Trying times faced with hope, faith

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Monday’s observation of Catholic Schools Week in Lewiston was a celebration of feeling, faith and confession.

Last year, after much planning, the Portland Diocese consolidated St. Joseph’s and Holy Cross in Lewiston and St. Peter and Sacred Heart Elementary School in Auburn under one roof and one name: Trinity Catholic School. The decision was dictated by dropping student populations and increasing costs, and was done to strengthen Catholic education in the Twin Cities. That strength in numbers, as students, parents and staff gathered at the Saints Peter and Paul Basilica, was evident at Monday’s Mass.

Bishop Richard Malone’s homily was a conversation of faith and education. The bishop, who confessed to having trouble with math classes in his youth, stepped away from the altar to walk among the students, encouraging them to embrace their schoolwork as they do their beliefs, and look at their school as a place to learn to live and love.

The consolidation of Catholic schools and the pending consolidation of parishes in the Lewiston/Auburn area has not been easy on parishoners, but they and their children have responded with grace and hope.

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