News March 2011
Serving in Afghanistan
Blackstone resident Spc.Joshua Catalano (center) and Sgt. Justine
Mille with children at a Boys & Girls school while on a PRT mission
in Jalalabad. Spc. Catalano serves as a combat medic with 181st.
Battalion, Bravo company of the Army National Guard. He is the son
of Michael and Donna Catalano of 20 Mendon Street.
Fattman to lead GOP on Pension Reform
BOSTON, MA- One month after being sworn in, State Representative
Ryan Fattman (R- Sutton) will serve as the Republican's go-to-guy
on Pension Reform, being appointed the ranking Republican on the
Public Service Committee.
"Ryan brings a lot of energy and ideas to the table," said House
Minority Leader Brad Jones, who made the appointment. "His passion
for reforming the pension system will allow him to be a valuable
member of the Public Service Committee and I have no doubt many
of his ideas will be incorporated into legislation generated in
this important committee."
Fattman, the youngest Republican legislator at 26, said that he
will bring a 'generational' perspective to the Public Service Committee,
and is excited to be the ranking minority member. The Public Service
Committee is responsible for all matters concerning the salaries,
civil service and retirement of public employees, and collective
bargaining for state employees. Pensions reform, the primary policy
that the Public Service Committee, will be a hot button issue that
will be debated during the 187th General Court.
The Massachusetts unfunded pension liability is like a termite
eating away at the State budget," said Fattman. "The longer we wait
for reform, the more tax money will be allocated toward the liability,
and even less money will be available to educate our kids, to plow
our roads, and to provide local services."
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts faces a $20 billion dollar unfunded
pension liability. Pensions obligations, retiree healthcare, and
debt service are calculated to increase by $1 billion in fiscal
year 2012 over fiscal year 2011. Increased obligations for retiree
benefits have led to dramatic cuts in local aid, education, public
safety and mental health services.
"The unfunded pension liability poses a severe risk to the Massachusetts
economy," said Fattman. Without reform, how does a State fund it?
By raising taxes that make Massachusetts expensive, hurting job
creation, and send people packing. This is our generational challenge;
to be fiscally responsible by reforming old systems that are not
sustainable for future generations of Americans. My sleeves are
rolled up, and I am anxious for this debate."
Fattman represents the 18th Worcester District, which includes
Bellingham, Blackstone, Millville, Sutton and Uxbridge. He was also
assigned to the Committee on Municipalities and County Government,
and Labor and Workforce Development.
Annual Town Election
By Marianne Staples, Town Clerk
Voter Registration deadline for the Annual town election is TUE
MARCH 15th. The town clerks off ice will be open unitl 8 pm on that
day. Absentee Ballots must be applied for every year. Absentee ballots
applications may be downloaded at www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howab.htm
Or you may call the town clerk at 883-1500 ext 116 t or email firstname.lastname@example.org
to request a ballot. THE DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS
IS NOON on FRI. APRIL If you are not going to be in town you may
vote in the office.
Blackstone Quaker Historical Association 2011
By Harriet Chase Sharp
The East Blackstone Quaker Meeting House and Cemetery Historical
Association, Inc will commence the 2011 season with an Ecumenical
Service on Sunday, May 22, 2011. Reverend Dr. Conrad S. Pecevich,
senior pastor at Church of St Paul in Blackstone, will serve as
guest pastor. The Association has sponsored ecumenical services
in the historic Meeting House since 1954.
Other scheduled dates for ecumenical services are: Sunday, June
12th, Sunday, September 18th, Sunday, October 16th, and Sunday,
November 20th . All services will commence at 2 p.m. John Staples
of Blackstone serves as organist and music director. In addition,
the Association will once again hold a Christmas Caroling service
on Friday evening, December 9th at 7 p.m.
President Brenda Aleksandrowicz of Blackstone will preside at the
Annual Meeting of the Association also to be held on Sunday, May
22nd. The Annual Meeting will start at 12 noon and recess, if necessary,
for the Ecumenical Service and reconvene following the service.
The Association has been in existence since 1954 and is a 501c3
non-profit corporation under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Current officers are: Brenda Aleksandrowicz, president; Jonathan
Steele, vice president; Beverley Kelly Ryan, treasurer and Harriet
Chase Sharp, secretary. Linda Allaire, Gretchen Greene and Peter
Gulaiev also serve on the Board of Directors. For more information
on the Association, please contact Linda Allaire at (508) 883-4462.
Claflin Hill Symphony Presents "Family Symphony
ill be out looking for impaired driver.
"Cosmos - Music from Outer Space"
The Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra will present a "Family Symphony
Concert" on Sunday afternoon, March 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM in the Milford
Town Hall Grand Ballroom, entitled "Cosmos - A Musical Journey Into
Outer Space." The program will feature music depicting outer space,
including the popular John Williams soundtracks from the movies
"Star Wars" and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." The orchestra
will also perform several movements from the Gustav Holst orchestral
set, "The Planets."
Joining the CHSO on this concert will be the Metrowest Youth Symphony
Orchestra, (Metyso), in a "Side by Side" performance with the CHSO,
which serves as official "mentor orchestra" to Metyso. The young
musicians of Metyso will perform the final movement of Dvorak's
New World Symphony, which they have been preparing for their spring
concert on May 15th.
The "Side by Side" performance with their mentors will be the world
premiere of a work written by fellow student Evan Cadavieco, who
is the Principal Trombone of the youth orchestra, and an aspiring
conductor/composer. Cadavieco was a composition student at Tanglewood
this past summer, where he composed "Cosmos" - a "tone poem overture"
for full symphony orchestra. Cadavieco will conduct the combined
Claflin Hill and Metrowest Youth Orchestras in this performance.
A special added feature will include an "Instrument Petting Zoo"
before and after the concert, where audience members will have an
opportunity to try playing the orchestral instruments, with the
assistance of CHSO musicians.
This concert is made possible with Claflin Hill Business Partner
Sponsorships from Middlesex Savings Bank, joined by Southwick's
Zoo, The Bright Insurance Agency, the Milford Rotary Club and The
Milford Cultural Council. Southwick's Zoo will be donating free
passes to audience members at the concert - good for one admission
to the zoo.
Tickets for this and all CHSO concerts can be purchased directly
through the secure website at www.claflinhill.org or by calling
Claflin Hill at 508-478-5924. Ticket prices for the March 27th Family
Concert are $12 adults, $8 for students and seniors. Tickets may
be purchased at the door on the day of the concert. The Milford
Town Hall is located at 52 Main Street , (Route 16) in Downtown
Milford, and is fully handicapped accessible.
The Claflin Symphony Orchestra, located in Milford , MA , is
a powerful regional musical force. Through passionate performances
presented by masterful musicians, the CHSO plays a leading role
in the cultural enrichment and vitality of Central Massachusetts
and MetroWest communities. The CHSO sponsors a remarkable outreach
program that helps youth perfect their musical talents and build
long-lasting appreciation for music.
Michelle Whyte BMR Correspondent
Here at BMR, the students are all waiting with anticipation for
more than just the impending warmer weather. The seniors, for example,
have their eyes looking to the future. As passers-by catch a glimpse
of the bulletin board down the hall from the office, they will invariably
see the collection of universities and colleges that have accepted
this year's graduating class. The multitudes of prestigious institutions
of higher learning that are named attest to the dedication of our
school's senior class. This is just another reminder that our seniors'
time at BMR is nearing its end, with only a couple more months until
their dismissal. However, a much faster-approaching date is that
of the beginning of the season for spring sports, which is March
21st. Circled on the calendars of ball players and track and field
stars alike, this season is sure to be a highly competitive one.
With many athletes building up their endurance in the off-season,
all of BMR's spring athletic teams are looking for dominance this
season. With many of our school's athletes participating in more
than one sport, it is important to note the conclusion of winter
sports. The boys' varsity basketball team had a good season, ending
it with a respectable ratio of wins to losses. The girls' program,
having faced the challenge of adjusting to a new coaching staff,
also exerted maximum effort. Indoor track and field had yet another
impressive season, as many skilled athletes continued to qualify
for meets into late February. February itself was a month full of
bustling activity, though the weather was a major difficulty. One
activity that unfortunately did not occur was the fundraiser for
the Cancer Fundraiser Club, which is in its second year of operation.
However, there is great hope that they will compose a new event
that will bring in donations for such a worthy cause. The junior
class is in the brainstorming stage of what would be Blackstone-Millville
Regional's first Spring Fling dance. Though not official, this event
would take place during March and would allow attendance from all
grades as well as outside guests. The Spring Fling would help bring
in funds for the junior class to spend on various expenses next
year. The National Honor Society is holding it's annual Empty Bowl
Dinner at the start of this month in BMR's own cafeteria. On March
3rd, guests are invited to attend a dinner that was prepared by
one of the Foods and Nutrition classes, and then pottery bowls,
which were handmade by members, will be raffled off. All proceeds
from this event are donated to the Blackstone-Millville Food Pantry.
If you are interested in attending or making a donation, please
contact NHS advisor Charles Swenson at email@example.com. The Student
Council is also scheduling a fundraiser for charity. Plans are being
made for a new fundraiser that will occur at the beginning of this
month. Called "Stuck for a Buck", students will be able to buy a
length of duct tape for a dollar, and use it to stick a designated
faculty member to the wall of the cafeteria during lunch. This innovative
fundraiser is sure to be fun for all. The proceeds from this event
will be donated to a local charity. If all goes well, the Student
Council may repeat this fundraiser throughout next year to raise
money for various causes. As this month is notorious for its heavy
workload, students may look forward to the half-day on March 11th,
and use this as a way to get an early start on their weekend. With
spring fast-approaching, next month is sure to be full of new excitement
here at BMR, and I'll be back next month to report it.
Students Help Local Food Pantry Soup-A-Bowl A
By Rene Lafayette, Assistant Principal
Students at the Hartnett Middle School recently concluded a successful
and competitive event aimed at helping the Blackstone-Millville
Food Pantry. Dubbed "Soup-A-Bowl" to parallel the annual Super Bowl
football championship game, members of the school's chapter of the
National Junior Honor Society collected cans of soup and monetary
contributions from classmates for a week. The results were the 8th
Grade collecting 139 cans of soup, 6th Grade collecting 108 cans
of soup, and the 7th Grade collecting 76 cans of soup.
"This is a great way for our students to support a local organization
that makes a positive impact on the community" said Michele Ferrara,
NJHS co-advisor who along with fellow co-advisor Jennifer Solari
coordinated the event.
In the Know with Callie O
By Callie Ostrowski
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! And giraffes and chimpanzees
and camels and rhinos and Mowgli the leopard too. But what happens
to all these animals at Southwick's Zoo during the winter, when
the gates are closed to the public? Mrs. Justine Southwick Brewer
took the time to answer just that. Contrary to popular belief, all
the animals stay at the zoo year round. During the winter, tasks
include heating buildings, changing the shavings, sawdust, and hay
in for the animals, in addition to cleaning, feeding, and watering
the animals. Some animals are winter sports enthusiasts. The giraffes
stay in, but the chimps, mandrill, and rhinos go in and out as they
please. Sometimes the rhino will even go outside when it is snowing.
Winter time also means year end business, like taking inventory,
paying taxes, and making plans for next year.
Mrs. Brewer and her five adult children operate the zoo; it is
a family business. David and Robert are Mrs. Brewer's oldest and
youngest sons. They are physical plant managers and habitat developers.
Her oldest daughter Betsey runs Earth Limited and the zoo's outreach
programs. Mrs. Brewer's second oldest son, Peter, in the Curator
of Animals. He graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine from
Tufts University. Her youngest, Cindy, is the Park and Office Manager.
All of her children are directors of the corporation and owners
of the business.
Mrs. Brewer was born and brought up on a farm, which is now the
zoo. She was the oldest, and always thought she should been a boy;
after all, her father's name was Justin Adrian Southwick, and hers
is Justine Adrianne! She liked the farm and did 4H projects growing
up. The farm included registered dairy cattle and produce. Mrs.
Brewer's grandfather, Justin F. Southwick had a collection of fancy
poultry, which her father expanded. He went to numerous fairs and
poultry shows and won many ribbons and trophies. In the early fifties,
her father sold the dairy herd and imported one hundred Mute Swans
from Holland. And so the beginnings of the zoo were in place.
The animal population does know the difference between the seasonal
zoo activity. For example, when the deer forest initially opens
in the spring, there are hardly any deer visible, and the first
of them are timid. After two to three weeks, there are deer everywhere
because they have gotten comfortable with the people...and the free
food. During the winter, only zoo keepers go through the forest.
By spring, the animals have become antsy because they know it is
time to come out.
The primates are given a variety enrichment activities to alleviate
boredom through the winter season. The zoo keepers put food and
hay in PVC piping, wire boxes, cloth, paper, boxes, snow (monkeys
love to eat snow), and paper bags tied shut. Once a week other treats
like sunflower seeds and peanuts are also added. All the animals
seem contented. Dr. Peter Brewer is proactive when it comes to keeping
the animals happy and healthy. The hoof stock sometimes gets more
hot food, like corn, in the winter, otherwise most animals have
the same diet. There have not been any escapees from the zoo. If
necessary, the veterinarian has a capture gun to tranquilize an
This year, the giraffes are getting a new habitat. It will be in
a area of the zoo not previously open to the public. Their barn
will be 60 by 100 feet. Six giraffes will live there. In addition
to 2 already in the zoo, there's a third across the street, A fourth
is in New Jersey and two more are currently out west. Mrs. Brewer
wants to keep making additions and improvements, like putting in
a giraffe feeding station.
The last 10 to 15 years has shown an increase in zoo patronage,
length of visits has extended from about three hours to almost a
whole day. The Brewer's family ultimate purpose for Southwick's
Zoo is for visitors to have fun as well as encourage learning at
the same time. Whether you go every year, or you have never been,
make an effort to explore the zoo this summer. The sky-ride that
takes you over the exhibits, in the petting zoo you can interact
the goats and other young animals, and a quiet walk through the
enclosed forest lets you get right up to the deer and feed them.
Throughout the day special learning events occur in different areas
of the zoo. As Mrs. Brewer summarized it, "It's a new adventure
Parks & Recreation host Annual Easter Egg Hunt
at Daniels Farmstead
The Blackstone Parks and Recreation Commission in conjunction with
Daniels Farmstead Foundation, Inc. are pleased to present Blackstone's
Annual Easter Egg Hunt. The event will be held at Daniels Farmstead
located at 286 Mendon Street on Saturday, April 9th. (Rain date
will be Sunday, April 10th.) Festivities will begin at 1 p.m. for
children ages 3 to 8. You MUST pre-register for this event by April
1st. To register, send the child's name and age to BlackstonePandR@yahoo.com
Millville Public Library
Financial Workshop with Chris Currie Has Been Rescheduled:
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 @ 6:30 P.M. This program is ideal for young
adults, especially those heading to college or the work force, and
adults wanting a refresher course in basic finances. Mr. Currie
will discuss the following topics: Saving money in this economy,
how to balance a check book, your credit score and what it means,
and credit card debt. There will also be a question and answer session.
Drumming Away The Blues-Learn to relieve stress through
music. Monday, March 14, 2011 @ 6:30 P.M. Description of Program:
Using hand drums, assorted percussion instruments, stories, and
songs, drummer/percussionist, author, photographer and music educator,
Craig Harris will lead a celebration of the music of the world,
inspiring creative expression, and providing everyone from preschoolers
to seniors with a key to stress relief and the tools for maintaining
Healthy Eating without Hassle Wednesday, March 16, 2011
@ 6:30 P.M. Presented by Heather Macera of the Beginning Years Family
Network. Does your child refuse to eat many nutritious foods? Come
and learn and share ways to make meal time healthier and happier.
"BOB 'N Lee" Songs of the Twentieth Century Wednesday,
March 30 @ 6:30 P.M. Bob Duffy has been singing in choral groups
and choirs for years, and Leo Gauthier who plays guitar, has always
been musically inclined. As a duet, they bagan to perform primarily
for senior audiences, reviving memories of the Big Band era, Old-Time
Country Music, Show tunes and hymns.
A Night of Magic for Families This program is recommended
for adults and children over 5 years of age. Friday, March 25, 2011
@ 6:30P.M. Dennis the Magician will visit the Millville Library
to celebrate our On the Same Page Grant-The Glass Castle finale.
This program is registration only. The above programs are made possible
by a federal Institute of Museum & Library Services grant through
the Library Services and Technology Act. This grant is administered
by the Massachusetts Board of Library
2011 Relay For Life Team Captain and Committee
Thursday, March 3, 2011 6:30 PM Pinz, 110 South Main Street Milford,
MA Stop by and learn more about how you can make a difference in
the fight against cancer by joining us for our team captain meeting
for the upcoming 2011 Relay for Life. This Relay includes the towns
of Milford, Hopedale, Mendon, Upton, Blackstone, Millville, Uxbridge,
Northbridge. If you would like more information on relay, forming
or joining a team, participating as a caregiver or survivor please
contact Susan Harvey at (508) 478-8347, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Bernadette Medeiros at (508)478-9682, email@example.com
or visit our website: www.relayforlife.org/milfordma
Candidates for Board of Selectmen
Selectman Robert J. Dubois has announced that he will seek
re-election to the Board of Selectman. Mr. Dubois has served since
1986, and was Chairman from 1992 to 2002. He is presently the Chairman
again. He was instrumental in bringing the ANP Power Plant to Blackstone.
Mr Dubois also spearheaded many of the water sewer projects in town
that were desperately needed. In 1995 the Board of Selectmen along
with the Town Administrator began the process of closing and capping
the landfill at NO cost to taxpayers. This past year the Board of
Selectmen reorganized our municipal staff structure as recommended
by our auditors. We were also able to settle all Union contracts,
with four of them set to expire in 2013. We were able to utilize
in-house work to solve drainage problems on Farm St and Blackstone
St. We were able to to pave Federal St, Blackstone St, Farm St,
Elm St and Monument Square. We were also able to procure the design
and preparation of the future installation of Well # 8. We have
solved the problem regarding the draw down of Well #6, which was
the old Red Morse parcel. We supported and improved the Blackstone
Recycling Center with the purchase of a new compactor bailer. We
also supported the installation of over 1 mile of water mains. This
procedure will increase our water pressure on Edgewater Drive, Castle
Hill, and Main St and up to the High Rocks section of town. Mr Dubois
also has served on the Capital Outlay Committee, Worcester County
Selectman Association, Massachusetts Housing Opportunity Partnership
and the Worcester County Advisory Board. He also serves on the Massachusetts
Central Planning Commission ,Massachusetts Transportation Advisory
Group, Chairman of the Blackstone Democratic Committee. Formerly
served on the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Past President
of Friends of COA. Bob is the son of the late Julien and Florida
(Landreville) Dubois. He is a graduate of Blackstone Millville Regional
High School (1971) He earned his Associates Degree in Business Quinsigamond
Community College, and his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management
from Bryant College. He is currently employed at the Worcester County
House of Correction in West Boyleston MA. He is married to the former
Patricia Maxwell of Arlington. I have always believed in finding
solutions and getting results. I have no personal agenda, I just
want to do the best I can for the Town of Blackstone. Only someone
who has walked the walk on a day to day basis can know where the
pitfalls of governing Blackstone lie. We have to work endlessly
to attract some type of revenue in this town to take the burden
off of the taxpayer. The mandates from the State regarding the schools
and our Municipalities continue to rise, yet with less local aid.
Someone told me that I could never attract new businesses to town.
That is exactly what I heard before ANP came to town, and we managed
to sewer many parts of town, that some thought would never happen.
Margo Bik is running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.
She has served 3 years on the Board of Selectmen losing her seat
in 2010. She has nine years' experience on Blackstone Finance Committee.
Seven years' experience on the Blackstone Capital Outlay Committee,
laying the foundation for all of Blackstone's capital projects and
carrying through with commitments for future needs She was an outspoken
advocate for a new Town Counsel and Town Auditors; also committed
to support and promote the community through its public and private
organizations and committees. "I can and will work hard to make
Blackstone financially stable and provide strong, ethical leadership".
Paul Haughey has announced his candidacy for the Board of
Selectmen in 2011! "Last year our campaign worked diligently to
get our message out that the people of the town of Blackstone matter;
and that each and every voter had a voice and a choice in the election.
This year, I am running to bring forward a very simple platform
for the people of this great town: o First, I promise to bring a
high level of integrity to the Board of Selectmen. Character counts
in leadership, especially when one is faced with making difficult
decisions. To this end, I vow to always maintain a high level of
integrity, communicate effectively our actions, and make sure the
public is well informed on important matters of municipal government.
o Second, I promise to be held accountable as a member of the Board
of Selectmen. I will work diligently to make sure the public knows
what is happening in its municipal center; and welcome everyone
participation in local affairs. o Third, I promise to always be
transparent in my decisions as a Selectman. The townspeople will
know how I vote each and every time. More importantly, the townspeople
will know why I voted the way I did… And to that end, let me add,
that I will always work to make sure it is the public's best interest
that is considered first and foremost. I am an honest, compassionate,
good person who has no hidden agenda. I do not belong or owe anyone
in politics. Our campaign this year is grass roots; and will remain
focused upon bringing character, accountability, and transparency
to our municipal affairs. I strongly encourage anyone who wants
to know more about our campaign to check our Facebook Page: "Paul
Haughey for Blackstone Board of Selectmen" or to give me a call
at 508-928-2815. If you get my voicemail, leave a message. I will
get back to you. Throughout the month of March, you will see our
campaign members going door to door throughout town; holding signs
in Millerville, East Blackstone and the center of town… Beep, wave
or stop by to say hello. I'm trying to reach out and meet as many
people in town as possible. Monday, April 4th, Election Day will
be upon us before we know it… I ask for your vote on April 4th so
that we may bring forward a new brand of 21st century municipal
leadership for Blackstone."
ORIGIN OF ST PATRICK
Each year around March 17, the name of St. Patrick appears in every
major publication in the civilized world - sometimes with honor
and sometimes with scorn - often due to the conduct of those who
celebrate his memory at affairs which bear his name. Of the many
things written about this holy man, some are true, some misleading,
and some false.
St. Patrick was Italian; St. Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland;
St. Patrick was the first to bring Christianity to Ireland - all
of these statements are false! Let's take them one at a time. Some
claim St. Patrick to be Italian because he was born in Roman occupied
territory, and his name was Patricius. Sadly, the mists of time
have clouded the exact location of his birth, but what is concluded
from available evidence is that he was born somewhere in Wales around
386 AD. Patrick himself wrote that the scene of his youth was the
town of Tiburnia near Holyhead in western Wales), where his father
was a member of the governing body. Other Welsh sources suggest
southern Wales near the Bristol Channel at the mouth of the Severn
River. Although Wales was part of the Roman Empire at that time,
it was a Celtic country and its people were one race with the people
of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Cornwall, and the Isle of Man.
As for his Italian sounding name, it was given to him when he
was consecrated Bishop and assigned to the mission in Ireland. Before
that time, our patron Saint's name was Succat, a Celtic name meaning
victorious. There is, therefore, more evidence to suggest that Patrick
was Celtic, than any-other nationality. He even identified himself
as such in his letter to the British prince, Corocticus.
As for the snakes, although a popular legend, it is geologically
known that there never were any in Ireland to begin with. His connection
with that legend stems from the Viking misinterpretation of his
name. Paud in the Old Norse language meant a toad. When the Vikings
heard of a Saint called Paud-rig, who had lived in Ireland before
their coming, they concluded it meant toad-expeller. That was only
the beginning, because the legend was reinforced by the Church's
representation of the Devil in the form of a serpent, and Patrick
driving the Devil out of Ireland in that form. The fact that there
were no snakes in Ireland, led to the question, " what happened
to them" and the answer was easily found in his traditional statue.
( Foot on the snake)
However, Patrick is more revered for what he brought to Ireland,
than what he drove away. Yet he was not the first to bring Christianity
to Ireland ... but he was by far the most effective. The story began
when Patrick was about 16 years old, and Ireland's High King was
Niall of the Nine Hostages. Irish warriors raided the coast of Wales,
and among the hostages taken as slaves was the youth, Succat. According
to tradition, he was taken to Mt. Slemish, Co. Antrim, where he
tended the flocks of Miliucc Mac Boin who was believed to be either
a Druid Priest or a Chieftain. A chieftain was a local strongman
ruling over a few extended families.
Patrick tended to Miliucc's flocks in isolation in the hills of
Antrim. For six long years, he lived the life of this shepherd-
slave. Patrick was not a man of many words but the isolation brought
about a need for him to pray. He had never before this time paid
much attention to the teachings of religion. He tells us in his
writings that he didn't really believe in God and found the priests
foolish. But now there was no one to turn to but the God of his
"Tending flocks was my daily work, love of God and the fear of
him surrounded me more and more. My faith grew and my spirit was
roused, so that in one day, I would say as many as a hundred prayers
and after dark as many again. I would wake and pray before daybreak
through snow frost and rain nor was there any sluggishness in me,
as there is now, because then the Spirit within me was ardent".
Patrick had endured six years of this woeful isolation, and by
the end of it, he had grown from a careless boy to something he
would never have otherwise become - a holy man.
On the last night as Miliucc's slave, he received in sleep his
first otherworldly experience. A mysterious voice said to him "
Your hungers are rewarded. You are going home". Startled, he sat
up and heard the second message " Look, your ship is ready". Miliucc's
land was no where near the sea. Patrick set out not knowing which
direction to go. He walked two hundred miles through territory that
he had never been before. He was not stopped nor was he followed.
He came to the southeastern shore believed to be in the area of
Wexford where he saw a ship.
Sailors were loading cargo of Irish Hounds for sale on the continent.
Patrick approached the Captain of the ship. After much misgivings
the captain allowed him to join them on their journey. It will take
three days for them to cross the sea to the continent. After a while
Patrick makes his way back to Britain, where he is welcomed by his
family. He is no longer the carefree roman teenager. Hardened by
his physical and psychological experiences, he has difficulty settling
down. He is hopelessly behind his peers in education. One night
he has his third message which comes to him in a dream. It is a
visit from a man he knew in Ireland. The man is holding countless
letters in his arms and hands one to Patrick. It reads "VOX HIBERNACUM
(The Voice of the Irish)
. Holy Youth come and walk among us again" Try though he might,
he cannot get the Irish out of is mind. The visions increase and
the voices continue this time about Christ. "He who gave his life
for you, he it is, who speaks within you." Patricius, the escaped
slave, is about to be drafted once more. As St. Patrick, apostle
to the Irish Nation. Patrick leaves his home once again to begin
his theological education in Gaul, Italy and the Islands of the
Tytthene Sea. He is ill prepared for his studies and his main language
is Welsh not Latin. Studies go poorly and are arduous but he does
prevail in time and is ordained a priest by Amator, Bishop of Auxerre
about 418 AD, and consecrated Bishop - receiving the name Patricius
- in 432 AD. It is believed that he was the first missionary bishop
in history. ( The first Christian missionary was Paul. Paul was
an apostle appointed by vision. Patrick it is believed to be the
second with a span of four centuries between them. Patrick remained
and worked in Auxerre in 431, when St. Germanus selected Palladius,
a contemporary of Patrick's, to head the first Irish mission. Palladius
was sent, with full Papal authority, as the first Bishop of Ireland,
but his mission was short-lived. Palladius was martyred within the
year. Patrick was assigned to replace him in 432, and in view of
the reported fate of the former mission, the dedication and courage
of Patrick is obvious. Working to Patrick's advantage was the fact
that he knew Irish customs and language from his years in captivity,
and the fact that he was a Celt. Patrick never condemned the Irish
as idolatrous pagans, but appealed to their pride. He addressed
them on their terms, explaining their traditions in terms of Christianity,
and was eventually accepted- as one of their own. He converted key
people among the nobility, and recruited a native clergy. He began
his missionary work in Ulster, built his first Church at Saul, two
miles from Downpatrick, and from there journeyed across the land.
Patrick's own writings, and the writings of his contemporaries,
show him to have been a missionary of extraordinary zeal, energy,
and courage, careless of his own safety in his fervor to 'spread
the nets for God. In his own writings, he mentions this 'Divine
impatience as well as describing himself as an Irishman. For 29
years, Patrick labored among his beloved Irish, converting and baptizing
them by the thousands until his death on March 17. 461 AD. Tradition
establishes that this holy man is buried at Downpatrick where he
shares the same grave with Saints Bridget and Columcille. St. Patrick
was recognized as a saint in the 17th century by the extension of
his feast day to the universal Church calendar. This then is the
man, the Saint, that we honor in March, nothing but praise and reverence
are should be attached to his name. We may celebrate his memory
with joy, but remember his love for the Irish and the tremendous
gift of faith that he bestowed upon them, and celebrate with reverent
joy. We can begin by replacing all references to Paddy's Day with
the proper name of Saint Patrick's Day.
2011 Blackstone River Valley Visitor Guide to
BLACKSTONE VALLEY - Historic sites, quaint shops, picturesque
farms, outdoor activities and more draw visitors each season to
the Blackstone River Valley in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This
spring, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Collaborative will publish
a premier 2011 Blackstone River Valley Visitor Guide to provide
engaging, organized information on what to do and where to go for
the more than 600,000 people who visit the region annually. The
guide features about 20 pages with artist illustrations and includes
some two-dozen sections ranging from accommodations to museums to
vineyards. A map and resource guide at the front of the booklet
helps visitors find their way around. Special events to celebrate
in the region appear in the calendar. Businesses, colleges, cultural
organizations, park and recreation managers, tourism attractions,
restaurants and others are invited to promote their site in the
signature guide by submitting a listing and payment of $180 by March
25. Visit www.blackstonerivervalleyvisitorguide.com for a preview
of the guide and listing information or contact Martha Wetzel at
BRVVisitorGuide@yahoo.com. The Tourism Collaborative will produce
50,000 guides to distribute in 80 informational kiosks throughout
the area, at regional fairs and festivals including AAA of Southern
New England and The Big E!, and it will be the primary piece mailed
out to visitors who have requested information about the Blackstone
Valley from sources such as Yankee Magazine. The guide will also
be downloadable online. The Blackstone Valley Tourism Collaborative
includes the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce and Blackstone
Valley Chamber of Commerce Tourism Association in Massachusetts,
Blackstone Valley Tourism Council in Rhode Island and the John H.
Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.
Annual Town Election
Assessor of Taxes
Carole A. Whiteley 24 Devlin Circle Write In Blackstone
Adam Pete Tellier.… 545 Summer Place
BMR District School Committee, Blackstone Rep
Diane C. Robin…Candidate for Re-Election
27 Carol Lane
BMR District School Committee, Blackstone
BMR District School Committee, Millville Representative, (4 Year
Term) Vote for 1 Write In
Board of Health (3 Year Term) Vote for 1
William T. Walsh…Candidate for Re-Election 33 Federal St.
Parks & Recreation Commission (3 Yr Term) Vote for 1 Carlo Barsotti
13 Reilly Avenue
Paul J. Martinelli, Sr. 151 Lincoln St. Write In Parks & Rec Com
Kevin M. Hart 8 Residential Lane
Karen A. Sergi 6 Liberty Hill Dr. Write In
Planning Board Gerald P. Rivet 12 Prospect St. #1 Write In
Board of Selectmen Robert J. Dubois…
C 56 Edgewater Dr.
Margaret Bik 132 Farm St.
Paul S. Haughey 130 Elm St.