CLINTON — One hundred twenty-five years of history will be unveiled Sunday as the Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish opens a time capsule from St. Mary Church.

The 8-by-8-inch copper box was mortared into a hollowed-out section of St. Mary’s cornerstone in August 1884, and its contents have not since seen sunlight. The cornerstone lay beneath the church’s bell tower until the recent demolition of St. Mary last month.

According to documents from the historical society, the time capsule holds copies of the city newspapers, a short description of ceremonies for the laying of the cornerstone, a brief history of the church and other documents.

Father Tony Herold, pastor of Prince of Peach Parish, says he will feel honored to be the first to touch the documents after their 125-year entombment in stone. Herold will be opening the time capsule at 3 p.m. during the parish’s annual pork dinner and family festival, scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. at St. Boniface Hall, 2520 Pershing Blvd.

“I’m very curious as to what’s going to be inside and what shape they’ll be in,” said Herold. “We actually have a time capsule in our new church, so I kind of reflect back on that and the excitement we had. People who put information in a time capsule are doing that for an event like Sunday, just to preserve some of the history and excitement of the time. It’s an honor to be able to do that.”

St. Mary Church was one of five being used by Clinton’s Catholic parishes until a consolidation of the five parishes in 1990, which culminated in a move to a universal worship center on Mill Creek Parkway this year.

A group of parishioners turning St. Boniface Church into the Catholic Historical Center will be holding an open house at the 1908 building in conjunction with the parish dinner Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

In 2005, the parish demolished the 100-year-old St. Patrick Church building, and has since opened the time capsule that was in its cornerstone. Father Herold said the capsule contained documents similar to those anticipated to be inside the St. Mary time capsule. He added that the contents from the St. Mary time capsule will likely go to the Catholic Historical Center for display, as did the documents from St. Patrick’s.

The parish has turned Sacred Heart Church, built in 1891, into a chapel for its school system. They are currently deciding the fate of St. Irenaeus Church, the oldest of the five churches, built in 1864.

The pork dinner and family festival is entering its 37th year, according to Herold. The event, previously a celebration of St. Boniface Church, became a parish-wide event after the consolidation.

“We usually have a pretty good turnout,” said Herold. “I think there’ll be plenty of people showing up at 3 o’clock.”

This Week's Circulars