SHREWSBURY – St. Mary’s Syriac Orthodox Church – located at 1 Industrial Drive in Shrewsbury – is celebrating 100 years of “unwavering faith and cultural preservation.”
According to a press release, the church celebrated its centennial anniversary in early October; the event was “a momentous occasion for the entire community.”
As one of the oldest Syriac Orthodox churches in the United States, St. Mary’s traces its roots to 1895 when the first members of the community settled in Worcester County.
“Despite immense challenges, including war and genocide, [the group] steadfastly preserved their faith, gathering in homes to pray in Syriac Aramaic,” the press release states.
In 1923, the group built the first St. Mary’s Church on Hawley Street in Worcester, which was “funded by humble donations of pennies, nickels and dollars,” the press release states.
St. Mary’s Syriac broke ground on the new church in Shrewsbury in 2013.
The centennial celebration featured presentations on the church’s history, a black-tie gala reception and an appearance by Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, the church’s patriarch who traveled from the Middle East for the celebration.
“The feelings among parishioners during the 100-year occasion were a beautiful blend of reverence, gratitude, and jubilation. It was a momentous celebration of our church’s rich history and the enduring faith of the community,” said George Hanna.