By Berta Mexidor
MCCOMB – In a special Mass with Bishop Joseph Kopacz and pastor, Father Suresh Reddy Thirumalareddy on Sunday, Oct. 30, parishioners and priests from around the diocese celebrated the 100th anniversary of the St. Alphonsus church building.
Bishop John Edward Gunn led the McComb Catholic congregation in building the twin-towered church, which was dedicated in 1922. According to claims, the cornerstone of which contains the names of the 1922 confirmation class.
The McComb area Catholic history reaches back to the 1860s with the first Mass being celebrated at the Bunker Hill home of Marie Elizabeth Brown and other Masses held at Vinegar Hill where “wooden dressers were made into make shift altars,” according to Christ: The Living Water by Cleta Ellington.
Nine days ahead of the celebration parishioners began a novena to St. Alphonsus Logouri, patron saint of the parish. On the last day of the novena, parishioners prayed:
“Lord, we celebrate 100 years in this building at St. Alphonsus Parish in McComb. Let this sanctified structure, we pray, continue to serve as a sanctuary for the Faithful, the True Church founded by Christ Himself, and as a beacon of Your Truth to our community of Pike County, through Christ, Our Lord, Amen.”
Two days after the parish celebration, parishioners reunited at the gravesite of Father Brian Kaskie at Hollywood Cemetery for an All Souls Day Mass for their former pastor who passed in 2021.
Father Brian was only in McComb a few years but left a deep impact in the life of the parish.
With all the happiness, and faith of late Father Kaskie, all the priests that served the community since the beginning, and the founders’ parishioners, everyone present at the celebration said ”Thanks be to God for 100 years of blessings bestowed on St. Alphonsus!”
MCCOMB – the faithful gather for a Mass celebrating the 100th anniversary of the current St. Alphonsus church building on Sunday, Oct. 30. Above, a picture of the exterior of the parish with its twin towers in 1954. (Photos courtesy of St. Alphonsus parish and Diocese archives)