By Christina Galeone
Catholic Free Press Correspondent
SOUTHBRIDGE – Lorraine A. Langevin enjoyed the simple things in life. The parishioner at St. John Paul II Parish, who passed away about three years ago at the age of 88, enjoyed the tranquil experience of boating on Cedar Lake in Sturbridge, and she treasured time spent with her family and friends. She also found happiness in being a member of the Harrington Auxiliary at Harrington Hospital.
Earlier this winter, the auxiliary – a group of volunteers who “work to create an atmosphere of friendliness, helpfulness and goodwill” at Harrington Hospital – held a dedication ceremony for a new art installation in the hospital’s chapel. The artwork, titled “Released,” honors Mrs. Langevin. It was funded by donations from her family and friends.
Nancy Swiacki and her sister, Janina Swiacki, the auxiliary members who coordinated the project, are grateful for the donation to their organization. They said that since the hospital’s chapel needed to be refurbished, using the funds to beautify the spiritual haven seemed to be a nice way to honor Mrs. Langevin.
“An auxiliary appropriations grant funded seating to blend with the new paint, carpeting and lighting,” Nancy Swiacki said. “Janina and I donated the cost of re-upholstering the kneelers gifted by our family years ago. At that point, everything coordinated, but, as art aficionados, the two of us determined that there was a missing element. Hence, the search for the proper medium.”
Artists Dot Burnworth, the owner of Sawmill Pottery, and Amy Jakowski, the owner of Aspinock Spring Pottery & Glass, both of Putnam, Conn., collaborated to create that much-anticipated glass and ceramic “medium.”
Representing hope, the non-denominational piece includes seven ceramic doves soaring against a backdrop of three white and deep blue panels. The serene work of art reflects Mrs. Langevin’s love of art and her love of spending time on the water.
In addition to her desire to be a good steward of lakes and of nature, in general, Mrs. Langevin dedicated time to nurturing and sharing her faith. One of the ways she did so was through her membership in the Ladies of St. Anne Sodality at Notre Dame Church of St. John Paul II Parish. The society is an association of the Christian faithful for women. Under the patronage of St. Anne, the members grow in faith, as Christian women, through fellowship, prayer, service and charity.
Helen I. Lenti, president of the hospital auxiliary, was aware of Mrs. Langevin’s faith and said she was a “really nice lady.” She remembers her fondly. “Lorraine was a strong and faithful Catholic, a well-known business woman and a warm, sincere person, as well as a volunteer for many causes during her life,” Mrs. Lenti said. Mrs. Langevin and her husband, Albert, owned and operated Langevin Jewelers.
“It is fitting that the chapel at Harrington Hospital be dedicated to her memory,” Mrs. Lenti said.
And the warmth that Mrs. Langevin shared with others should continue to have an impact on Harrington Hospital. “Our hope is that this space will soothe patients, visitors and staff via focused meditation,” said Janina Swiacki. “It provides a quiet location to peer at the glass triptych and ponder the reflective flight of the ceramic avians,” she said.