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 During the Mass, Monsignor Gerard Lopez, S.T.L., Vicar General of the Diocese, presented parish leaders with a blessing from Bishop Gerald Barnes. The parish organized a weekend fiesta with contests, entertainment and other activities under the theme of “Sharing the Light of Christ” to coincide with the anniversary.

 “The past is rich in faith and good works. For this we give thanks to God,” Bishop del Riego said during his homily at St. Mary’s celebration. “We now look to the future and I now present a few challenges that I believe this community and all communities are facing and will continue to face in the future.”

 Bishop del Riego challenged parishioners to work for unity in diversity through collaboration, to reach out to youth and young adults, and to improve the pastoral care of families.

 “Families need our support, guidance and encouragement,” Bishop del Riego said. “We need everyone to be a part of the church. It’s a call to collaboration between the laity and the clergy, between the ministries and the rest of the parish, between the parish and the neighboring parishes, community and Diocese.” 

 Growth in population over the years has prompted both parishes to work towards building larger worship spaces. St. Mary’s anniversary served as an opportunity to launch the Parish’s building campaign. A video was shown highlighting the growth of the parish over the years and what the new church building will look like once it is completed.

 St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Bloomington will also be celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Plans are currently being made to celebrate the parish’s anniversary with a fiesta Oct. 31 – Nov. 2, in anticipation of the Feast of St. Charles Borromeo on Nov. 4.