DANVILLE — People’s genuine love for the faith and the parish has kept St. Paul’s Catholic Church vibrant for 100 years, its pastor says.
“There’s a real balance to the people that makes it easy to work with them,” the Rev. Greg Nelson said. “They’re very rooted in the values of the faith and the community, and that has helped the parish survive so well.”
The parish was founded in 1910, and construction of the building at Voorhees and Walnut streets began in 1912. The Spanish mission-style church was formally dedicated on May 7, 1913.
To celebrate, there will be a Mass at 10:30 a.m. Sunday with Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, Diocese of Peoria, as well as former pastors of St. Paul’s and priests from the region.
At 1 p.m., there will be a reservation-only dinner and program at the Beef House near Covington, Ind., where people may view contents of a time capsule buried in 1988, and other historical items.
The time capsule included a 1988 photo directory of the church, a cookbook, old bulletins and programs from the 75th anniversary and a student-parent handbook. The original items were water-damaged, but copies will be on view.
The parish intends to bury a time capsule for the centennial, Nelson said.
Nelson, who has been pastor eight years, said of the centennial, “It’s exciting to be a part of it. It’s going to be a joyful event to celebrate with the parishioners.”
Kent Nelson, chairman of the centennial committee, agreed, saying, “We’re just excited. To hear the bishop preach is something enjoyable (to experience).”
Kent has been a member of St. Paul’s all of his life; he attended the grade school and graduated from Schlarman High School in 1994. He now teaches computers and business at Schlarman Academy.