AUBURN — St. Philip Catholic Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding at a special Mass at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at St. Philip Church, 2365 Turner Road.

A reception will follow in the parish hall.

The Most Rev. Peter L. Gerety, bishop of Portland Maine Diocese, founded St. Philip Church on Sept. 18, 1968, to meet the needs of the expanding Catholic population of Lewiston and Auburn, particularly in the East Auburn area and points north. At that time, Lewiston and Auburn Catholic churches were St. Patrick, St. Mary and St. Joseph, Ste. Famille (Holy Family), SS Peter and Paul and Ste. Croix (Holy Cross), all of Lewiston, and Sacred Heart and St. Louis in Auburn.

Bishop Gerety appointed the Rev. Edmond J. Hache as the first pastor of the new church. Hache received the title of monsignor in later years.

The Rev. Louis Berube succeeded him.

The pastor is the Rev. Robert D. Lariviere who serves Sacred Heart Church, also of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish as well.

While arrangements for fundraising and construction of the new church were underway, services were held at a storefront on Summer Street in Auburn with the first Mass being celebrated on Oct. 6, 1968. Later services were held at the Auburn United Methodist Church on Park Avenue.

Lariviere has mailed invitations to the priests who have served as pastors at St. Philip. Parishioners at Sacred Heart Church, also part of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, are welcome, as are former parishioners who have moved away.

St. Phillip Catholic Church

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.