About 140 people attend Mass with Father Tony Rinaldo, pastor of St. Andrew parish in Tipton and Annunciation parish in California, in Assumption Church in Cedron the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 12. They were celebrating the 180th anniversary of the founding of the former Assumption parish, which was one of the seven original missions founded by Jesuit missionary Father Ferdinand Helias. The parish was closed in the early 1990s after most of the nearby town was absorbed into the Prairie Home Nature Preserve. A group known as the Friends of Cedron Church oversees the maintenance of the 1910-vintage church building and nearby schoolhouse, which with the parish cemetery are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mass is celebrated there twice a year, in addition to funerals and other gatherings.
The Mass was offered in anticipation of the parish’s feastday, the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, Aug. 15, which Catholics observe as a holyday of obligation. The Roman Catholic Church upholds the sacred dogma that Mary, the Blessed Mother of Jesus, was assumed, body and soul, into heaven at the end of her life on earth, sparing the mother of the Savior from all earthly corruption. Catholics believe that God willed from the beginning of time for Mary to receive this unique privilege and that He accomplished it through the merits of her Son, Jesus Christ, through His complete triumph over sin and death. All followers of Christ look forward to the day when their own earthly bodies will be raised up into heaven and reunited with their souls, to live with and worship God for all eternity.