Amy Ouellette-Newman volunteers at her church, St. Rose of Lima Church in Jay. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

LIVERMORE FALLS — Amy Ouellette-Newman has relied on her faith in God to help her through many challenging times in her life.

Ten years ago, her and her husband Philip’s 5-year-old granddaughter, Isabelle “Izzy” Newman, died from cancer.

Now Ouellette-Newman’s husband of nearly 20 years is battling Stage 4 high grade large cell neuroendrocine cancer. He has tumors in his kidney and bladder area.

“They don’t know where it started and it is difficult to treat,” she said.  He has been through many treatments.

“We rely on our faith,” Ouellette-Newman, 45, said. “We keep our eyes focused on Jesus. If I didn’t have my faith, I probably wouldn’t even get out of bed in the morning.”

She was born a “cradle Catholic,” she said, meaning she was born into a Catholic family.


“My parents and grandparents were a strong influence in my life,” she said. “When I was younger I was brought up going to church and Sunday school. Right after I graduated from Jay High School, I kind of realized I was going to church for myself and not anyone else.”

When she met her husband, he wasn’t Catholic but he went to church with her.  The couple attend St. Rose of Lima Church in Jay.  He decided he wanted to become Catholic.

“He joined the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults,” Ouellette-Newman said, which is the teaching of the Catholic Church, and is now a practicing Catholic.

“I went through the process with him,” she said. “You learn things differently when you are a child than when you are an adult. When you are a kid they teach you differently than when you are an adult because your brain learns differently.”

When the couple first got married she had back surgery and then her husband got sick and there were always challenges.

“My faith has helped me realize how much we have to be thankful for, for everything we have is a gift from God. Yes, we’re facing challenges,” she said. “Yes we’ve suffered, but God has been with us the entire time giving us strength, hope, and love. The blessing we receive from Him far outway the difficult times we’ve endured. My faith has taught me that all life is precious and it’s better to give than to receive. Jesus gave His life for us out of love. I’ve experienced this love. That is why I choose to use my time and talents to serve others and the church so that others might come to know of His love too.”


To Ouellette-Newman the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church are very important to her and are a big part of attending church. Communion is the body and blood of Christ, which gives her strength, she said. Confession is about God’s forgiveness and mercy which also helps strengthen them.

She attends church daily in Jay, or at its partner church, St. Joseph Church in Farmington.

“I am a sacristan who prepares the church for Mass,” she said, and volunteers her time.

She also brings Holy Communion to the Harris House in Livermore Falls and those who are homebound. She also serves on the Liturgy and Devotions Committee, which seeks to enhance the liturgical public prayer of the church and provide opportunities for private prayer and devotions so people can grow in their faith.

“We also work to make the churches more beautiful throughout the liturgical seasons,” she said.

Her husband, who works from home for Paradigm Windows, attends Mass on weekends and offers daily prayers.

“We have tremendous support from the parish and community, Amy said. “We just had a benefit dinner and raffle. The support was overwhelming,” she said.

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