Year of Faith - 80th Anniversary - Letter to Parishioners
– Together Faithfully For 80 Years – October 3, 1933 - October 3, 1933
For the past eighty years St. Peter’s Parish in Warwick has been a worshipping community of Catholic Faith. This community began as a summer colony in the village of Gaspee Point. Each summer, Fr. Mc Hugh, a priest from St. Paul’s in Edgewood, would celebrate Mass at a wooden altar that was set up under a tent.
Fr. Mc Hugh would eventually become the founding pastor of this new parish, south of the Pawtuxet Bridge, on October 3, 1933. He began celebrating Mass over the old Lakewood fire Station. All weddings, baptisms, and funerals were celebrated at St. Paul’s until the new church was built in 1936. The parish was officially incorporated in April of 1937.
For the past eighty years the mission of St. Peter’s Parish has remained the same; to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, care for the poor, the sick and the elderly, educate children in the ways of faith, and celebrate the sacraments. This parish, built of Chapel Hill, served as a beacon of light, and a sign of hope through the Great Depression, and the Second World War. Plaques commemorating those who gave their lives during this war, and the Vietnam War, may be seen in the front entrance of the church.
In 1959 St. Peter’s School was built, and staffed by the sisters of Mercy. For the past 54 years St. Peter’s School has remained faithful to its mission of providing a faith based education to thousands of children.
As we observe our eightieth anniversary, I want to pay tribute to those priests, religious, and parishioners, who came before us. Because of their vision and sacrifices, we have been given this great legacy; we call St. Peter’s Parish. May God reward them for their good deeds.
I also want to pay tribute to all those who, with dedication, vision, and sacrifice, continue this great legacy in our day. Congratulations to all of you, for your stewardship, on behalf of the gospel.
May God who began this good work eighty years ago, and who in His providence has given it to us to continue, see it to completion. I conclude with the word’s of Jesus addressed to St. Peter, our patron, “And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:8).
Let us pray for each other, as we come together to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
Gratefully yours In Christ,
Rev. Roger C. Gagne