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

Update on Recent St. Peter Parish Routine Finance Audit

Dear Parishioners,

During the past year, an accounting firm selected by the diocese, conducted a routine audit of St. Peter’s Church and School operations. This audit is usually conducted every five to seven years in every parish of the diocese.

This past week, the parish financial council, along with the trustees and auditors received the results of this audit from the accountants who conducted the audit.

In general, the parish and school received a satisfactory report of all its financial operations, and were found to be in compliance with all diocesan regulations.

The report while generally positive, did recommend some adjustments and procedural changes that will simplify and tighten up our entire operation. I have accepted their recommendations, and plan to move forward, with the help of the finance council, auditors, and parish staff to make these changes.

I want to thank all those who generously support our parish school on a weekly basis, and encourage those who could do more, to prayerfully consider increasing their level of stewardship giving.

Your generosity, as well as the timely payment of tuition, will make it possible for us to continue providing Catholic Education for the people our tri-parish school.

I want to conclude by thanking our parish office manager, Charlene Schrieber, Al Papino, parish bookkeeper, Marianne Beirne, accountants payable secretary, Connie Anderson, parish secretary, Joan Sickinger, school principal, and Barbara Rossi, and Karen Hardy, school secretaries, for their tireless dedication to our parish and school. I also thank them for workingdiligently with the audit process during this past year.

I also express my thanks to our parish trustees, Flo Hainey, Jack Madden, our parish auditors, Ben Algeo and Bryan Cote, along with the other members of the finance council, Carmela Brazeau, Judy Mc Cormick, and Steve Isherwood, for their support and dedicated service to me and to the parish and school community.

May God continue the good work that he has begun in us. Be assured of a remembrance in all my prayers.

Sincerely Yours,
Rev. Roger C. Gagne
Pastor

2016 Easter Message - Fr. Gagne

EASTER 2016

What is spring, if not the ripping apart of winter’s coldness. Spring is the sound of water splashing over rocks, and ice melting from the warmth of the sun climbing higher each day in the sky. Spring is most welcomed, yet can be cruel, in its attempts to call forth life from the seemingly lifeless earth. Calling forth change, we come alive again after winter’s long rest. It was at this time of year that the mystery of God’s love was revealed through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The gospel tells us about an empty tomb; people stooping to peer in, a woman weeping in a garden, exhausted after the festival of Passover and the spectacle of the crucifixion. In the early morning light, and in the pain of loss and betrayal, Jesus in his human body, rose from the grave.

In order for us to grasp the meaning of his resurrection, we must let go of our need to know the historical details of Jesus’ world and life. To see the face of Jesus, that moved Veronica to step from the crowd to wash his face, we need to stoop, and peer into the empty tomb of our souls, and like Mary in the garden, see him through our own tears. Only by entering into silence and mystery can we truly see the face of Jesus. We ask forgiveness for our refusal to see Jesus in our brothers and sisters, and for looking the other way when we see the needs of others. Lord, break open our graves of despair, and roll back the rocks of bitterness and revenge. Let in the light of Resurrection, and free our bodies and spirits to rise again and again and again.

A Happy Easter Day, and Season to all of you.

-Father Gagne

Christmas, during the Holy Year of Mercy 2015

Dear Parishioners,

           The dictionary defines a tuning fork as, “a two pronged metal device that makes a sound of fixed pitch when struck that is used as a reference, as in tuning musical instruments.” 

            The birth of the Son of God in human form is like a tuning fork that God used to resonate his love to all people. This love becomes a fixed pitch, as it were, to touch our minds and hearts. The gift of Jesus at Christmas, and every time we encounter him in the sacraments or in other people, helps tune ourselves to his love and will for humankind. 

             This Holy Year of Mercy, is our Holy Father’s invitation to allow us to resonate, like a tuning fork, to his merciful love, not only within ourselves, but also in all our relationships. The Holy Year calls us to be in tune with God’s desire to bring mercy and forgiveness to a world of darkness, hopelessness, religious persecutions, terrorism, indifference to the killing of the unborn, cruelty to animals, and all that diminishes the dignity of the human person. 

              At Christmas we are reminded that God’s plan for us is not our destruction. As the words of the Prophet Isaiah writes, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; one nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.” 

              In the birth of the Holy Child we are reminded that the power of forgiveness and mercy are more powerful than hate and weapons of violence. When we choose to be merciful we release the power that these things have over us. Mercy and forgiveness are what drives back Satan, and all his works, and all his empty promises. 

               May we allow the tuning fork, which is Christ, to resonate in our hearts this Christmas. That despite our many hurts, disappointments, sorrows, angers, frailties of age or sickness, loneliness, or depression, the love of God will touch us, as it touched Mary and Joseph in the manger of Bethlehem, and as it continues to touch us at Holy Mass, and in the sacraments, and in each other when we resonate with divine mercy and love.

A blessed Christmas to all of you.

Father Gagne

THE HOLY YEAR OF MERCY

Dear Parishioners,

In Matthew Kelly’s book “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic,” he describes the four essential realities that define a dynamic Catholic.

As we approach the beginning of the Holy Year of Mercy, that will begin in December, I thought it might be helpful for us to reflect on these four realities.

Matthew Kelly writes that, “prayer, study, generosity, and evangelization are the signs of a dynamic Catholic,” and by extension a dynamic community of faith.

Prayer: Kelley writes that, “ Dynamic Catholics have a daily commitment to prayer. These are people who are trying to listen to the voice of God in their lives, and believe doing God’s will is the only path that leads to lasting happiness in this changing world.”

Study: “Dynamic Catholics spend at least fourteen minutes each day learning about their faith. Jesus calls us not only to be followers, but disciples. A disciple is one who is always learning more about the way of Jesus and the genius of Catholicism.”

Generosity: “Dynamic Catholics are filled with a spirit of service and are generous stewards of their time, treasure and talent. Stewardship is not a requirement, it is a way of life.”

Evangelization: “Dynamic Catholics invite others to grow spiritually by sharing the love of God with them.”

Matthew Kelly concludes this section by writing, “Imagine for a moment if everyone in your parish did these four things:

  • Spend ten minutes each day in prayerful conversation with God.
  • Read five pages of a great Catholic book each day.
  • Gave 1% more of their income to support the mission of their parish than they did last year.
  • Did one thing each week to share the genius of Catholicism with someone else.”

It is my prayer and hope that we will reflect on “The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic,” as we prepare for the Holy Year of Mercy.

The process of being a disciple takes time, and a willingness on my part to venture forth from my security, to what Teihlard de Chardin prays: “Lord, Compel us to discard our pettiness and to venture forth into the uncharted ocean of Charity.”

May God who has begun this good work in us bring it to completion. Let us pray for each other as prepare to embrace the holy Year of Mercy.

                                                         Yours in Christ,

                                                          Rev. Roger C. Gagne

                                                          Pastor

 

EASTER Message - 2015

 

Dear Parishioners,

 Those who say that the Resurrection of Jesus is just a nice story do not know the story. For the followers of Jesus, he was their friend. The gospels speak to us, as Father Robert Barron says, “with breathtaking directness, of eating and drinking with their friend Jesus after he rose from the dead.” All these witnesses went to their deaths defending the truth of what he taught. No one gives up his life for a nice story. How many martyrs are there to Osiris, Hercules, Dionysus, or even the emperors of Rome, who proclaimed themselves gods. The answer is none. People do not die for some abstract thought, but are willing to die for their friend, “whom they had looked upon and their hands had touched,” when he came back from the dead. This remains the still-startling truth that is the meaning of Easter. Until we allow Jesus to be our friend, and become his friend, then we are simply spectators, like the crowds who chose to look upon him with marked indifference. To celebrate Easter is to believe that my friend Jesus died and rose for me, and that as his friend I will give my life for him, and rise with him to a new and everlasting life. May we, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread, and have our hearts burn within us as he speaks to us through his word.  A Blessed Easter Season to all of you.

Rev. Roger C.  Gagné
Pastor

 

Walk with us on your Journey - Lenten Reflections, (by Fr. Gagné)

Walk with us this Lent as we progress from the darkness of winter into the light of springtime, renewing ourselves daily in our commitment to Christ, to love and serve others though prayer and sacrifice.

 Read >> Lenten Reflections (by Fr. Gagné)

"Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life..." -- Pope Benedict XVI

2014 Christmas Message

Dear Parishioners,

 Most priests would agree that Christmas is not a preaching moment. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop priests from trying to comment or explain the miracle of “God made flesh.” The fact is, God’s love was revealed to the world in the most ordinary of ways, the birth of a baby. We have no conclusive evidence of when or where this birth took place. In our need to get it right we sometimes forget that, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him,” John 3:16-17.

 The endless debates about what to call this season only serve to distract us from God’s real purpose, as mentioned in John 3:16-17. God’s love transforms us as drops of water, falling on a cement sidewalk, can over time cause cracks in the cement, and eventually break up the sidewalk itself.

 To celebrate Christmas means to let our love fall upon the world like the gentle dew. It means that we believe that God loves the world and does not want us to condemn it. If people are to experience this love, which is Christmas, they are going to experience it by our love for them.

 As Christ was wrapped in swaddling cloths, so may our celebration of his birth wrap us in his love, and move us to wrap others in his love.

 Winston Churchill said, “we make a living by what we get...we make a life by what we give.” May you be blessed abundantly for what you have given this past year through the sharing of your time, treasure, and talent with so many people.

 You will have a special remembrance in all my prayers and Masses throughout the Christmas season. A Blessed Christmas to you and your family.

                                                   Sincerely Yours,

Rev. Father Gagné
 Pastor   


                                                

Letter from Fr. Gagné on 39th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination -

August 16, 2014

Dear Parishioners,

Little did I know, thirty-nine years ago, when Bishop Angell, in Saint Joseph’s Church in North Scituate, Rhode Island, ordained me, that I would one day be the pastor of St. Peter’s Church in Warwick.

There were many thoughts racing through my mind on that day, as I prostrated myself on the floor before the altar. The choir was singing the Litany of the Saints, and I knew that in a few minutes Bishop Angell would impose hands in silence, and that from that moment on I would be a priest forever.

So many people who were there on that day, have now passed. I am no longer the skinny young priest with lots of hair; it was the seventies. Msgr. Iacovacci was there to impose hands along with the other priests, and after an hour and ten minutes I was giving my first priestly blessing to Bishop Angell and my parents.

The past thirty-nine years are filled with the memories of so many people, so many sacramental moments, so many tears and joys, and even tragedies. The gift of priesthood, and the grace of God, has allowed an ordinary person like myself to be present to others, and to make Christ present in their lives. The priesthood exists to make Christ present in the Holy Eucharist at every Mass, and in all the Sacraments.

These past sixteen years have been for me a time of growth and challenge, and a time to grow in my understanding of what priesthood is all about. I could never have imagined this on the day of my ordination. The gift of priesthood is God’s gift to the church, and the church is God’s gift to the priesthood. We are bound together by the mystery of God’s love.

I express my profound gratitude for the gift you have been to me, through your living of the Gospel, your prayers, and your support. I ask your forgiveness for the times that I did live up to your expectations.

Please pray for me and for all priests, and for an increase of vocations to the priesthood. For my part I will remember you in all my prayers and Masses, and ask God for the grace and good health to continue serving you as pastor of this great parish and school family for as long as God permits.

                  

                                                  Devotedly yours in Christ,

Rev. Roger C. Gagné 
Pastor

 

 

 

                                               

Lent 2014 – Dear Parishioners...

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Dear Parishioners,

               The Holy Season of Lent is a time to reflect on our discipleship. We are called to be more than just admirers of Jesus. As disciples of Jesus we are called to be wherever Jesus is staying.

               The reason a parish exists is to call people to be disciples, nurture them with the sacraments, and prepare them to go out into the world to proclaim the Kingdom of God the way Jesus did when he walked the earth. The Gospels make it clear as to how we are to conduct ourselves as disciples when we go forth into the world.

         The challenge of Lent is to respond to Christ’s invitation to follow him, and become his disciples. We are called to drink the chalice that he drinks, for the salvation of the world.     

         Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In the words of St. Augustine, “Through humility and charity, fasting and almsgiving, and abstaining and forgiving. Avoiding evil and doing good, our prayer seeks peace and achieves it.” (Sermon 206)    

         The schedule of Lenten activities, printed materials for our personal reflection, and most of all the prayer of the church, will help us on our journey through the desert to Easter. I pray that Lent 2014 will be a special time of grace for our parish, and a time of personal conversion and change of heart. May we journey from ashes to Easter: from death to new life.

                                                    Father Gagné