Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church in Westmont is planning a community celebration on Sunday to celebrate its 100th anniversary through a variety of events, including a picnic, live entertainment, pie-baking contest, historical information and more. 

Karen Hoffman and Julie Sheehan, co-chairs of the centennial events committee, said they were originally looking for 100 volunteers to help with the 100-year celebration, but ended up with more than 200. 

“It was really overwhelming how many people showed up,” Sheehan said. 

During the next year, Hoffman and Sheehan said the church is planning monthly events to encourage spiritual growth, community involvement and fellowship. 

In this weekend’s homily, Father Mark Begly spoke about the sacrifices made to carry the parish 100 years and the continued sacrifices that will be required to carry the legacy of the church another 100 years. 

This weekend’s celebration will be in the spirit of the decade the church was founded in, with flapper dresses, and newsboys hats, as well as contests and games consistent with the theme. 

“We tried to make it fun for everybody,” Sheehan said. 

In preparation for the events, the church’s block of Tioga Street will close after the 4 p.m. Mass on Saturday. 

The church parking lot will be accessible via the alley for Sunday Mass, however, after the 11 a.m. Mass, church officials are asking that the parking lot be reserved for handicap and elderly parking only.

Shuttles will be available beginning at 11:30 a.m. and will run throughout the day until 4:30 p.m. Sunday from Ferndale Elementary School, Beth Shalom, the former Johnstown Brewery, Community Arts Center and Presbyterian Church (after 12:30 p.m.). 

The celebration will begin immediately following the 11 a.m. Mass, Hoffman said, when the church congregation will gather outside in front of the church to unveil the plaque recognizing Our Mother of Sorrows’ induction into the National Registry of Historical Places.

Food will be available all day starting at 12:30 p.m., including a picnic lunch. 

Entertainment will include a performance by Jazz in Your Face from 1 to 3 p.m. in front of Holy Grounds, Charleston dancing at 3 p.m. and praise and worship karaoke with Dan Becker to close out the day. 

A centennial tent will provide the latest updates on upcoming events to celebrate the church’s 100th birthday and a photo booth will provide all the accessories to go back in time and dress up in the 1920s theme. 

A kids corner will provide crafts and games that bring back the “good old days,” including paper dolls and kits, tinker toys, jacks, three-legged races and kick the can. 

Games for adults will include golf-chipping, croquet or horseshoes in the front yard of the school, while bingo will be in the courtyard 1 to 3 p.m. and a pick-up kickball game is scheduled at 2 p.m. behind the school. 

A history tent will house large-scale diagrams that depict Old Westmont’s original street plan and the Luzerne Street racetrack and playing fields, photos of OMOS before renovations and information about the architect who originally designed the church.

In addition, the history tent will contain excerpts from a sermon delivered during the church’s dedicatory service in 1924 and information about what everyday life was like for people in the Johnstown area during the 1920s. A Find-the-Saint adventure in the church and oral history interviews to share memories and experiences in the parish are other activities in the history tent. 

An old-fashioned pie-baking contest is also planned. Pies should be dropped off at the Holy Grounds between 10:30 a.m. and noon. Frozen pies will not be accepted. 

Pies will be judged on overall appearance and taste-and-judging will take place under the tent in the courtyard at 2 p.m., followed by announcement of first, second and third place winners, each of which will receive a ribbon.

Anyone interested in judging the pie contest can submit one entry into a jar marked “Pie Judges” at the pie booth. Three names will be pulled from the jar to determine judges and announced at 1:30 p.m. Judges must be at the tent in front of the church by 1:50 p.m. to assume their pie-eating duties. 

Church members and guests are encouraged to RSVP at the church website, www.omostoday.com or by calling the parish office at 814-535-7646. 

​Jocelyn Brumbaugh is a reporter for the Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter @JBrumbaughTD.

Recommended for you