The once pristine property is no longer maintained. Weeds grow through the pavement, overgrowth covers the flowerbeds, the façade is crumbling but she still stands, beautiful in my eyes. Saint Mary’s Church in Leckrone turned 117 in June. What once was a vibrant, active parish is now only a distant memory.

On a Wednesday morning at 8 a.m., almost 50 people attended a Mass in recognition of this church’s establishment in 1902. Twice a year we are permitted inside to worship, on the anniversary of the establishment and again on the feast day of the patron saint.

The feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is celebrated on June 27. Once again the faithful will gather here for Mass at 8 a.m. on a weekday. The exact date will be determined by the priest from Saint Francis of Assisi parish.

I’m inviting everyone who wants to remember her better days to attend, to attest that we still care and to pray for those who established and dedicated this beautiful church to Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

This will be the last time in 2019 that St. Mary’s will be open. The doors will be locked and the uplifting voices of people in worship will be silenced for another year.

It will be another bittersweet celebration.

Sylvia Rattay

McClellandtown

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