St. Luke the Evangelist Catholic Church in Raleigh celebrated its 25th anniversary October 15-17, culminating with the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, presiding at the 11:00 am Mass on Sunday. Concelebrants were Reverend Robert F. Shea, Founding Pastor, 1985-1994, now retired; Reverend Monsignor David D. Brockman, Vicar General and former Pastor, 1994-2002; and Very Reverend Joseph G. Mulroney, Pastor, 2002-present. Father Mulroney was Homilist.
In 1972, a committee led by Father Gerald Lewis, Pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church, purchased land in North Raleigh to establish the mission church on behalf of the Diocese. From 1984-1988, weekend Masses were celebrated at the nearby Raleigh Fireman’s Club and daily Mass was often held in Father Shea’s home. In 1988, a multi-purpose building was constructed and dedicated by Bishop F. Joseph Gossman.
Over time, parishioners created outdoor worship and meditation space on the church property, including Stations of the Cross and a grotto. Under the leadership of Fr. David Brockman, the Pastoral Life Center was built to accommodate the growing parish.
The 25th Anniversary weekend began on Friday night with a concert presented by the Parish Choir and Orchestra. Music was selected to represent characteristics of the St. Luke community.
On Saturday evening, Father Shea, Father Mulroney, Deacon Michael Sanchez, the pastoral staff and 80 parishioners attended the anniversary dinner. Former pastors, founding families and staff were recognized through a slide show. Jeff Rice, Music Director, created a documentary video for the event, “Celebrating 25 Years of St. Luke History.”
“We must never forget the hard work of people who evangelized us in our lives. We are standing on the shoulders of so many people who made this parish the faith community that it is,” said Father Mulroney in his homily. “We need to evangelize, because the next generation who stands here in 25 years as we celebrate the 50th anniversary will want to know the same truth, the same faith and celebrate the same Sacraments and be fed in the same way that we are with the Body and Blood of Christ.”
The 25th anniversary Mass was followed by a Festival Picnic featuring the Dixieland Band, food and games.
Above: Parishioners attending 25th anniversary Mass at St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Raleigh, October 17.
Above: Bishop Michael F. Burbidge with St. Luke the Evangelist Pastor Father Joseph G. Mulroney (left) and former Pastors Father Robert F. Shea and Msgr. David D. Brockman following 25th anniversary Mass.
Above: Founding Pastor Robert F. Shea being greeted by parishioners at reception following Mass.