Bishop to join Our Lady of the Hills church in 150th celebration

  • Beverly Thomas, a member of Our Lady Of The Hills since she was born, gets the floor ready for a waxing in preparation for a visit from the bishop of the Diocese of Springfield to mark the 150th anniversary. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Beverly Thomas, a member of Our Lady Of The Hills in Haydenville since she was born, talks about the church’s 150-year history. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Beverly Thomas, a member of Our Lady Of The Hills since she was born, stands in front of the Haydenville church, which will celebrate its 150th anniversary on Saturday. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Ellen Rockett, a member of Our Lady Of The Hills in Haydenville, cleans the floor in preparation for the church’s 150th anniversary. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Beverly Thomas, a member of Our Lady Of The Hills since she was born, stands in front of the church which will celebrate its 150th anniversary Saturday. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Ellen Rockett, a member of Our Lady Of The Hills in Haydenville, cleans the floor in preparation for the 150 year anniversary. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Ellen Rockett, a member of Our Lady Of The Hills in Haydenville, cleans the floor in preparation for the 150 year anniversary. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Ellen Rockett, a member of Our Lady Of The Hills in Haydenville, cleans the floor in preparation for the 150 year anniversary. GAZETTE STAFF/CAROL LOLLIS

For the Gazette
Published: 6/4/2018 10:13:21 PM

HAYDENVILLE — Beverly Thomas’ family has been attending the oldest Catholic church in Hampshire County, Our Lady of the Hills in Haydenville, since 1873, five years after the church first opened.

“I’ve been a member of Our Lady of the Hills for over 70 years. My children grew up here in the church, my father grew up here in the church, and my grandfather,” said Thomas, of Goshen.

To mark the church’s 150th anniversary, a Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Mitchell Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield at 4 p.m. on Saturday, followed by a catered banquet in the church hall. Tickets have sold out for the banquet, demonstrating the interest and excitement of parishioners.

“The parish is feeling rejuvenated and is looking forward to something good happening, especially with all the parishes closing around us,” said Thomas, chairwoman of the church’s 150th Committee.

The land for the church was donated to the mostly Irish immigrant congregation in 1868 by then lieutenant governor Joel Hayden. The church was built with money and resources that the congregation pooled among themselves.

The church was originally named St. Mary’s of Haydenville, until 2007 when St. Mary of the Assumption Church merged with St. Catherine’s of Leeds to form Our Lady of the Hills.

Our Lady of the Hills will also hold a barbecue on Sunday, Aug. 5, in honor of the anniversary. All members of the public are welcome to attend. Tickets can be purchased by calling the rectory at 413-268-7212.




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