St. Pius X Catholic Church in Bowie has been celebrating its 50th anniversary since September, but one thing has been missing — a time capsule officials buried on the grounds 25 years ago.
“It was apparently placed near a statue of the Blessed Mary,” said the Rev. Michael Jones, adding that the area was renovated to serve the church’s school, and in 1997, the capsule was removed.
“It’s been sort of conflicting information about where it went,” he said.
The plastic time capsule, which congregation members say is about the size of a bread box and resemble the pneumatic capsules used at banks, was initially buried on the church’s grounds in 1987, Jones said. Conflicting reports say it was reburied or stored someplace.
For weeks, the church, which has about 1,500 registered members, placed a notice in its church flier asking anyone with knowledge about the capsule to come forward, Jones said. A search of the parish’s grounds with a metal detector also failed to pick up the capsule, Jones said.
What’s in the time capsule is unclear as well, even among parishioners such as Anne McLane of Bowie, who has been a parishioner at St. Pius since 1963.
“I couldn’t give it a guess. I would have no idea [what’s inside],” she said.
Anne Cullen, chairwoman of the church’s historical committee remains optimistic that the piece of history will be found.
“It could happen,” she said. “We could have a sudden awakening.”
As the search continues, the church is moving forward with a new time capsule to mark the church’s 50th year of service to the Bowie community. The church’s anniversary celebration began in September around when the church was first dedicated and will continue for a year, church officials said.
A committee is still determining what will go in the new time capsule, however, including items such as compact discs have been discussed, Cullen said.
Whether the new time capsule will be buried is also still being discussed, Cullen said.
“We may not even bury it,” she said. “It may go someplace prominent in a cabinet or display case.”
Anyone with information about the missing time capsule is asked to call the church at 301-262-2141.