YORK—More than 300 people packed the pews to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Divine Saviour Church recently.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone celebrated Mass in the small brick building and, during his homily, praised the parish as an important source of Catholic witness in York.
“This parish offers a way to reach out to people and show them the healing mystery of God’s presence. We pray that this community that has pledged itself to Jesus Christ will go on and be blessed by the power of the Holy Spirit,” he said.
Divine Saviour was established in 1938 by Bishop Emmet M. Walsh. For more than 20 years, Mass was celebrated in the chapel at the convent of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. The current church building was completed in 1964, and the parish currently has about 335 households.
The Charleston-based order served at the church along with priests from the Oratory in Rock Hill, who have ministered to Divine Saviour since the beginning. Oratorian Father Adilso Coelho is the current pastor.
Maria Duncan of York grew up at Divine Saviour and loves to tell the story of how spaghetti helped build the church. Her parents, the late Jimmy and Anne Ramere, moved from Philadelphia in 1949. Her grandmother came down to visit and was surprised that the congregation had to squeeze into the small convent chapel.
“She told them to start a fundraiser to get a new church built, and suggested having a spaghetti dinner,” Duncan said. “They started raising money that year with a dinner made with 10 pounds of ground beef.”
Now, the annual spaghetti dinner is a two-day event that attracts people from all over town, raises money for other parish needs, and regularly uses more than 600 pounds of ground beef.
“This church is my life,” she said. “I was raised here and I’ve raised my family here. York is a church community, and Divine Saviour has brought a lot of people in this community together.”
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