LEWISTON – The Vatican raised Saints Peter and Paul Church to the status of Minor Basilica in November 2004. The honor is bestowed upon specific churches throughout the world because of their historical importance, artistic value, the quality of liturgical prayer and service to the community. Only 49 churches enjoy this distinction in the United States.

The official Inauguration Mass will take place on Sunday, May 22, when Bishop Richard Malone, DD, will preside at the liturgy. Diocesan clergy and many distinguished guests will also be in attendance.

The Inauguration Committee is planning many events that will take place during the four days preceding the inauguration. The festivities will include noontime and evening concerts, receptions, a banquet, a lecture and special votive Masses.

The Masses will be celebrated with added solemnity to honor the Dominican priests, brothers and sisters, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, the Sisters of Charity and the Daughters of Wisdom for their contributions to the life and development of the parish.

The Inauguration Committee is made up of parishioners from Saints Peter and Paul as well as representatives from all parishes in Lewiston and Auburn. Deacon Denis Mailhot and Adrienne McKeone represent the Auburn Catholic Community that includes St. Louis, St. Philip’s and Sacred Heart churches. Maurice Theriault represents Holy Cross Church; Anne Servidio, Holy Family Church; Roger Gosselin, St. Joseph Church; and Sharon Poulin, St. Patrick Church. Anne Pontbriand represents St. Dominic Regional High School, as the school was operated as a parish school for many years before becoming a diocesan regional high school.

Saints Peter and Paul representatives are the Rev. Robert D. Lariviere, pastor; co-chairmen, Robert M. Gilbert and Gerard J.B. Raymond; secretary, Pauline Gilbert; Laurette Bilodeau, Connie Cote, Paul Dube, Louise Forgues, Gilbert Lapointe, Connie Normand and Pauline Sabo.

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