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New Scotland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, April 12, 2012
St. Matthews celebrates its golden anniversary
By Jo E. Prout
VOORHEESVILLE St. Matthew's Catholic Church will begin its 50th anniversary celebration next weekend, kicking off a year of activities marking its presence in the village.
Bishop Howard Hubbard will celebrate the anniversary Mass at St. Matthew's on Sunday, April 22. The church is hosting a reception afterward for the 900 families who make up the parish.
St. Matthew's was built on Mountainview Street in 1962, to accommodate a growing population and to leave its roots as a mission church of Altamont's St. Lucy's Catholic Church. Today, St. Matthew's serves families in Voorheesville, Slingerlands, Berne, and New Salem.
An anniversary committee of six members along with parish priest Reverend Thomas Chevalier coordinated the commemorative events for the year, including the reception on Sunday.
“The committee is doing the work for the reception,” said member Nan Bonham. “Part of it will be catered,” she said.
Bonham worked with Chevalier, Patty Barber, Andrea Freeman, Judy Goodsell, Gen Lentile, and Peggy McQuade on the anniversary committee. No one person was a chairman, Bonham said. Each member has helped with different parts of the events list since July of last year, she said.
They invited guest homilists and former parish priests to celebrate the anniversary with them.
Rev. Richard Fragomenti is scheduled to lead services from April 21 to 24, and a parish retreat on the final two days.
Bonham described the retreat as a time when the church hosts speakers who focus on different subjects.
On May 18, the church will host a dinner dance at Crossgates Banquet House on Washington Avenue in Colonie. The committee will hire a DJ, Bonham said.
The St. Matthew's Men's Association is building a float to take part in the village's Memorial Day parade May 26.
"Right now, we're brainstorming," Bonham said. "We'd like to have a replica of the church" on the float, she said.
Church members hope to update the parish directory over four days in June. The last time pictures of members were taken was seven years ago, Bonham said.
The church's annual picnic in September may have a 1960s theme with hula-hoop and twist dance contests, she said. Other events planned include a bus trip to a Pennsylvania theater in July, a golf tournament in August, and a raffle.
Proceeds from each activity will be put toward the general fund, rather than a specific mission or repair fund, Bonham said.
In its 50 years in Voorheesville, St. Matthew's has been refurbished and expanded. In 1980, the church was expanded and renovated. In 1996, the community built a Parish Center with office space, a kitchen facility, classrooms, and a social hall. Further renovations on the original church were completed in 2001.
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