Thu. May 30th, 2024

After a year of celebrating the sesquicentennial, members of the Saint Matthew Catholic Church of Tyrone have reset the cornerstone of the church to its original position.
Saint Matthew Catholic Church was founded in 1853, and the church cornerstone was placed by members of the church in June of 1895. Inside of the cornerstone was a time capsule with numerous artifacts, and it was not until 2003 that it was opened.
The following is a list of items found in the time capsule that were later returned to it: an 1827 silver quarter; an 1858 flying Eagle nickel penny that was the same year of the first resident pastor; an 1874 German Reich two pfennig piece; an 1893 silver U.S. Columbian commemorative quarter from the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; five 1895 mint condition Indianhead pennies and an 1890 Indianhead penny.
Also, a U.S. two penny piece with an unknown date; an 1895 silver quarter; a St. Benedict medal and on the back is the cross of St. Benedict; a Blessed Virgin medal that read, “Mary conceived without sin. Pray for us who have recourse to thee;” remains of what may have been a homemade rosary; the offending holy water bottle and cork of which the water leaked from the bottle and damaged the contents of the time capsule; and a scrap of deteriorated newspaper.
The following is a list of items that were found in the time capsule but were not returned to it: a severely damaged Philadelphia Journal of Commerce dated November 12, 1894; a severely damaged introduction to Tyrone; a copy of the Pittsburgh Catholic dated June 27, 1895 that the Pittsburgh Catholic was excited to receive from the church since they did not have a copy of that edition.
Also, some local newspapers that were in poor condition that were given to the Tyrone Area Historical Society, including the Saturday, June 29, 1895 editions of The Patriot from Harrisburg, The Times from Altoona, Morning Tribune from Altoona and The Tyrone Times.
Also, a Thursday, June 27, 1895 edition of The Tyrone Herald and scraps of what is believed to have been a copy of The Daily Herald from Tyrone.
New items placed in the cornerstone time capsule include: a rosary found while work was being done on the balcony of the church; an 1845 devotional book donated by the Hagg-Schoch family who were early members of the parish; a response from WM Kittel, Bishop Phelan’s Chancellor, to Father Rosensteel’s request for permission to have exposition of the blessed sacrament; the 1894 annual report; a number of recent coins; a 2003 Christmas ornament and a 150th anniversary wine glass.
The 150th anniversary of the church has been a year of celebration. Activities for members of the church included: weekly mass, the dedication of the outdoor altar at Oak Grove Cemetery, a May 29 anniversary mass, a dance at Harkins Hall, a parish picnic at Lake Raystown, and numerous youth activities. Renovations to the church have also given the parishioners something to celebrate.
Currently, the priest at St. Matthew Catholic Church is Father Joseph T. Orr, and the pastoral minister is Sister Karen Duddy. Also, Monsignor Richard Walsh is celebrating 59 years in the priesthood. The principal of the parish school is Mrs. Jamie DiDomenico.
The church is hoping to celebrate another 150 years with strong programs, such as the parish school, the religious education program, music ministry, Scout groups and homebound ministries, just to name a few.

By Rick