St. Stephen - Loretto

 

In 1918 the care of St. Mary’s of Faithorn was given to a newly appointed priest, Father Stopher, of St. Stephen’s in Loretto.  Prior to this date—both Loretto and Faithorn were missions of Vulcan’s St. Barbara’s.

 

In January of 1919 Father Stopher was succeeded by Rev. Fr. George Stunteback as pastor of St. Stephen’s and the mission of St. Mary’s.  He was given a third responsibility in l922—that of the mission of St. Mary’s of Quinnesec.

 

Fr. George Stunteback 1919 to 1936

Fr. Raphael Gherna 1936 to 1943

Fr. Lester Bourgeois  1943 to 1945

Fr. Edward J. Lullewicz 1945 to June 1950

Fr. Fredrick Hoffman June l950 to 1951

Fr. John McLaughilin December l95l-1957

Fr. Thomas Andary June l957-1959

Fr. August Franczek June 1959-Golden Jubliee October 20, l959

 

In l929 the church debt was eliminated and the parish plan for adding a bell to the steeple became possible.  In October of l930 an elaborate dedication service was held which included a horse drawn procession carrying the bell with the parish girls dressed as angels. It was one of the most celebrated events ever staged at St. Mary’s.

 

Beginning in 1943 a young, energetic Father Bourgeois celebrated mass every Sunday.  Previously, mass was only once a month—and during the winter, only occasionally when the weather cooperated making the trip from Loretto possible.  Also, Father Bourgeois organized the first choir for Faithorn with L. O. King as organist.  Before this time, only low masses were offered and on special occasions, a choir traveled from Loretto.    For several years under Fathers Bourgeois and Lullewicz, St. Mary’s choir was active; it was later discontinued and the service reverted to a low mass. 

 

In 1944 the family of Patrick Kelly was notified he was killed in action in the Italian Theater.  His body was returned in 1948 and a military funeral was held at St. Mary’s on December 9, l948.  Late in l950 word was received of the death of Cpl. Warren Kelly, son of M and M. James Kelly.  A memorial mass was held in his honor on December 6, 1950 with Father Hoffman officiating. A military funeral for Cpl. Warren Kelly was held on May 2, l955 with interment at Faithorn’s Riverside Cemetery with Fathers McLaughlin and Bourgeois officiating.

 

In 1950 newly appointed Father Hoffman set forth paying the outstanding bills of the parish.  There was some consideration at this time of closing the mission of St. Mary’s of Faithorn.  At the mere suggestion, church members came forward pledging a dollar a Sunday—making collections at Faithorn the highest per capita of the three churches under Father Hoffman and insuring the continuance of the mission.

 

In 1995-56 extensive remodeling was done to St. Mary’s both in the church proper and the church basement.  Father Hoffman gave much of himself in the renovating program, often working late into the night to get a project finished.  He also added daily masses and other celebrations formerly held at Loretto.

 

On October 20, 1959, Father August Franczek celebrated a Golden Jubilee Mass commemorating the 50th anniversary of St. Mary’s.  Past pastors were invited to the celebration held in the newly renovated church hall.