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Archives Bishop LaValley presides at anniversary Mass, installs new pastor
Parish celebrates 170th anniversary

Sept. 6, 2017

By Kristina Dean
Staff writerEvans Mills

EVANS MILLS  -- Describing St. Mary’s Catholic Church as a parish having many blessings, Bishop Terry LaValley celebrated the church’s 170th anniversary and installed Father  Christopher Looby as pastor during Mass Aug. 13.

For generations, baptized Catholics have attending the Evans Mills church and been “raised by word and sacrament by a family of faith,” the bishop told parishioners during his homily.

Bishop LaValley referred to the Gospel reading of Matthew 14:22-33, in which Peter walks across the water toward Jesus, begins to sink and cries out to the Lord to save him.

“The ship is a symbol of the church, and we are aboard this ship together with Jesus as our captain, he said.

“People jump off this ship; our world has some stormy times,” Bishop LaValley said. “Sometimes we have rough times and we ride the waves of the stormy seas. But we’re promised by God if we remain faithful, all will be well. Jesus Christ is our anchor. We are not on board this ship by ourselves.”.

“The Evans Mills church is a family of faith that has been a gift to the community for many generations, he said.

“It has also inspired its pastors and bishop.”

“We need to thank God for one another and our companions on this voyage of life,” he said.

St. Mary’s has a reputation as being a very hospitable church, the bishop said, as well as being blessed by the families from Fort Drum, the deacon (Deacon Patrick Donahue), music ministers and pastors, including Father Looby and his predecessors.

One former pastor, Missionary of the Sacred Heart Father Pierre Aubin (1986-1998) concelebrated Mass with the bishop and Father Looby.

Deacon Donahue read the Gospel and Prayers of the Faithful while Elizabeth Eggleston served.

The first and second readings were read by Noel Voos. The gifts were presented by Chester and Antoinette Kubis.

Evans MillsAfter Mass, the congregation was invited to a picnic in the parish center.

Father  Looby has served as administrator for the parish with its mission churches in Theresa and Philadelphia since June, 2015. Previously, he served as parochial vicar at St. Peter’s in Plattsburgh, Holy Family, Watertown; and St. Peter’s, Lowville.

In June, 2009, he was named administrator in Brushton and North Bangor and, one year later, pastor of the parishes until his 2015 appointment in Evans Mills.

The Catholic community in Evans Mills was first established as a station of Watertown in 1847; the church Was dedicated in 1849.

Through its earliest years, Evans Mills was a mission of Watertown, Cape Vincent, Redwood and Brownville before the first resident pastor of St. Mary’s was appointed in 1893.

The parish was incorporated Nov. 17, 1920, with Father Joseph Blais  as pastor.

Among the other previous pastors were Fathers Eugene Desnoyers, John Pendergast, Gerald McGrath, John Stasiowski, Terrance Patterson, Andrew Amyot, James Bucaria, Father Aubin, Missionary of the Sacred Heart Father Bernard Jakubco, Fathers Mark Reilly and Thomas Kornmeyer.

In addition to St. Mary’s, Father Looby serves as pastor of the mission churches  of St. Theresa of Avila in Theresa and St. Joseph’s in Philadelphia.

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