PORTLAND – Advising him to “always be a loving father, a gentle shepherd and a wise teacher,” Bishop Robert Deeley installed Fr. Seamus Griesbach as the new parish priest of the Peninsula and Isle of Portland during ‘Mass celebrated at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Portland on October 8.
“I thank Fr. Griesbach’s willingness to accept my appointment and happy for you that you have such a good priest as your pastor,” the bishop said to those gathered.
Br. Griesbach will be the parish priest of Sacred Heart / St. Dominic Parish, St. Louis Parish, St. Peter Parish and St. Christopher Parish, which is located on Peaks Island. In addition, he will be rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.
Together, the parishes serve a diverse community, which includes newcomers and refugees as well as descendants of immigrants who arrived in Maine decades ago.
“Here at the Sacré-Cœur / St. Dominic, Sunday Mass is a gathering of nations. It is a welcoming place. At St. Christopher’s Parish on Peaks Island, you have a great tradition of building a community that comes together for Mass and cares for one another. Saint Vincent de Paul’s cathedral lunch program has been a boon to many poor people for many years but, in a special way, in this time of pandemic, it has found a way to feed people as many other resources were closing. . In the parishes of Saint-Pierre and Saint-Louis, you carry on long traditions of Italian and Polish culture in the city. You enrich the life of the community ”, declared Bishop Deeley during his homily.
“The parishes of the Peninsula and the Island are an incredibly diverse and faith-filled community that gives a beautiful testimony to the universality and richness of our Catholic faith, and the Cathedral gives us a special bond with our Bishop, Robert Deeley, ”the father said. Griesbach. “It has been truly inspiring to see how our parishes have contributed and continue to offer so much to this great city and the wider Greater Portland community – a lot of things unseen.
During the Installation Mass, Fr. Griesbach was formally introduced to those with whom he will serve, including the parish vicars of the parishes, Fr. Agustin Sebasthiyan, HGN, and Fr. Kevin Upham, members of the staff parishes, and members of the Pastoral Council and Finance Councils, from whom he has undertaken to seek advice, guidance and opinions.
The bishop said having a new pastor ushers in a new era for the parishes on the Peninsula and Isle of Portland, and stressed the importance of the need to work together as they move forward.
“The work of a cluster with five parishes is complicated and difficult. This can only be accomplished with strong staff and committed lay people cooperating with staff and clergy, ”said the bishop. “You will all need to work together to make the group a group in which together you will live the gospel and serve one another. “
Bro. Griesbach is one of six pastors who have moved to parishes in Maine in recent weeks. The others are:
- Bro. Aaron Damboise at Holy Savior Parish (St. Athanasius and St. John Church, Rumford; Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Church, Bethel).
- Bro. Nathan Mars at St. Brendan the Navigator Parish (Our Lady of Good Hope Church, Camden; St. Bernard Church, Rockland; St. Francis of Assisi Church, Belfast; St. Mary of the Isles Churches on Islesboro, Vinalhaven and North Haven).
- Bro. Kévin Martin St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Houlton; and St. Agnes Parish (St. Agnes Church, Island Falls; St. Paul Church, Patten).
- Bro. Brad Morin at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish (Immaculate Conception Church, Calais; St. Anne Church, Perry; St. Ann Church, Indian Town; St. James the Greater Church, Baileyville; St. John the Evangelist Church, Pembroke; and St. Joseph Church, Eastport).
- Bro. Kent Ouellette Notre Dame du Mont Carmel Parish (St. David Church, Madawaska; St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Madawaska; St. Gerard Church, Grand Isle), Our Lady of the Valley Parish (St. Agatha Church, St. Agatha; St Joseph Church, Sinclair; St. Luce Church, Frenchville; St. Michael Church, Birchpoint) and St. Peter Chanel Parish (St. Bruno-St. Remi Church, Van Buren; St. Joseph Church, Hamlin).