Debbie Laurinaitis of Rumford said attending Al-Anon classes helped her become more spiritual and want a better relationship with God. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD — Growing up in a family with alcoholic relatives, Debbie Laurinaitis of Rumford said it was easy to blame herself for their drinking, but because of her faith in God and what she has learned about God and life at Al-Anon meetings, she’s living a better life, she said.

Although she no longer attends the meetings, she attributes them with helping her “to be more spiritual and to want a better relationship with God.”

“A lot of times people grow up thinking that their parents drink because of something they did, and when I grew up my grandfather was ‘ugly.’ Now I know that he was an alcoholic and that’s one of the characteristics of (some) alcoholics. His drinking wasn’t about us or me as a child,” she said.

At the Al-Anon meetings she learned that the people in her life were drinking not because she was “just not good enough, pretty enough, or whatever,” she said.

She also said she sees God at work constantly in her life and often experiences the “coolest things,” especially after she begins her day with prayer and by reading inspirational books about God.

“I think one of the things that I’ve noticed the most is I’ll get up and I’ll be planning my day and I’ll think, OK, I need to meet up with this person, or that person or somebody will pop into my head and I’ll see them that day; they’ll just be in my path. I think that’s just one of the coolest things,” Laurinaitis said.


Still practicing her childhood faith by attending Catholic church services at the Holy Savior Parish in Rumford, she finds inspiration there. Recently, a sermon by the Rev. Nathan March gave her a lot to think about.

During the service, March spoke about the immaculate conception and Mary’s willingness to give birth to Jesus.

“And Mary said, ‘Let it be done unto me.’ And I think … March said that we need to be like that too. We need to be willing to have God and Jesus in our hearts, in us, and our lives.

“What God has given us is inside us and it’s what he wants us to bring out to the world; to be willing to do that,” Laurinaitis said.

“And I guess I like that a lot, because I think that’s profound for one thing, and it says it all, doesn’t it? It just says that we have to be willing; you have to be willing to let (God’s expression) come out.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.