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Several years ago, the St. Philip’s community established committee to begin planning for the parish’s 200th anniversary.
That committee, operating under the auspices of both the Parish Pastoral Council (“PPC”) and the Parish Finance Council (“PFC”), developed a proposed list of projects that the parish would undertake leading up to the 200th anniversary.
This committee is headed by Brian McSheffrey.
200th Anniversary Proposed List of Projects (in order of priority and anticipated year of project commencement):
- Redesign the existing church lighting by installing fixtures or fixture canopies that are more fitting to the church design/age and adding other lighting as required. [2012 – Some funding for this project has already been raised. Project options being prepared for review by councils. Contact: Debbie McSheffrey]
- Redo the confessionals, adding soundproofing. [2012 – Projects options being prepared for review by councils. Contact – Betty Dolan].
- Write and print a commemorative book or video a DVD recounting history of St. Philip’s Church. This could include interviews with older parishioners who recount their stories concerning St. Philip’s Church. [2013 – Contact – Cindy McGuire ]
- Replace carpet in church with hardwood floors. 
- Beautify the high altar and side altars, repainting of some statues. 
- Beautify the cemetery by adding entrances, border fences etc. 
- Move hanging sound speakers in church. 
- Replace the former interior entrance door of the church. 
- Invite his Holiness, the Pope or his representative to attend the celebrations or to send a video message to the faithful of St. Philip’s Parish. 
- Check to see if another Catholic church in the world is also celebrating a 200th anniversary and establish links. 
- Add a columbarium (a place for the respectful and usually public storage of cinerary urns) to cemetery. 
- Restore the “historical section” of the cemetery including repairs to older headstones. 
- Hold a special mass with the Archbishop of Ottawa on the anniversary date. 
- Design and have available commemorative plaques, t-shirts, hats, plates etc. 
- Hold a reunion weekend by inviting former pastors and parishioners to return to St. Philip’s for special masses and celebrations. 
- Design and produce a commemorative plaque listing all the pastors that have served/are serving at St. Philip’s parish. 
- As part of celebrations, recognize the most senior parishioners in a very special way. 
- Rename the hall in honour of Father Michael Gillissie, its founder. 
- As part of the celebrations, have a family fun day for all families. 
- As part of celebrations, provide financial support to a village/families in a poor country. 
- As part of celebrations, create a time capsule of events for future generations. 
200th Anniversary Committee Report to the Parish (June 2013)
As requested by the PPC, this year the committee provided a recommended list of projects for the 200th anniversary. This list was a sub-set of the larger list of ideas that had been put together previously after consultation with the general parish population. In all, twenty-one (21) of thirty-two (32) projects were recommended as being appropriate celebratory projects and financially feasible. The committee also recommended a timeframe for each project (over the next six years) to be fully scoped out, with options, and to have financial costs estimated. Once this stage for each project was completed, the project would be submitted to both the PPC and PFC for final decision.
The year also saw the restoration and installation of the donated Stations of the Cross (Project #32). The restoration of the Stations of the Cross was financed through solicitation of donations from individuals, families and groups. The restoration costs for all fourteen stations have either been received (12) or pledged (2).
Three other projects are currently in various stages of proposal development. They are:
- The Lighting Project – to improve and beautify the lighting in St. Philip’s church
- The Confessionals Project – to improve the confessionals in St. Philip’s Church
- St. Philip’s Commemorative Book or DVD – to research and gather information/pictures on St. Philip’s Church history
The 200th Anniversary Committee also partnered with the Civitan Club of Almonte for a St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser. The event was held in the Civitan Club in Almonte and the 200th Anniversary fund realized a $3,570 profit from the event.
Finally, the 200th Anniversary Committee has changed the wording of Project twenty-nine (29) to make it specific to the parish Peru Mission initiative as follows:
- Original wording : 29. As part of celebrations, provide financial support to a village/families in a poor country.
- New wording: 29. As part of celebrations, provide financial support to the Peru Mission Project.