The Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop of Seattle, will be principle celebrant. Current pastor, Fr. P.A. Kaechm, and former pastors will concelebrate at the Centennial Mass at the church, 1112 Blake St., Raymond.
“We’ve had this definition as parish community for more than 100 years,” said Father Kaech.
Church history reflects the community’s interest in its Catholic population and in the church’s interest in the community.
Church history goes back to 1910, when a group of Raymond business leaders-many of them non-Catholic- wrote to then Archbishop Edward J. O’Dea requesting a priest be assigned to Raymond.
According to a church history compiled in 1984, the business leaders wrote, “The people of Raymond offer to give to the church, free of charge, sufficient ground for the erection of a church and residence for the priest. They also agree to donate a site for a school and hospital as soon as it shall be deemed advisable to build the same.”
The school and hospital apparently never came about, but in 1911, Father Nyssen, a missionary from Africa, was assigned to Raymond and in 1913 “the first Catholic church and residence was built… at a cost of $13,000”
The church-dedicated as St. Mary’s on Easter Sunday 1913- was host to the Knights of Columbus state convention in May of that same year, “And, it was quite a social affair,” the church history reported. The church later became Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, and later still, St. Lawrence Catholic Church, taking on the name of the South Bend church that merged with Raymond.
The church is celebrating its centennial in conjunction with a visit by Archbishop Sartain, his official visit to this area since arriving in Seattle in 2010. He will also visit the Seaview congregation that weekend.
Former priests invited to concelebrate Centennial Mass include Father Richard Gallagher, Father Victor Olvida, Father Stephan Roman, Father Tom Suss, and Father Peter Gillette.
Sister Virginia Miller, SP, also has been invited to the centennial service. She served as pastoral assistant in the 1980s with Sister Elizabeth, also with Sisters of Providence, who was a parochial minister at that time. Sister Elizabeth passed away in 2010.
“The nuns played an important leadership role while serving in our area,” noted church member Lois Brown.
Note: Portions of this article came from a church history compiled in 1984 by Mary K. Green and Catherine Kophs.