Parish History

A History Of Our Parish

St. Mary's of the Annunciation was the second Catholic Church built in McSherrystown. Father Pius Hemler was sent January 1, 1899 to build the Church. Bishop John W. Shanahan consecrated the Church on June 2, 1901. It was a large church made of brick. Father Hemler managed the construction. Brothers Joseph and Samuel Stormbaugh donated the land. Historian John Reily, who lived opposite the Church, recorded the construction.

The cemetery was started on 4 acres in 1905. Father Hemler died on June 29, 1906 and was succeeded by Father L. Augustus Reudter. St. Mary's School was started in 1907. In 1923, Father Reudter took a trip to Europe and the Holy Land and while on the trip ordered the large Crucifix that still hangs above the sanctuary. The original Stations of the Cross were from Holy Trinity at the west end of town and were replaced in the 1920s. A large circular window of the "Last Judgement" replaced one dedicated to Mary. Father Reudter died in October, 1934.

Central Catholic was added in 1931 but the entire school suffered a fire in 1938. Father Patrick McGee rebuilt the school now known as Annunciation B.V.M. A Convent was purchased in 1950 on Third Street. In 1953 , the main altar made of Italian marble, was put into place and a new Tabernacle was donated by the Knights of Columbus. Many improvements were made in the 1960s.

By the time of the 75th Anniversary, the church was remodeled and side entrances were built. The Altar Table was placed in front of the marble altar. During this time about 3000 souls were registered as opposed to 900 when the church was built. After many years as pastor, Msgr. McGee died November 11, 1996 and was replaced by Rev. Paul Miller. Rev. Mr. Joseph F. Lawrence was made a Permanent Deacon on June 4, 1983.

In 1987, the RCIA program was begun. In 1991, Bishop Dattilo initiated a Consultation Process in the Diocese of Harrisburg. At that time the parish eliminated one weekend Mass. In 1995, Father Andre Meluskey replaced retired Father Paul Miller. On February 21, 1999 a Perpetual Adoration Chapel was begun in the former Convent. The adorers come from all surrounding parishes.

In 1999 additional parking was made available by purchasing the Conrad property at the corner of Main and Third Street.

In 2000, Bishop Dattilo celebrated the Mass for the 100th Anniversary of the Church. In May of 2000 Rev. Andre Meluskey retired. The Rev. Lawrence Sherdel was appointed pastor. In 2011 the restrooms and side entrances to the church were improved with handicap availability.

In 2015 the Organ and the Last Judgment Window were restored. The same year Rev. Lawrence Sherdel was appointed Pastor to another parish in the Diocese. Rev. Charles L. Persing was appointed Pastor, effective June 22nd, 2015.


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