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Prince of Peace marks 50 years in church

Posted By December 12, 2013 | 12:53 pm | Local

By Tanya Connor

PRINCETON – “Among the first ceremonies Bishop Flanagan will perform following his return from the second session of the Second Vatican Council in Rome will be the dedication of three new churches in the diocese,” begins a Dec. 6, 1963 Catholic Free Press article. “Prince of Peace Mission Church in Princeton will be dedicated this Sunday, Dec. 8.” (The others were St. Rose of Lima in Northborough and St. Jude in Rochdale.)
Last Sunday – Dec. 8, 2013 – Prince of Peace, now a parish, observed its 50th anniversary with a Mass celebrated by Bishop Reilly, bishop emeritus of the diocese, who blessed the congregation with a papal blessing and encouraged parishioners to heed the pope’s call to show and sow the faith.
Father James J. Caldarella, pastor, called forward six people who’ve been members of Prince of Peace for 50-plus years and gave them a citation and a Christmas scene for a gift. They are Alice Halloran, Thomas and Joan Lynch, Norma Smith, Edward Foresteire and Jeannette Marsh, whose husband, Robert, was recognized but not present.
Father Caldarella mentioned James Lynch, son of Thomas and Joan Lynch, and his wife, Christine, daughter of Edward Foresteire and the late Priscilla Foresteire. James and Christine Lynch were baptized before the church was built and have been active ever since. He did much of the parish electrical work free of charge during the 1990s renovation.
Also recognized were Maggie Shaughnessy, who, with her parents and siblings, was an active member since the church was built. He recognized Frances Glockner, who, with her husband, Alfred, now deceased, raised their children there. He did much painting at the church and rectory. She has now moved but was back for the anniversary Mass.
Father Caldarella gave gifts to Fathers Charles J. Dumphy and Richard T. Carey, who he said served the parish under difficult financial circumstances. They are now retired.
In his homily, which included a history of Prince of Peace, Bishop Reilly praised them and other priests who served there.
“You know that you have a prince of a priest here at Prince of Peace,” he said of Father Caldarella, leading the congregation in applause. He said Father Caldarella’s heart is with the people there and he wants to stay the rest of his life.
“I would agree with the bishop – we’d love to have him” stay for life, said Megan Therriault, who’s been a parishioner with her husband, Andre, for about six years. But, she added, “He should get to retire if he wants to.”
Bishop Reilly also had the congregation applaud Venerini Sister Teresa Rose Carchidi, pastoral assistant, who was unable to attend due to illness.
Good parishioners are also needed, the bishop said.
“What about the future?” he asked. “Our Holy Father is calling us to be truly alive in our faith … by serving others and sharing the faith. Let us seek to know our faith, and then grow that faith, show it and sow it.”
He expressed a desire for the prayers of the Blessed Mother and concluded, “Hope to see you on the 100th.”
Father Caldarella said Bishop Reilly requested that the Scripture readings for the Immaculate Conception be used, as he was installed as Bishop of Worcester on this feast day in 1994.
Elizabeth Leroux said they bought a dozen red roses for Mary’s Immaculate Conception, and a half dozen white ones for her purity. A parishioner for 47 years, she arranged the flowers for the church, and made arrangements for the tables at the reception in the church hall, using holly and other greenery from her yard. Parishioner Sarah Curtis made posters with photos from the church’s history and helped decorate the hall.
Parishioner Daniel Dube, who was part of a restaurant management team with his wife before she died, prepared the food, including an anniversary cake, a cross-shaped tray of vegetable dip, and creatures made from various foods.
“I pretty much take care of all their food,” he said. “I do the summer fair, first Communions, October fair.”