It was only fitting that parishioners at historic St. Patrick Church in downtown Kankakee culminate their 125th anniversary year, on the feast day of their patron, St. Patrick.

(L-R) Fr. John Peeters, Bishop Christopher Glancy and Fr. Donald Wehnert pose with youngster from the parish.

With a congregation dressed predominantly in green, and with plenty of young families and children in attendance, the parish reflected on its long history — including the 88 years that Viatorians have ministered to them — and looked ahead, faithfully, to its future.

Bishop Christopher Glancy proclaims the gospel.

The celebration continued at a special lunch at the Knights of Columbus Hall

“For 125 years a faithful and faith-filled people have devoted themselves to service, in the parish and in the larger community,” they prayed. “May we continue to be filled with – and spread – the fire of God’s love.”

Bishop Christopher Glancy, CSV, was main presider, with Fr. John Peeters, CSV, pastor, and Fr. Donald Wehnert, CSV, concelebrating.  In coming back to Kankakee, Bishop Glancy returned to the site where he was ordained, in 1993. He recalled his ordination, steeped in ritual, and especially laying prostrate as the bishop and congregation prayed over him. He described it as a “grace-filled moment.”

“How many people have stood in that same spot, whether on their wedding day or to baptize their children,” he reflected. “They have made this sacred space a place of opening ourselves up to the grace of God. May we continue to proclaim that grace as we serve the people of God.”