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Saint Mary Catholic Church celebrates 100 years, looks to future


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- St. Mary Catholic Church in Wilmington celebrated mass and marked 100 years of service Friday night.

Bishop Michael Burbidge helped mark the 100th year of the church's dedication and blessing by James Cardinal Gibbons.

St. Mary was built between 1908 and 1911 and dedicated Saint Mary pro-cathedral in 1912. It returned to being St. Mary Church in 1925, when the Diocese of Raleigh was established. The church was designated a shrine of the diocese in 2005.

The Reverend Robert Kus is pastor of Saint Mary, but most folks call him Father Bob.

"I think it's very cool to be the pastor from the first century into the second century," Kus said. "I think that's very nice, and I'm especially proud of our missionary spirit that we have here."

Kus said he is so happy to continue the work of people like Fr. Thomas Frederick Price of Wilmington, who was the first priest in North Carolina and founded Maryknoll and is up for sainthood.

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