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Connellsville’s St. Rita to dig up time capsule, host picnic

St. Rita of Cascia Roman Catholic Church in Connellsville will unearth a time capsule and host a parish picnic Sunday as it continues to celebrate its 100th anniversary.

“We are looking forward to it being a really nice event,” said Mary Kay Dunaway, a member of the St. Rita anniversary committee. “We have had some really nice events throughout the year, and we are hoping to get even more people involved.”

There will be a special Mass said at 11:30 a.m. at the church.

“We flipped the Masses,” anniversary committee chairman Chris Mickey said. Sunday Mass is usually held at 8 a.m. at St. Rita and 11:30 a.m. at St. John’s. Mickey said changing the times would be conducive to the flow of the event. “We will uncover the time capsule right after Mass, then go right into the picnic. We thought it would work out a lot better if everything was just scheduled together,” he said.

The time capsule is in front of Bucci Hall, the parish social center. It was buried in 2000.

“That was a jubilee year in the Catholic Church,” Mickey said, explaining the time capsule is covered with a plaque stating it should be unearthed in 2015 for the anniversary.

“We will not be reburying it on Sunday, however. We would like to include information in the new capsule from all of our anniversary events that we have had, and the upcoming events as well.”

Mickey said items from the anniversary and other pieces of memorabilia will be included in the time capsule, which would be unearthed in 2040.

“2040 will be the 125th anniversary of the church,” Mickey said. “Having it buried for 100 years would be nifty but we decided on something a little closer, timewise.”

Mickey said plans are to bury the time capsule at the end of the year.

After the opening of the time capsule, everyone is invited to take part in the family parish picnic that will be held in the church parking area.

“We used to have the parish picnic every year,” Mickey said. “The church would supply the meat, and then everyone would bring a covered dish. We stopped having them every year, but we thought that this would be a great time to have another one.”

Music will be provided by a DJ and there may be a performance by the Molinaro Band.

Mickey hopes to see parishioners and families, past parishioners and community members attend the picnic, which will conclude at 4 p.m.

“It’s a nice event to bring back for the anniversary and I hope that a lot of people come to enjoy the afternoon,” Mickey said.

A special open house and historical display will take place Sept. 27.

“We are asking people from the parish and from the community to lend us anything that they may have in reference to St. Rita’s,” Mickey said. “We are looking for old photographs and newspaper stories and historic memorabilia. We are asking if they would lend us these the week earlier so we could have them displayed.”

There will also be written and oral histories given at the open house about the church, such as the history of each of the stained glass windows, the gardens and outside grotto, the organ and the bell tower.

Visitors are invited to walk through the church 2-5 p.m.

There will be St. Rita memorabilia displayed throughout the church.

“This will be a great opportunity for people who have never been to St. Rita’s to come and learn all about the church and its history,” Mickey said. There will be a display in Bucci Hall that will feature historical items related to the parish. Refreshments will be served.

“We are really hoping that people come out and enjoy these events. It’s an important year for the church and we want to see people enjoy it with us,” said Mickey.

Items for the Sept. 27 historic display can be brought to Bucci Hall from 8:30-10 a.m. and again from 6-7 p.m. Sept. 21 through Sept. 24.

For information on the historic display, call 724-628-3038.

Marilyn Forbes is a Trib Total Media contributing writer.


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