BRIDGTON — Bishop Robert Deeley will preside at the 50th anniversary Mass of St. Joseph Church, located on 225 South High Street in Bridgton, on Saturday, Aug. 21 at 4 p.m. The Mass, which will also be livestreamed at, will be followed by a eucharistic procession and a barbecue sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. All are welcome to attend the celebration. Visitors can enjoy historical picture displays and other entertainment at the barbecue, which will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Though Catholics have gathered in Bridgton for Masses for over a century, it was on Aug. 22, 1971, when Fr. Gilbert Patenaude blessed and dedicated the new St. Joseph Church, where it still serves as a beacon of faith and hope for Catholics in the area and beyond. Large crowds, particularly in the summer months, forced the need for a larger building and ground was broken in the fall of 1970. The parish was established the next year, with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Fryeburg a part.

In the last half century, St. Joseph Church has become known throughout the community for its commitment to social justice and helping neighbors in need as well as drawing parishioners and worshippers from as many as 15 nearby towns.

For more information about the anniversary celebration, contact the parish at 207-647-2334.