The Third Order Regular Franciscans, Immaculate Conception Province, are celebrating 100 years of ministry at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Altoona, this year.
The parish observed the occasion with a festive liturgy and social on Sept. 11.
The first Franciscan priest to be pastor of the church was Father Jerome Zazzara, T.O.R., who was installed at Mount Carmel on Jan. 1, 1910.
He answered the plea from Bishop Eugene Garvey, the first bishop of Altoona, to minister to the Italian immigrants at the parish.
The work of the 11 Third Order Regular Franciscan pastors and the 55 Franciscan Friars who served with them has served the various pastoral needs of the people while communicating to all the message of St. Francis of Assisi.
The message of St. Francis is one of peace, loving respect for all of creation, and recognition of the common brotherhood of all.
"It is characterized by a love for the poor, care of the earth, and always points the way to Jesus Christ," said Father Frank Scornaienchi, pastor of Mount Carmel.
"During these past 100 years, the friars have worked with the people of the parish to help spread the good news of Jesus and to build up the Church of God," he said.
"We give thanks to God for the past 100 years of ministry and ask that God bless us in the next 100."