Patricia Imbriani has been attending Mass at Holy Name of Mary in Montgomery for 49 years and understands what makes the 150-year-old church special.
“It’s like a home. You feel like you belong there,” she told CNY. “There is a core that always goes to any church. It’s like a second family. You check on each other and chat with each other. You may be personal friends with them. It’s a way of making a good second family.”
Ms. Imbriani’s second family has grown as Holy Name of Mary merged with Assumption in neighboring Maybrook to form the 450-family parish of Holy Name of Mary-Assumption as part of Cardinal Dolan’s Making All Things New pastoral planning initiative in 2014. She oversees the Eucharistic ministry, serves on the parish council and recently was the chair of the anniversary committee.
Cardinal Dolan celebrated Mass in a filled church of 300 faithful from both communities, and a reception with 150 people followed Mass at the Montgomery Senior Center to celebrate the church’s 150th anniversary on Sept. 15.
Holy Name of Mary Church is located at 89 Union St. in Montgomery. Assumption Church is at 211 Homestead Ave. in Maybrook.
“We were very happy (with the celebration),” said Father Daniel O’Hare, parish administrator. “Cardinal Dolan went over like gangbusters. He’s a remarkable person. He enjoyed the people and they enjoyed seeing him. He complimented the parish on 150 years of bringing Christ’s presence into the community.”
Father O’Hare has been in the Montgomery-Maybrook communities since 1996, when he was appointed pastor of Assumption, founded in 1907 as a mission church to St. Mary’s in Washingtonville. He was named pastor of Holy Name of Mary and administrator of Assumption in 2005, and was appointed parish administrator in 2015.
“We’re working together to build a new legacy,” said Father O’Hare, who was named dean of Orange County in 2014.
Holy Name of Mary dates to 1868, the same year the church was constructed. In 1932, a grotto with a statue of the Blessed Mother was added on the church grounds.
“(The parish) is special to me and always will be,” said 94-year-old Marion Wild, a lifelong parishioner and historian of Holy Name of Mary.
In 1976, a church hall was built with eight classrooms, a religious education office, parish library and central gathering area. The parish’s religious education program has 240 children in grades one through eight. Allison Wynkoop is in her fourth year as coordinator of religious education and served the previous 16 years as a catechist.
“As much as you’re helping the children learn, you learn from the children. It’s a way to enrich your faith as you’re aging,” said Ms. Wynkoop.
The parish has a Knights of Columbus council and a Catholic Daughters chapter, as well as a bereavement group, which sponsors a quarterly Memorial Mass. At Assumption, a parish picnic follows Mass and a procession of a statue of the Blessed Mother on an August Sunday near the Feast of the Assumption.
Masses are celebrated at Holy Name of Mary at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 and at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. Assumption offers Mass at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, 5:30 p.m. Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Deacon Edward Grosso assists Father O’Hare, who keeps the churches open day in and day out, seven days a week. “He keeps our churches open 24/7 to come in and visit the Blessed Sacrament,” Ms. Wynkoop said of the pastor. “It’s something the parishioners really appreciate.
“He listens and addresses our concerns,” she added. “He’s cognizant to still meet the needs of both locations and he’s always running around. He really puts the parishioners and their needs at the forefront.”