Friday, August 18, 2006

Church Picnic at Saint Patrick of Armaugh Mission

My sister-in-law sent me this article: Church picnic is all you can >eat - and blessings for all
After the Louisiana Purchase, Americans from Virginia, Indiana and Ohio drifted into the area around what is now Catawissa. Some Irish followed in the 1830s, but the area really began to build population in the 1840s when a wave of Irish began moving into eastern Franklin County.

Known as Armagh, the new colony was served by circuit-riding missionary priests until 1844, when the archdiocese bought three acres for $1.50 an acre and assigned a pastor to the parish of St. Patrick in Armagh.

The rock church itself was begun in 1857. The railroad had arrived in Pacific in 1853, and the economic outlook seemed rosy. And the new popular church fundraising vehicle, the church picnic, was initiated in 1876.

By 1882, it had become such a major rendezvous that for that final festive touch, the rock church parishioners brought in lumber for a dance floor. Bands arrived from nearby towns, and the church hall rocked until the sun came up. Ever after, when the rock church was in trouble and needed money, its supporters knew what to do as surely as if God had parted the clouds and pointed: They threw a picnic. The modern picnic committee has been working since 1973, the year that the wrecking ball had been headed for the rock church
This is most definitely mission territory, with few churches or ecclesial communites of any denomination. Protestants even use this Catholic church for weddings and funerals, and consequently many Protestants are volunteering for this picnic:
"The Protestants are better workers," Murphy says while overseeing preparations for this year's picnic, which will be Sunday at the church from noon to 6 p.m.
Of course, the Protestants are better workers, because unlike German Catholics, Irish Catholics are just belligerent drunks. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Click for my photos of Saint Patrick Mission - Armagh

150 Rock Church Road
Catawissa, Missouri 63015

1 comment:

  1. OK, OK, that was a cheap shot at the Irish. You can say tons of tasteless jokes about the Germans, too.