Letter from Father Gagné / GRATEFUL FOR GOD’S PROVIDENCE

Dear Parishioners,

  I want to share some thoughts and reflections, as we approach the halfway mark in the diocesan Capital Campaign, ”Grateful for God’s Providence.”

        I want to thank those who have already responded with a pledge or a one-time donation. Everyone will have an opportunity in the next few weeks to respond to this once in a generation appeal. 

        During this time, when the moral plague of sexual abuse, which is prevalent through out society, has deeply wounded our church, and caused much pain, suffering and shame among her members. As in every epidemic, action, not words are needed now to bring about the healing remedy that is needed.

        As in every epidemic through out history, the church did not run away or abandon those who were suffering. The church has always responded to those who are suffering. The church cannot just condemn sin or the sinner, but after the example of Christ, must offer forgiveness, mercy and hope to every one. It is only the gospel response that will bring about the changes that are needed in our church.

         Through prayer and fasting we will, with God’s help, end this moral plague, not only in our church, but through out society. I have included the Memorare, and the prayer to St. Michel the Archangel, in this week’s bulletin. I challenge all of us to say these prayers daily.

          “We need to be sober and alert, for your adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion is prowling around seeking someone to devour, we must resist him steadfast in our faith.”

          Now is the time for the members of Christ’s body, the church, to come together in prayer and support. This is a time to challenge the leaders of our church to leads us through this dark valley, and after the example of Christ the Good Shepherd, to lead us beside restful waters, to revive our drooping spirits.

          As we prepare for the future, we need to think of what the future would be like with out the church. For me, it is too horrible to imagine. Now is the time to wake from sleep, this is the acceptable time.

          May Our Lady, Mother of the Church, guide and protect us as we continue to build on Peter’s confession of faith. As we celebrate our 85th anniversary as a parish this October 3rd, let us pray that the jaws of death and the gates of hell will not prevail against us.

           You have remembrance in all my prayers, and I ask for your prayers also. May God who has begun the good work in us, see it to completion.

Father Gagné
Pastor

Grateful for God's Providence - Diocesan Capital Campaign

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Dear Parishioners,

Our parish will be participating in a once in a generation Diocesan
Capital Campaign during the next several weeks. A committee of fellow
parishioners will provide the leadership for this campaign. Through a series
of receptions and mailings, you will be informed as to the purpose of this
campaign and how you can participate.

Our parish goal is $485,951. St. Peter Parish will receive 40% of every
dollar raised. The amount of return to the parish would be $194,380. If we
go over our goal, our parish will receive 60% on every dollar amount raised.

It is my hope to establish a permanent endowment in the amount of
$50,000 from the money that will be returned to our parish. The interest
generated from this fund will be used to provide scholarship assistance for
those attending St. Peter Tri-Parish School. This scholarship will be called
the Sr. Mary Angelus, R.S.M. Endowment Fund. This is a wonderful way to
honor Sr. Angelus for her many years of service to our parish and school.
The rest of the money will be used for the up keep of our school.

Asking for money is never easy, but I believe with prayer and
everyone’s participation, we will join the other parishes in our diocese
who have already participated in this important undertaking. Msgr. Iacovacci
has already donated $20,000, and I have pledged $5,000. We are off to a
good beginning.

May God bless the work he has begun in us and see it to completion.
Be assured of a remembrance in all my prayers. I thank you in advance for
your prayers and support.

Enclosed in the bulletin is an insert that explains the purpose of this
Diocesan Campaign, Grateful for God’s Providence.

Gratefully Yours,

Rev. Roger C. Gagne
Pastor

Easter Message - 2018

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Cardinal Cupich, the Archbishop of Chicago, when asked about what directs
Pope Francis in his every day life, responded: “The Holy Father genuinely
believes not only that Jesus rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, but is risen,
active and alive in the world, leading the church today.” Pope Francis,
according to Cardinal Cupich, “sees his role as being attentive to all that
Jesus is doing and calling us to be in our time. It is his faith that Christ is
alive and active in the church that he is insisting on a new pastoral approach
for the church and its ministers.”

Ministry for Pope Francis follows the example of Christ, who accompanied
the disciples on the road to Emmaus, as they went their way. Through this
encounter, Jesus gradually revealed himself to them. This is why Pope
Francis according to Cardinal Cupich, “encourages us to walk with people
and get to know their situation, rather than applying, in a mechanical and
rigid way, general rules and principles to particular circumstances.”

Without a belief in the presence of the Risen Christ in our world today, and
without a faith in the mercy and grace of God for each of us, we can easily
fall, as Pope Francis writes, “into a defeatism which turns us into querulous
and disillusioned pessimists.” Pope Francis calls us to embrace the presence
of the Risen Christ, who is active and alive in my life right now, and not the
memory of an historical figure who lived along time ago. Jesus told his
followers, “where I am, there also will my servant be.” Where are we this
Easter Sunday, as a church, as a parish, and as followers of Jesus? May
Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness that surrounds us. Like the
disciples on the road to Emmaus, may our hearts burn within us as Jesus
accompanies us on the way, and may we recognize him in the breaking of
the bread this Easter Sunday and at every Eucharist.

A Blessed Easter to you and your families.

Fr. Gagne

Ordinary Time

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ORDINARY TIME - JAN. 2018

     The dictionary defines the word ordinary as something that is
customary, usual or familiar. What is familiar or common to Christians is the
weekly celebration of the paschal mystery. This mystery recalls the life,
death and most importantly the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The first day of
the week becomes for the believer a day of play and worship. Through play
and worship Sunday is in itself a sacrament of the redeemed.

     Our observance of Sunday proclaims to the world that we are a people,
who have been redeemed in time, not only for the moment, but also for all
eternity. When we gather for weekly Eucharist, we bring with us the events
of the past week. These events become the beginning of the week to come.
Like all sacraments, Sunday is simultaneously a point of arrival and
departure for Christians on their way to the fullness of the kingdom.

     Although we call this time of year Ordinary Time, it is anything but
ordinary because it is the fabric of daily living. It is the familiar, common,
and ordinary way we live our lives.

     This present stretch of Ordinary time will last five weeks. We will pick
up Ordinary Time again after Pentecost Sunday, which this year, is
celebrated on May 20th . During these days of ordinary time, may we enjoy
our familiar and common life in Christ. A life that brings us hope and
forgiveness, and proclaims to others, that we are a redeemed people.

     May the common ordinary life of being a Christian sustain us, as we
gather each week for the celebration of Holy Mass. May it be our point of
arrival and departure.

Rev. Roger C. Gagne

Christmas Message from Father Gagne

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    The incarnation of God happened when the eternal word of God took on a human body by becoming flesh, as the prologue of St. John’ s gospel states: “And the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” Through God’s initiative, a whole new act of creation had once again taken place in the human experience.

     When the Virgin Mary said yes to Gabriel’s message, God was able to begin a new creation, after the manner of what we read in the book of Genesis; when God first created man and woman in his image and likeness, and saw that what he had created was indeed very good.

     The seasons of Advent and Christmas celebrate God’s new creation. This new creation takes the form of a regeneration of God into the human experience. In the person of his son Jesus, God begins the healing of all the effects of sin, and makes a new beginning of goodness.

     The joyful mysteries of the rosary reveal God’s new creation through Gabriel’s announcement to a young girl, the virgin of Nazareth. This announcement takes away her fears, fills her with joy, allows the Holy Spirit to over shadow her, and causes the child in her cousin Elizabeth’s womb to leap for joy. These mysteries go on to show how Jesus grew in wisdom and age, became obedient, was presented to the world by the prophet Simeon, and became a sign of contradiction, and a sword that would pierce Mary’s heart, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

      May this Christmas find us watching in prayer and our hearts filled with wonder and praise, as we celebrate God humbling himself to share our humanity, that we could share in his divinity.

     May the birth of Jesus in time and place, fill us with love, as we embrace the coming New Year with renewed hope, that with God, all things are possible for those who believe. That like Mary, we will say yes to God, and bring Jesus to the people of the “hill country” in our time and place.

    A Blessed Christmas to all of you. You, and your families, will have a special remembrance in my Masses during the Christmas season.

Rev. Roger C. Gagne

Christmas and the Magi

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T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Journey of the Magi” tells the story of the Three Wise Men who set out on a journey to satisfy their curiosity about the appearance of a star. They struggled at the “worst time of the year, the very dead of winter,” willing to travel at night through cold and hostile towns….  READ MORE >>

New Parish Boundaries

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 NEW PARISH BOUNDARIES

Dear Parishioners,

     Effective January 1st 2018, St. Peter and St. Timothy Parish will take over the territory of the former St. William Parish. Bishop Tobin will issue a special decree in the near future making these changes official. A copy of his decree will be placed in the bulletin.

     On the Reverse Side Of This Letter is a copy of the new parish boundaries for St. Peter and St. Timothy Parishes.

       I again extend a warm welcome to the former parishioners of St. William Parish who have chosen to join St. Peter parish. My prayer is that our parish will continue its mission to proclaim the Gospel, celebrate the sacraments, provide for the needs of the poor, keep providing Catholic Education, Faith Formation, Autism and the Sacraments Program, youth programs, Vacation Bible School, Adult Faith Formation, and be a community of faith and service, that continues to support the spiritual and physical needs of the people of our parish and community.

     The Warwick Pastoral Planning process will continue to discuss and plan for the future needs of the Catholics of Warwick.

     Please continue to keep us in your prayers, that God will continue to bless our efforts to provide for the future needs of our parishes.

     Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

 

                                                        Sincerely Yours,
                                                        Rev. Roger C. Gagne
                                                        Pastor

Warwick Pastoral Planning Update

Dear Parishioners,

The following is a list of what was discussed at the Warwick Pastoral Planning meeting that was held on Tuesday, June 27th at St. Rita’s Church.

  • St. Rita and St. Timothy Parishes will be affiliating with each other with the hope of yoking within a year. The pastor of St. Timothy will become the administrator of St. Rita.
     
  • St. Rose and Clement, St. Catherine, and St. Francis Parishes have begun to discuss the future of their parishes. This conversation will be ongoing for about two to three years.
     
  • St. Peter Parish and Tri-Parish School will join the conversation with St. Timothy and St. Rita Parishes
     
  • St. Peter’s Vacation Bible School, Autism and the Sacraments Program, Scouting Programs and Venturing Program, will be offered to all the parishes of Warwick.
     
  • Former parishioners from St. Williams continue to join our parish. We extend a warm welcome to the new members of our parish family.
     
  • St. Gregory Parish has not participated in any of our discussions.

St. Peter Parish remains a strong and active parish at all levels. The support of every member of the parishes is needed. I urge those who are active members to reach out to those who do not participate in Liturgy or support the parish on a regular basis, by inviting them to share their time, treasure, and talent with their parish.

May God continue to bless the good work he has begun in us. You have a remembrance in all my prayers. Have a great summer. Pray for us.

Sincerely Yours,
Rev. Roger C. Gagné

 

2017 Easter Message - Fr. Gagne

Dear Parishioners,

The follower of Jesus is a person who carries within himself the death and resurrection of the one who was led as a lamb to the slaughter.

In a world that is filled with so much cruelty, personal illness, suffering and death, it is a challenge to look up from our tears and see Jesus, as did Mary in the garden.

Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we too are so overcome with grief and disappointment that we fail to recognize Jesus. It was only in the breaking of the bread that their eyes were opened.

It is so hard to bridge the gap, to cross over into the Easter mystery. We try to cross over, and some how end up back in Lent. It is easier to fall back into what we know, and see, and hear, and experience, and believe that’s all there is; as the disciples to Emmaus said to Jesus, “we were hoping that he would be the one who would set us free,” but alas it has all gone so terribly wrong.

If Lent is the time when we give up things, then maybe the Easter Season is a time when we look for the presence of Jesus in our lives. Like nature that is coming back to life, in what has been a cold bleak winter, we slowly see signs of life within us. Perhaps the reason we live and keep living are summed up in these words, taken from a devotional book, “The way of sorrows, if walked with Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, is a path kept sacred and secret for his nearest and dearest, those whose one desire is to do all for him, to sacrifice all for him, to count, as his servant St. Paul did, all things as loss so that they might gain Christ.”

In every Eucharist we are present to the mystery of death and dying, and rising. It is in the breaking of the bread that we too recognize Jesus, and believe that he lives, and that we live because of him. May Christ, that morning star now rising, that never sets, move us from merely attending Eucharist, to giving ourselves over to be transformed in Eucharist.

May the risen Jesus break open our graves of despair, roll back the rocks of revenge and bitterness, that the light of Resurrection may free our bodies and spirits to rise again and again and again. A blessed Easter Season to all of you.

Rev. Roger C. Gagne
Pastor

A Warm Welcome to Members of St. William Parish

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Lord,

On October 3, 1933, Bishop Hickey established St. Peter and St. William parishes. As sister parishes we have shared the mission of the church, which is to proclaim the gospel, celebrate the sacraments, provide for needs of the poor, celebrate the rites of Christian burial, and be the presence of Christ in our time and place.

After eighty-four years of faithful service the people of St. Williams will celebrate their last Mass Easter Sunday. During this painful time of change and transition I want to extend a warm welcome to the members of St. William parish who have chosen, or will choose to become part of our parish family. Your faith and presence enriches all of us.

As pastor of St. Peter parish, I want to assure you of my prayers and support, and my pledge to do whatever our parish can to make you feel at home.

Easter reminds us that after death comes the resurrection and new life. May Christ rising in glory fill our hearts with new hope, as together we continue to grow and live the Christian faith, that has been handed down to us, in our time and in our place.

A blessed Easter Season to all of you. Sincerely Yours in the Risen Lord,
 

Rev. Roger C. Gagne
Pastor

2017 Holy Week Message from Fr. Gagne

Dear Parishioners,

As we prepare to celebrate, through liturgical rites, the last days of the life of Jesus, I invite you join us for the special liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, The Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday.

Like the crowds that followed Jesus during his lifetime on earth, we must decide for ourselves, what his message, and the meaning of his life, has to do with our lives.

Like Peter, and the other disciples, will we run away, deny him, stand with him, call for his crucifixion, or just walk away and hide? The answer to these questions has already been answered by what has been happening in our lives since last we celebrated Holy Week.

Although we, like Peter, our fearless leader, might have cause to weep bitterly, we know that we are still loved and forgiven. To this end, priests bishops, deacons, and all of God holy people will celebrate the Lord’s Passover with minds and hearts renewed.

The world has great need of our witness to Christ Crucified, and the glory of his resurrection. Because he has conferred on us The Father’s Kingdom, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are called to go forth everywhere to proclaim through the manner of our lives, that we belong to Christ and his kingdom, a kingdom of peace and justice, and of holiness and truth, so that all people may be raised up to a new hope.

I look forward to celebrating this Holy Week with you. Let us keep each other in our prayers, as together we make a stand for Christ and his church, in our time, and in this portion of God’s kingdom.

“We adore you O Christ and we bless you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.”

Rev. Roger C. Gagné,

Warwick Parish Meeting Update - Feb. 10

Dear Parishioners,

I would like to thank the parishioners who attended the Warwick Parish Meeting this past Wednesday at Hendricken. Your presence at that meeting indicates your support and understanding of the process of pastoral planning that is necessary for the future viability of our Warwick Catholic communities.

If anyone would like to be part of this process please call Rebecca Perez, the diocesan director of pastoral planning, at 278-4610. Each parish has been asked to invite parishioners to be part of this important process.

Pursuant to this on-going process, St. Williams Parish will celebrate its last Mass on Easter Sunday, April 16 th. Parishioners of St. Williams have been invited to visit others parishes in the mean time. At some point, the territory of St. Williams will most likely be divided up between St. Timothy’s and St. Peter’s Parish. Please pray for the parishioners of St. William’s; that they will feel welcomed and comfortable in whatever parish they choose to join.

The top priority for St. Peter’s Parish is the future of our Tri-Parish School and how our parish can share our resources; Mass schedules, Faith Formation programs, scouting, and whatever other needs that may surface, with other neighboring parishes.

Let us continue to pray that God will bless our efforts to plan for the future of our parishes in the City of Warwick. I will keep you updated as we move forward. Thank you for you continued support and understanding.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Rev. Roger C. Gagne

St. Peter Parish - Open Meeting as we Look to the Future

Dear Parishioners,

During the past several weeks, the pastors of Warwick have been meeting with persons from the Office of Pastoral Planning of the diocese of Providence. Declining Mass attendance, finances, and the declining number of priests, has motivated the need for these meetings.

As we look to the future, the following questions have formed the basis for our discussions; How many parishes are needed to best serve the Catholics of the city of Warwick, and how many priests will be available to provide these services?

In the near future, an open meeting will be planned, where all concerned persons will be invited to give their input to this ongoing discussion. While St. Peter’s Parish remains viable, it is important for everyone to be part of the conversation.

Through prayer, discussion, and mutual cooperation, we will continue to provide for the future needs of the Catholic faithful who live in the city of Warwick.

Thank you for your support and understanding, Please be assured of a remembrance in all my prayers.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Rev. Roger C. Gagne
Pastor

Fr. Gagne's Christmas Message - 2016

Dear Parishioners,

During the season of Advent we have been treated by the Prophet Isaiah’s dream about what God is going to bring about among his people. Isaiah dares to dream about a world where there will be no more training for war, and where a child will lead mankind into a world where the lion and the lamb will be friends, and where no one will go astray, or experience any harm on God’s holy mountain. He writes of a great sign that will be given, “the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel. A name that means that God is with us.”

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Bishop Robert Barron speaks about Emmanuel when he writes: "But the Bible alone indicates that God’s truest name and most distinctive quality is that he will be with us. In good times and bad, during periods of light and darkness, when we are rejoicing and grieving, God is stubbornly with us. Emmanuel.”

It is the stubbornly quality of God’s love that we celebrate at Christmas. His love breaks through all the obstacles of politics and government, all the obstacles of human pride and pomp, all the displays of ego and power, as well as our indifference to the obstacles of wont, poverty, and ignorance, that threatens to hurl man down into the abyss of quiet desperation and hopelessness.

E.E. Cummings, the great American poet writes, “A baby is God’s opinion that life should continue.” A baby brings life, hope and the possibility of new beginnings. It was for this reason that Jesus, Emmanuel, humbled himself to share our humanity, so that we could share in his divinity. This coming of the Son of God, in the flesh, is what has made the human race great again, and not the machinations of men.

The New Year, 2017, will be a very challenging year for us as Americans, and as followers of Jesus. May the birth of Jesus, who is Emmanuel, fill our hearts with wonder and praise, and give us the grace to proclaim Emmanuel, God with us, to a lonely and suffering world.

My prayer for all of us is that Jesus, God with us, will fill us with his joy and peace this Christmas, and give us renewed hope in the coming New Year. A Blessed Christmas and New Year to you and your families.

Rev. Roger C. Gagné,

Steadfast in Faith / Prayer in Response to Terrorism - Letter from Fr. Gagne

Dear Parishioners,

Once again, we mourn the loss of people who were targets of hatred and
terrorism. Our hearts, and prayers, and thoughts are with those who are mourning and grieving. There are no words that can adequately express what we all feel at this time.

I have heard people say that we need more than just prayer to respond to such violence and senseless tragedy. I respectfully disagree. I believe prayer is the only power that can save us against such evil. Jesus tells us that certain demons can only be cast out through prayer and fasting.

As church, we condemn all forms of hatred, homophobia, racism, terrorism, religious-intolerance, and any thing that diminishes the dignity of the human person. We must conform ourselves, as St. Paul tells, to Christ and his gospel, for these are evil times.

Only through prayer and fasting can we have the grace to stand in faith and solidarity with those who suffer so unjustly these sins against God’s love.

As a faith community we must preach and live the gospel, in season and out of season, and not delude ourselves into thinking that what goes on in church has nothing to do with what goes on in the market place. We cannot separate our religious beliefs from our political, and every day life.

St. Peter’s Parish welcomes everyone to worship and pray together in an atmosphere of mutual support and respect. We must model in ourselves the change that we want to see in the world. To that end I, as your pastor, pledge my efforts, and ask for your prayers, as we go forward during these difficult and challenging times.

The word’s of St. Peter seem appropriate for us, “ Be sober and vigilant, your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8)

May God bless us with his peace, and give us the desire to work for that justice which brings about peace.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Roger C. Gagne
Pastor


Oh God, we are one with You. You have made us one with You. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, You dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. Oh God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept You, and we thank You, and we adore You, and we love You with our whole being, because our being is in Your being, our spirit is rooted in Your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes You present in the world, and which makes You witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious…
— Thomas Merton