Algonquin Parish Marks Anniversary of 1983 Church
By Pat Szpekowski, Observer Correspondent
October 4, 2018
ALGONQUIN—“This sacred space is where faith is enriched,” said Bishop David Malloy on the occasion of the 35th anniversary celebration of the church dedication at St. Margaret Mary Parish on Aug. 26, here.
Parishioners gathered for a Mass marking the church’s Aug. 28, 1983, dedication by  the late Bishop Arthur J. O’Neill. Msgr. William McDonnell was pastor at the time. 
Celebrating the anniversary Mass were  Bishop Malloy with Father Peter Sarnicki, OFM Conv, pastor, and Father Witold Adamczyk, OFM Conv, and Father Daniel Zdebik, OFM Conv, parochial vicars. Deacon Howard Fischer assisted at the Mass.
The Mass showed the diversity of today’s parish, as the readings and music were done by the English, Polish and Filipino choirs with cantor Chrissy Retzer. 
“Just think of how many have been baptized, confirmed and taken part in the sacrament of marriage in this church,” Bishop Malloy said. 
“There is a timelessness of our faith that takes us back 2,000 years ago and takes us forward to His promises. This church contains Christ the Eucharist. It is not just a symbol, it is His presence.”
An insert in the weekly bulletin featured a reproduction of a two sided “Good News” dedication issue newsletter from 1983 recalling the events of that day. 
A paragraph read, “In his homily, Bishop O’Neill reminded us of our roots as a parish — from a small mission church on Main Street with 26 families — to our present faith family of over 1,200 families.”
In 2015, St. Margaret Mary parish  celebrated its 100th anniversary. It has continued to grow and today there are 3,555 families who call the parish home.
Stephen and Mary Chesek presented the offertory gifts at Mass to Bishop Malloy at the anniversay Mass, just as they did 35 years ago, bringing the gifts to Bishop O’Neill. 
“At that time, I was seven months pregnant with my fifth child,” said Mary. 
“All of our children attended our school here. While they all live in other parts of the country now, they still are faithful to the Church.”  
Stephen said they have been  St. Margaret Mary parishioners for 43 years and settled here due to their growing family. “We love our parish community,” he said.
In his remarks after Mass, Father Peter expressed appreciation to Bishop Malloy for his “encouragement to follow Jesus and be faithful to Him.” 
He said Aug. 28 is his brithday and in 1983 he was 15 years old. 
“Who knew that after all of these years that it was in God’s plan I would be here in the United States and be your pastor of this church,” he said. He was already in a minor seminary in Poland. 
Bishop Malloy laughed and said that he could top Father Peter, saying “I was already a priest for just two months on that day, too.”
More festivities followed as parishioners gathered for the 12th annual Polish and American Summerfest, a day long event on the parish grounds. 
Even though the sun was beating down and the temperature was high, there was a brisk lunch business as guests lined up to purchase freshly made potato pancakes, stuffed cabbage, Polish sausage and pierogis, plus ribs, hot dogs, bratwurst and waffles.  
Kids played games and a rock band performed on the stage to entertain the crowd, who sought shelter under a tent.