First Saturday devotions begin May 2 at historic Catholic church

The first Saturday devotions and daily Mass will be celebrated at the historic Catholic Church of Mary Immaculate on Catholic Church Road off the Frankford-Williamsburg Road which is off US 219 in Frankford beginning May 2 at 10:30 a.m.

The church, built in 1902 and restored in 1997, replaced the second church building for the congregation of mainly Irish and German Catholics in the Williamsburg-Falling Spring-Frankford area. Both previous church buildings burned.

Before the local Catholics built a church building in the 1870’s, the Catholics would gather at Corkrean’s Store in Williamsburg at midnight on Saturday night and walk to the nearest parish church which was the Immaculate Conception Church in Lewisburg for early Sunday Mass.

After the Lewisburg congregation moved to Ronceverte and established St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, the Williamsburg church was a mission of it until the 1950’s when it was transferred to be a mission of Sacred Heart Catholic Churches in Rainelle and Springdale.

Currently it is classified as a chapel of the St. Catherine of Siena parish and is the site for the first Saturday devotions and daily Mass at 10:30 a.m. May through October.

Father Chapin Engler Jr. and Father James Conyers, administrator and associate for the parishes of St. Charles Borromeo in White Sulphur Springs and St. Catherine of Siena in Ronceverte, also served the Church of Mary Immaculate.

A covered dish luncheon is held following the first Saturday service, hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Larry Musselman who, along with other neighbors and descendants of the early Catholic settlers are responsible for the upkeep and renovations to the 113-year-old church, the oldest Catholic church building in Greenbrier County, and its nearby cemetery.

For additional information on the First Saturday devotions, telephone the office of the Catholic Churches of the Greenbrier Valley at 304-536-1813.

 

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