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Saint Mary’s Annual Church Picnic

Trish Turner

Messenger Staff 

The Mattingly family at St. Mary’s picnic in 1914 or 1915. Mary and Isaac were the maternal grandparents of Peggy Greenwell. Pictured are Mary, Dorothy, Isaac, Levi, Claude, Sam, Earl, Alma and Myrtle. The baby Dorothy was Peggy’s mother. Earl, the youngest boy pictured, was the grandfather of Glenn Mattingly and great grandfather of Ethan and Jacob Mattingly (one of the families that will be cooking the chicken for the picnic).

Photo by Trish Turner | The Meade County Messenger - St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi Catholic Church in Payneville.

St. Mary’s Annual Picnic will be on Saturday, July 9th from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. After a hiatus of two years due to COVID restrictions they will be having their traditional picnic again with delicious fried chicken and slow-cooked beef dinners. The cost of the meal is $12 for adults and $6 for children. The church is located at 110 KY-376 in Payneville, not far from the intersection of Payneville Road (KY-144) and KY-376. St. Mary’s is the only church picnic in the Meade County community that has been held continuously since the early 1900’s.The picnic will be a festive occasion that includes a silent auction, booths that offer games such as the Dart Game, Cane Rack, Festival Bingo, Cake Wheel, and Pull Tabs. Other booths will be set up with face painting, household items for sale, vegetables, and fruit for sale from local farmers, a church history booth, and items from the Meade County History Museum. The booths will be open at 2:00 p.m.This year at the Meade County History Museum booth a replica of the Spear of Destiny will be on display. The spearhead is part of the instrument that was used to pierce the side of Christ during His crucifixion. Many historical figures were in possession of the original spear, including Constantine the Great and Charlemagne. It ended up in the Hofburg Treasure House in Vienna Austria where Adolf Hitler saw it and later took possession of it. At the end of World War II it was found by members of the U.S. Army in the ruins of Hitler’s bunker and was returned to the House of Hapsburg after the war. You will want to come out to the picnic and view this interesting replica of a historical treasure, which is on loan to the history museum from Geraldine and Chris Stith. At the picnic there will be pony rides, the barrel train, and bouncy houses for children to enjoy. This year a beautiful quilt made by Lois Fackler, who has won several ribbons at the Meade County Fair, will be raffled. Lois is continuing the tradition of providing a handmade quilt to raffle at the picnic. For many years Ailene Stull made quilts for the raffle, and in more recent years her daughter Debbie Pickering had assisted her. Capital Prize Raffle tickets will be sold for $2 each for a chance to win the first prize of $1,500, second prize $300, or third prize $200. During the picnic there will also be many local classic cars on display on the grounds.There will be a Baby Contest this year and there is a $10 fee to register your baby by 1:30 p.m. on the day of the picnic. It is beach themed and baby girls need to wear a swimsuit and baby boys should wear swim trunks. Categories are ages 0-6 months, 7-12 months, 13-18 months, and 19-24 months. The contest will start at 2:00 p.m. with ages 0-6 months. Peggy Greenwell and several other members of St. Mary’s parish provided me with a lot of information about the history of the church and the annual picnic. The St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi Catholic Church in Payneville was officially dedicated in 1876 after a small mission church was formed there in 1871 from the parishes of St. Theresa in Rhodelia and Holy Guardian Angel in Mount Merino, near Irvington. Although there must have been earlier picnics, the first that was advertised in the local paper, The Meade County Messenger, was on August 8, 1903. It was held on the Frank Greenwell estate near Payneville on what is believed to be the current location of Stull’s Country Store in Andyville. The ad read; “One of the grandest picnics of the season…Some of the candidates for various offices will be present and speak upon the political issues of the day. An excellent band will furnish music for the occasion.