TRINITY

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Dear Parishioners,

Although we were taught as Christians, to believe in one God in three divine persons, the actual practice of our faith sometimes suggests that for many, God is an old man in a white beard, who judges, punishes, and keeps a record of every mistake we make. This God is to be feared, appeased, and at best approached with great caution.

God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, have some how gotten side tracked from our every day lives. That is not to say that we do not believe in Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but miss the important connection they have with God the Father. This lack of connection can leave our spiritual practices devoid of joy, laughter, and a sort of playfulness.

Our failure to see the Trinity as a dynamic expression of giving and receiving love prevents us from experiencing the true nature of God, who is love. In his interactions with people Jesus expresses God’s desire, that we might have a more abundant life. Jesus becomes for those who seek him, a source of healing and mercy. He is the presence of God’s tender love. This echoes back to the words of the prophet, “it is mercy I desire and not sacrifice.”

This great expression of God’s love can be found in the Hebrew Scripture’s, “The Song of Songs.” Can there ever be found a more loving, tender, out-pouring expression of who God is?

In Richard Rohr’s book, The Divine Dance, he describes God’s love, as a dance. God dances with us, and interacts with us and constantly invites us into a relationship. In Jesus this relationship encompasses every human emotion and life experience, even the experience of death. God also shares with us his Holy Spirit. Through this sharing we are caught up in the God who is love, and we become a part of God’s very nature, which is love.

When we enter the Divine Dance, we return to that garden, where our first parents lived in a state of original goodness. Like David, who danced before the Ark of the Covenant, may we be inspired to dance before God’s presence the world.

May our prayer reflect our belief in the holy presence of God, whose son once became flesh, and who still is becoming flesh, and his Holy Spirit who hovered over the abyss, and who continues to dance upon the earth. So we pray, so we believe, and so we live, in the joyful expectation of his coming again.

O Most Blessed Trinity, increase faith, increase our hope, and increase our love. Amen

Father Gagne

"Abortion Legislation"

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During the past 2000 years there have been so many advances in science, medicine, language, and technology. And yet, when I heard the cheers and applause for passing late term abortion legislation at the state capital, I thought of the crowds of people who cheered for those who died in the arenas of the Roman Empire, simply to provide entertainment. Some also died because of their refusal to worship the pagan god’s of the empire.

The Roman Empire was the most powerful and technologically advanced empire in the west. This empire reached its zenith, and then began to decline, until its society fell into chaos, and was over run by the barbarian hoards. In the vacuum created by the collapse of political and social order, it was the followers of Jesus, once persecuted, who began to rebuild every aspect of society.

There have been reason’s put forth as to what actually caused the fall of the Roman Empire. My opinion is that it was its lack of compassion and respect for the individual dignity of the human person. In contrast, Christianity was a religion where love for the other was the center of its beliefs and practices. “See how these Christians love each other.” It was the love of God, and the blood of the martyrs that challenged the cruelness of Roman life.

This love has continued to be a force through out history. And the church of Jesus Christ, and his gospel, has survived the collapse of every tyrant and empire for the past 2000 years. Although the church is made up of sinful people, it nevertheless, refuses to define itself by sin, but by the redemptive love of its head, Jesus, who gave his life on a cross for sinners.

The daily killing of the unborn remains our societies greatest sorrow. To take the life of a nine-month-old baby is little more than state sanctioned murder. We have all kinds of laws that make it illegal to kill certain endangered species of wild life and plants, yet there is no protection for the life of an innocent child. If I kill a puppy I can be arrested for animal abuse, but if I kill a nine-month baby it is not a crime; it’s a choice and my right.

When every human being is not protected by law, and recognized as created equal with inalienable rights, then I say be afraid, be very afraid, for no one is safe. When I can kill a child, I can do anything. To kill a child is to also violate the rights of it mother, and the father, who were responsible for the presence of this life. While we can sympathize and offer compassion and support for woman dealing with difficult and unwanted pregnancies, the same must be afforded for the unborn, or partially born innocent child.

If the practice of abortion is allowed to go unchecked, then like the Roman Empire of old, our society will begin to fall apart and descend into darkness and chaos. When the most precious gift of life is taken away from humanity in its most fragile state, then what will happen to the members of a society that has lost its moral compass, its moral identity, and most of all its human dignity and respect for the other.

Once again it will be the faithful followers of Jesus who will provide the moral leadership, and once again bring light where there is darkness, order where there is chaos, and most of all to echo the words of Jesus, “whatever you did not do for the least of these, you failed to do it to.” Perhaps we could add to the words of St. Paul, where he writes about what love is, and is not, in his letter to the Corinthians, and add, love does not take the life of an unborn child.

It is important to remember, that bad things happen, when good people say and do nothing. One day we will all be called upon to give an accounting of life. What will we say when we hear the words, I was an unborn child, and you did not protect my life, and we will say, but Lord when were you an unborn child and we did not protect you? And he will say, whatever you did to this child, or failed to do to this child, you failed to do it to me.

I pray that we will see Jesus and ourselves in the unborn child, and do what needs to done, while we have the opportunity to do something. The practice of abortion cannot continue unchecked without serious consequences to our society and every person in our society. May God give us the grace to live our faith in word and deed, as have the followers of Jesus done through out history. May God also bless the good work he has begun in us and see it to completion.


Father Gagne

Journey in the Desert

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When the devil left Jesus in the desert, after his third temptation, the gospel writer writes, “when the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.” (Luke 4:12) There is implied here that the devil wasn’t finished with Jesus, and that he would come back to tempt him again. It was only after the resurrection that Jesus defeated the devil. The devil, however, has never given up tempting the followers of Jesus.

When the disciples go to Jesus to report that they could not expel a demon, he told them that it could only be expelled through prayer and fasting. Thus he gave his followers the power and the means to expel the devil.

Do we not see the hand of the devil in what is happening in our society, and in our church? Like Jesus, we the church, need to go into the desert, and there be tempted by the devil, as was Jesus. We, in our time and place, are called to renounce the devil, who is Father of Lies, and Prince of darkness, and all his works and all his empty promises.

Why does the devil seek to destroy the church of God? The answer is easy, the church proclaims God’s kingdom of mercy and love. Through the Eucharist and the sacraments, the church offers the world of man, redemption and the hope of eternal life. Every year, at the Easter Vigil, we become the devil’s enemy when we renew our baptismal promises, and promise to live our faith.

The devil’s tactic is to destroy the leaders of the church, through their sin full actions, that have caused so much pain, scandal and shame to the members of the church. By destroying the human leaders of the church, the devil’s plan is to scatter the sheep. However, no matter how many times the devil attacks the church, the church remains the body of Christ, and Christ is the head of the church, and the one who has conquered the devil’s pride, and thus it can only end badly for the devil.

In order to drive out the devil and the other evil spirits who prowl around the world seeking the ruin of souls, we must pray and fast. The leaders of the church are only human beings, and our bound to sin and make mistakes, as do all her members. Yet, despite our sinfulness, Jesus promised to remain with us in the Eucharist, and in the sacraments. He holds out to us the hope of eternal life, something the devil cannot ever have.

There is a spiritual warfare being waged by the powers of darkness against the children of the light. We are call to walk in the light of Christ. We are called, like Jesus, to go into the desert and once again say to the devil; “one does not live on bread alone, you shall worship the Lord your God, him shall you serve,” and ”you shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.” (Luke 4:4-8)

May the God of all consolation fill us with his peace, and may he bring to completion the good work he has begun in us, and keep us safe until the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ dawns in glory. On that day, he will return to judge the world and establish his an everlasting of kingdom of peace, justice, love, mercy and holiness. Let us pray always and never lose hope.

Father Gagne

“Let us remember that we are in the Holy Presence of God”

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Dear Parishioners,

Winter is to nature, what spirituality is to the Christian. In winter all life in nature goes dormant, so that during this period of rest nature can renew itself in preparation for spring. Without winter there cannot be any spring. If my fig trees were not allowed to go dormant and rest, they could never produce their delicious figs in the summer.

In order for us to believe that every human person living on the earth is a gift from God, we must center ourselves in the holy presence of God. This can be done by quietly resting in prayer. Our souls need to rest apart from all the problems that surround us. Like nature, we too must go dormant and allow our spirits to be renewed.

We need to surrender our anger, our pain, our frustration, and all our fears to God who is all love and mercy. By setting aside some time each day to be in silence, we can renew the presence of God that dwells within us. Start with a few minutes, and then add a few minutes each day. You will begin to feel peace, love, and joy, as you allow God’s spirit to come into your life.

Once you establish this pattern, you will wonder how you ever lived without it. You will seek out these special quiet moments each day. Simply sit still and breathe in slowly, and say, “let us remember we are in the holy presence of God, and then slowly exhale all that burdens you. Do this a few times, and then simply sit quietly and say nothing, and do nothing, until you can hear your heart beating. After a while the minutes will go by fast, as your soul desires more time to renew itself.

I invite you to spend the next several weeks of winter to join nature in its rest before spring. May God bless your efforts. May you always live in the awareness of God’s holy presence in your life and in the life of others.

If you are willing to center yourself each for a few minutes I promise you it will change your life. Let us pray for each other during this time or dormancy and rest.

Father Gagne

Father Gagne's 2018 Christmas Message

Dear Parishioners,

The writer, Carl Sandburg wrote, “a baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.” A baby is the sign God chose to reveal his simplicity. God makes himself small for us because he does not want us to be overwhelmed by his strength. In this act of Mary giving birth, he takes away our fear of his greatness and asks only for our love. We respond to God’s love in the holy child by stooping down, as did the shepherds, when they stopped what they were busy about, and humbled themselves to stoop and peer into the cave at Bethlehem.
A baby’s love invites us to stop what we are busy about, and simply spend a quiet moment to hold and to be held.
How our world needs to stop what it is busy about, the violence, the hate, the shootings, the pain we cause each other through our greed, and our need to stand in power over other people.
May the gift of God’s love, given to us in the Holy Christ child, Jesus, dispel the darkness that surrounds us, and fill us with new hope, new faith, and a deep conviction that life should continue.
“O God, who wonderfully created the dignity of human nature and still more wonderfully restored it, grant we pray,” this Christmas, “that we may share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.” (from the opening prayer from the third Mass of Christmas) Let us share our gifts freely with others this Christmas, as he has freely given himself and shared his gifts with us.

Father Gagne,
Pastor

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