On behalf of Father Ray Labrie, Pastor, and his staff, welcome to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Litchfield, New Hampshire. Perhaps you are new to the parish and need some help getting acquainted, or maybe you’ve been with us for a while and want to get more involved in parish life. Whatever the case, this article will offer a window into life at St. Francis.
Step into the Gathering Space for a moment – Mass has just ended and it is Sunday morning. You can hear the angelic choir finishing the closing song. Depending on the Mass you attend you could hear the contemporary group (4:00PM), the sounds of a soloist accompanied by the piano (8:00AM), our beautiful choir (9:30AM), or the youth of the parish offering songs of praise (11:00AM). Each group offers its own particular style to the worship – and there is a place for any voice or instrumentalist seeking a home. Speak to the Choir Director, Larry Sott if you are such a voice.
Inside the church you’ll find various liturgical ministers preparing for the next Mass. The altar servers will be putting the cross into its stand and arranging the vessels on the credence table. The lector will make certain the lectionary is back in place, and the Eucharistic ministers will be washing the ciboriums and cups. If you are interested in Liturgical Ministry, speak to Father Ray.
Out in the Gathering Space the coffee and donuts are being served. Father Ray will be shaking hands with those who just attended Mass. You’ll see members of the Ladies Guild and the Knights of Columbus – perhaps selling pies, or putting salt on the sidewalks. You might see a youth minister chatting with some teens, or collecting permission slips for the next event. If you want to get involved in the Guild, Anne Anctil can assist you. For the Knights, see Roland Lacroix, and if you want to be part of the youth ministry, ask any youth minister (Valerie, Jyl, John, Kelly, Katie, Harold, or Kaz).
Of course all this is happening after the liturgy – there is so much activity throughout the days and weeks at St. Francis Parish. For women we have the Sisters in Faith share group – a group focused on reading the bible and relating it to every day life. It meets on Wednesday Night (speak to Beth Mahon). There is the ever-faithful Ladies Guild who’s mission is to help the parish through fund-raising, social event planning, and community building. For men we have the monthly men’s breakfast – a time of fellowship as well as an opportunity to grow as a man of faith (speak with Doug Rogers). The Knights of Columbus organize events for the parish such as the annual Easter egg hunt. They also offer their service in facilitating fundraising, serving at Mass, and parish activities. Weekly we have Adoration, Bingo and weekday Masses (Mon-Thur, 8:15AM).
For parishioners wishing to participate in the organization and advisement of parish planning there is the Parish Council (Sheryl Gallagan is the President). Those with financial expertise collaborate on the Finance Committee (Father Ray). Many enjoy doing service in our wider community such as volunteering at the food bank. These opportunities are available through the Outreach Committee (Michael and Lindsay Bibeau). Interested in helping with the picnic or Christmas party? Try joining the Social Committee (Debbie Bois).
Our parish offers a wide range of educational opportunities as well. The Religious Education Program spans from the Rite of Dismissal through Confirmation Preparation, and everything in between. All teachers and volunteers must attend the Protecting God’s Children workshop presented by the Diocese. Other workshops are also available for those interested (Vicki Isabelle).
On top of our wonderful parish activities, we also have St. Francis School. The school serves children up to grade 6, and offers its own plethora of volunteer opportunities. Please visit the school website to discover more.
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