Saint Hippolyte Parish

St. Hippolyte Church, Frenchtown

Saint Hippolyte Church

Frenchtown, PA

Events and Activities

St. Hippolyte is the center of Frenchtown, a village named in reference to its early immigrants. The parish was founded in 1834, a few years after missionaries began visiting the village on horseback. The first church was built in 1837, then enlarged and remodeled in 1866. Construction of the present church began in 1886. Parishioners built the church by hand, quarrying the stones for the foundation, cutting native woods for the pillars, pews, the altars and trim. They even built their own brick factory and hand made the exterior bricks. If you visit St. Hippolyte Church you can still see an 100 year old hand-carved wooden crucifix hanging in the Reconciliation Room.

The church was formally dedicated June 10, 1888, by Bishop Tobias Mullen of Erie. More than 2,500 people attended the dedication and mass followed by a chicken fricassee dinner. Thechicken dinner tradition continues to this day.

In the fall of 1998, a restoration project was undertaken to return the outside of the church to it's original condition and help preserve it for the next 100 years. A major interior renovation project was completed in the summer of 2002. The newly renovated worship space was dedicated by the Most Reverend Donald W. Trautman, Bishop of Erie, on September 8, 2002.

Who is Saint Hippolyte?

Interior of St. Hippolyte

Religious Services

Liturgy Schedule

  • Saturday 5:00pm (November - April)
  • Sunday 10:30am
    • Children's Liturgy of the Word for children pre-school to 3rd grade during Sunday Morning Mass.
  • Sunday 7:00pm
    • Holy Day of Obligation

Sacrament of Penance:

  • Saturdays at 4:30pm (November - April)
  • Other times by appointment

Baptism:The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated on the last Sunday of each month at the weekend Mass. Parents must attend the Pre-Baptism Class.

Marriage:One party must be a registered parishioner and actively involved for one year before scheduling a wedding. Please call the parish office at least six months prior to the proposed date of marriage. No date can be set before the first interview with the pastor has been completed.

Anointing of the Sick:Please phone the parish office immediately if a loved one is sick or hospitalized.

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Our Patron, St. Hippolytus

Religious Education

Coordinator of Religious Education: Joyce Tarr (814) 789-4266

PSR Yearly Calendar

Elementary and Adolescent Faith Formation:

Parish School of Religion:
Classes are held on Sunday mornings 8:45 am until 10:15 am, September through May.

A retreat is required for parents and students preparing for First Reconciliation or First Eucharist. Dates appear on the yearly PSR calendar.

The Confirmation Class meets twice a month.

Candidate and Sponsor meetings, service projects and a retreat are required for students preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Adult Faith Formation:

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults: R.C.I.A. is a process for adults wishing to learn more about the Catholic faith. It is intended for those who have been away from the church as well as those contemplating becoming a Catholic. Contact the parish office for more information.

Marriage Preparation:Preparation includes participation in Pre-Cana or Engaged Encounter and instruction by the Pastor. Engaged couples must contact the pastor at least six months prior to the anticipated marriage date.

Sacramental Preparation:

Parents wishing to have a child baptized are required to attend a baptismal preparation class. Sessions are scheduled at local Catholic Churches throughout the year. Please contact the parish office for more information.

Parents of students preparing to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, Eucharist or Confirmation are required to attend parent sacramental preparation sessions. The parent sessions and other important dates appear on the yearly PSR calendar.

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Built in 1886

Community and Service

Helping Hands: The Helping Hands committees coordinate the parish membership in offering service to those in need. Services provided by Helping Hands are Prayer Requests, Visitation, Services to the Bereaved, Emergency Home Care, Transportation, Elizsabeth Ministry and the Ministry of Welcome.

Youth Group: B.U.F.F. (Building Up Faith Forever) offers students in grades 7-12 an opportunity to journey with others in friendship, prayer, service to others and social activities. Special activities are announced in the bulletin.

Le Nom Du Pere Society: The name Le Nom Du Pere (The Name of the Father) honors the French history of Frenchtown and St. Hippolyte Church. The Society is open to all men and women of the parish and provides social and service activities for the church, organizes fund raising events and fosters Christian community. Meeting are held the 1st Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm at St. Hippolyte.

The Parish Men's Club: Open to men from both churches, the Parish Men's Club meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm. Meetings alternate monthly between Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Hippolyte Churches. Members participate in social, service and fund-raising activities.

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Annual Ham or Chicken Dinner and Festival

Cemetery Cross

The first dinner was served under the direction of Reverend Eugene Cogneville featuring a chicken fricassee dinner served on the church lawn. World War I and World War II interrupted the dinners, but they resumed after World War II under the direction of Reverend Richard Tellers. Dinners have been held annually ever since, always on the last Sunday of July.

Originally all food was prepared in the homes of parishioners and donated, but changes over the years made it necessary to purchase the supplies and prepare the food at the church. Parishioners still donate potatoes and make pies. Workers begin cleaning the chicken at about 5:00am on the day of the dinner. It is then par-boiled and barbecued over charcoal. Over 2,000 dinners are served between 12 noon and 6:30pm.

The dinner and festival are the only major fund raisers for the parish which includes Saint Hippolyte Church in Frenchtown, PA and Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Cochranton, PA.

Advance dinner tickets can be purchased after July 1st. Simply mail your check to the church office (25997 St Hwy 27, Guys Mills, PA 16327), enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope and your tickets will be mailed to you.

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