AUGUSTA — When work began on the foundation of St. Augustine Church in June 1915, architects stopped construction because they feared the building would sink into Sand Hill.

Church lore has it that the Rev. Zenon Decarie held an all-night prayer vigil, and the next day, builders found the ledge they needed to continue construction of the granite church designed to hold more than 1,300 people.

And now, 100 years after the church was completed, St. Michael Parish will celebrate the anniversary of the church’s opening with a special Mass and reception Nov. 19.

The Mass begins at 4 p.m. at the church, the first stone church built by Franco-Americans in Maine, according to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

The Rev. Frank Morin said it will be a celebration of not only the building itself, but also of the community it created.

“It’s honoring the French Catholic expression of faith and remembering our roots in an appreciative way, because we’re the way we are today because of (them),” Morin said.

Several generations have experienced baptisms, communions, weddings and funerals inside the historic church, and Morin and David Madore, co-chairman of the celebration committee, hope that continues for generations to come.

“It should always feel like you’re coming home, no matter how long you’ve been gone,” Madore said.