pastor.

The 25 years represents the building and dedication of the Worship Center Church under the direction of Father Tom Phillips. The giving campaigns of the 1970’s raised half of the funding and by 1988 St. Francis was serving 900 families, thus able to convince the Archdiocese of the need and moved forward to build a larger church. The ground breaking, which some of you may have attended, was April 11, 1991 and it was dedicated Sept 19, 1992.

Remember, We are St. Francis de Sales