EAST MILLINOCKET — Catholics from East Millinocket, Millinocket, Benedicta, and beyond will gather together for a series of special events in the next week.

Parishioners have been participating in a special novena for the Blessed Virgin Mary since late August, a novena that will conclude on Thursday, Sept. 8, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Novenas are an ancient tradition that goes back to the days of the Apostles. Jesus told His disciples to pray together after His ascension into heaven, so they went to an upper room along with the Blessed Virgin Mary, (Acts 1:14) and joined constantly in prayer for nine days.

On Thursday night, Sept. 8, a birthday party for Mary will be held following an outdoor Mass at St. Peter Church (58 Cedar Street in East Millinocket) at 6 p.m.

“She is our Mother and we have to celebrate our Mother’s birthday,” said Fr. Dominic Savio, administrator of Christ the Divine Mercy Parish, of which St. Peter is a part. “After the Mass, we will have a special dessert and gathering to celebrate our Blessed Mother. This will be a wonderful opportunity for people to pray and receive the blessings of Mother Mary.”

Later in the week, on Sunday, Sept. 11, all are welcome to gather once again at St. Peter for a 10 a.m. Mass that will be followed by a family day celebration and lunch, highlighted by the blessing of the new outdoor Stations of the Cross surrounding the Mary Shrine outside the church.

“We will name the shrine as The Christ the Divine Mercy Shrine,” said Fr. Savio. “We now have the 14 Stations. The blessing of the shrine is being sponsored by our Knights of Columbus. It will be a beautiful day.”

For more information about the celebrations, contact the parish at 207-746-3333.