WINTHROP — Past and current parishioners, clergy and community members will gather on Sunday, Sept. 10, to celebrate the 130th anniversary of the St. Francis Xavier worship site located at 130 Route 133. All are welcome to attend an anniversary Mass at 9 a.m. followed by a brunch celebration in the church hall.

In the spring of 1887, the first church was built on the site under the direction of the Rev. Edward Hurley, who served as the pastor in Winthrop and Farmington at the time. In February of 1911, the original church burned down. The cross did not catch fire and when the building collapsed, the cross fell clear of the blaze. It was repaired and placed atop the new church.

In 1930, during the Great Depression, the Charity Crusade was organized and conducted by the parish. Many families in need in the Winthrop area received assistance regardless of their faith affiliation. One of the greatest achievements of the Charity Crusade was a hot lunch program for children. The program was so successful that government officials visited the parish to study it in advance of establishing a national school lunch program.

The Rev. John Donavan was appointed pastor of St. Francis Xavier by Bishop Daniel J. Feeney in 1962. A new parish hall, rectory and parking lot were built during his pastorate. In the mid-1980s, a two-story, 4,700-square-foot faith formation building was built and connected with the parish hall.

Today, The Rev. Francis Morin serves as the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church, which is part of St. Michael Parish: Sacred Heart Church, Hallowell; St. Augustine Church, Augusta; St. Denis Church, Whitefield; St. Francis Xavier Church, Winthrop; St. Joseph Church, Gardiner; St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Augusta.

Organizers request that those planning to attend the reception contact the parish office so the proper amount of food can be ordered.

FMI, RSVP: 207-623-8823.

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