How can the citizens of Lewiston turn their backs on the loss of their cultural identity?
St. Joseph’s Church is more than a “vacant building in need of repair.” It was once an umbilical cord that nourished the Irish, Italian and French-Canadian Catholics of Lewiston.
It did not matter if they wove wool for Bates or dyed cloth for Pepperell, Lewiston’s earliest residents were of equal status in their faith. In church, these proud men and women could share the word of God and their stories from their hometowns outside of Quebec or Sherbrook.
St Joseph’s served as the nucleus that powered its members to create a city that is synonymous with French-Canadian culture in Maine.
So why are the current citizens of Lewiston allowing the destruction of what was once a beacon, guiding thousands of souls through challenging times?
In the words of Joni Mitchell: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” At one time, St. Joseph’s was a paradise of opportunity.
It saddens me to think that the cornerstones of a community can be eradicated in such a cold, heartless manner.
The people of Lewiston have lost so much already. They should not allow men with “vision,” but who are wearing blinders, to take any more away.
Dennis Willette, South Berwick