LEWISTON — A new library will be dedicated in the memory of Eva A. Labonte at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, at the Holy Cross Senior Hall, 16 Ste. Croix St.

Labonte was a long-time parishioner of St. Joseph Church and her collection of 1,200 religious books has formed the foundation of the library. Monsignor Marc Caron, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish, will officiate at the dedication and blessing of the library. A reception will follow.

Labonte amassed her collection of books over a lifetime of study of the Catholic faith. She used this knowledge in her work as an adult religious education teacher and as a counselor through the Rachel Project (Birthline). She also researched and wrote numerous articles, papers and poetry about the Catholic faith.

Labonte often loaned her books out to anyone who had a need. Her dream was to create a reading room/library within the Lewiston parish. Labonte passed away on April 8, 2009, after a short illness and Jean Paul Labonte, her husband of 51 years, followed through with her wishes and donated her entire collection to the parish in June.

The development of the library has generated donations in the form of cash gifts, shelving, a computer and other private book collections. Rabbi Hillel Katzier of Temple Shalom in Auburn has donated a set of the Encyclopedia Judaica in memory of Labonte. Two other donors have also come forward with an offer to buy two to four new books every month for the next four years in order to keep the library current.

A library program was purchased to catalog and tag the books in the Dewey Decimal System as well as aid patrons in the search for specific books.

The library will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and a core team of volunteers is currently being recruited to staff specific hours to manage the library and assist patrons.

Those interested in making donations or volunteering may contact Donald Smith, library director, at the Prince of Peace Parish Office at 777-1200.


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