St. Michael celebrates Golden Jubilee

VICKSBURG – On Sunday, Oct. 2, more than 200 people attended the 50th anniversary Mass and celebration of St. Michael Parish. Bishop Joseph Kopacz celebrated along with Bishop Emeritus Joseph Latino, Father P.J. Curley, current pastor and several former pastors.
St. Michael, Vicksburg’s youngest parish, was established on Sept. 29, 1966, with the installation of Father Frank Corcoran as founding pastor. The creation of the parish resulted from a steady increase in the Catholic population of southern Vicksburg and Warren County.
For years, many residents of Vicksburg attended St. Michael Church on South Washington Street. The building which was used as an elementary school by the Sisters of Mercy, became a church in 1917 and was served by priests from St. Paul Parish. In 1966, Bishop Richard Gerow, recognizing the cohesion that existed within the small church, grouped 160 families into the new parish.
Less than four years later, the present parish hall was built and served as the interim church dedicated by Bishop Joseph Brunini on May 4, 1970. Located on a 40-acre tract just off Fisher Ferry Road, the temporary church provided seating for 350 persons and room in the spacious basement for educational and social activities. In October, 1971, the rectory was built to replace a temporary rectory that had been established in Marion Park in 1967.
Bishop William Houck dedicated the present church, built under the direction of Father Noel Prendergast, on August 28, 1988.
In the fall of 2010, our parish leadership determined it was time to construct a new parish educational building. Ground was broken in October 2012, with construction beginning in December of that year. Bishop Joseph Latino dedicated and blessed the new building on Aug. 25, 2013.
Today, after 50 years, and now operating under the spiritual guidance of Father P.J. Curley, our parish continues to grow, with membership of more than 400 families. We are blessed with strong lay participation in our many spiritual, educational, social and community activities and are ready for continued service to God and his community in Vicksburg and Warren County.
(This story, first published in the parish directory, was submitted by Helene Benson, director of religious education for the parish)