PANGMAN, Sask. — The faithful gathered Oct. 11 from as far away as Minnesota to celebrate the centennial of Holy Angels Parish.
The weekend began on Oct. 9 with a lighthearted tribute to pastor Rev. Anthony Pangan and former pastors Revs. Louis Abello, Stephen Bill, Pat Murphy and Peter Nijsen. What each brought and what each left was highlighted with some good humour thrown in. The evening also celebrated a mass, Benediction and the program was accompanied by an evening meal.
Sunday was the main event, with Archbishop Daniel Bohan celebrating mass with Pangan. One of the highlights of the mass was a hymn sung in Tagalog, the Philippine language. It was written by Jean Wagner for the parish’s 60the anniversary and adapted by the Wadel family for the Centennial. It was sung to the tune of the hymn Day is Done.
Pangan is from Philippines, as are about half the parish numbers, according to Pangan. “Our Filipino families have had a positive impact on our church,” said Connie Lozinsky one of the organizers of the event, “both in numbers and youthful vitality.”
Parish Council chair Lorraine Eckert made two presentations following the Sunday mass; a special thank you gift was presented to Bohan and a bouquet of roses was presented to 97- year-old Mrs. Edith Bernard in appreciation for her years of service to the church. She is a 50-year member of the Catholic Women’s League.
Like most small-town churches, everything happens with volunteers. Parish council chair Lorraine Eckert headed up an organizing committee of 12 with many more in supporting roles to put the weekend together. Pangan was also very involved with the committee in the planning and success of the weekend.
Pangman is a village of about 260 people some 100 kilometers straight south of Regina on the west side of Number 6 Highway. The first mass was celebrated in 1906 in the school, then in private homes until the new church was built and blessed by Archbishop Mathieu on Oct. 15, 1915
Following the mass MC Sheila Wadel thanked everyone for coming and summed up the reason a small rural church like Holy Angels continues to thrive.
“So many faithful parish members have lived and loved and served God and neighbour here at Holy Angels. They are the backbone of Holy Angels, serving week in and week out, seen and unseen, mowing and shoveling, cleaning and painting, reading and playing music and fixing and organizing and praying — showing us all the face of Christ here in this little church,” said Wadel. “We honour you all here today, along with each one of our priests, our archbishops, and Holy Fathers who have served Holy Angels so well, in the love of God, this past 100 years.”