Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 03-22-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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©2018 BREEZE PUBLICATIONS INC. Breeze THE VALLEY FREE MARCH 22-28, 2018 Serving North Smithfield, Blackstone and Woonsocket Churches divided Merger of three Woonsocket parishes not going smoothly WOONSOCKET – The Rev. Daniel Sweet says he's doing his best to navigate the turmoil, tears, and strong ties to tradition involved in a city church merger that's hitting a particularly rough stretch. Our Lady Queen of Martyrs rep- resents the top option going forward for three Woonsocket churches searching for a brighter future, says Sweet, and he hopes the people who remain staunchly opposed to the plan will eventually agree to make the Park Square church, under a new name, their house of worship. At a forum at OLQM last Friday evening, March 16, Sweet tried to calm the fears of members of Sacred Heart and Holy Family parishes, many of whom offered strong res- ervations about the plan to close those churches and permanently join OLQM. The meeting featured sev- eral loud outbursts, failed attempts at unifying exercises, and repeated accusations that the specifics of this merger are a done deal, despite assertions from Sweet that nothing is settled yet. Participants in the March 16 meet- ing never even got to part two of the agenda for the evening, discuss- ing a new name for the merged churches, though attendee Marie Martin Gomes suggested "Holy Trinity Parish" as a possible option. The Trinity, with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit being one, is a good tie- in with three churches also trying to come together, she said. The meeting followed up a trio of forums at the three parishes, bringing everyone together under one roof, said Sweet. He said the churches must submit their final resolution and proposal to Bishop Thomas Tobin, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, by the end of June. Members of the century-old Holy Family Church, at 414 South Main St., and Sacred Heart Church, at By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Managing Editor ethan@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTOS BY TOM WARD Three Woonsocket Catholic churches, from top left, OUR LADY QUEEN OF MARTYRS, 1371 Park Ave., SACRED HEART, 415 Olo St., and HOLY FAMILY, 414 South Main St., are look- ing at options to merge into one church. OLQM is the newest of the churches. Sacred Heart was first established in 1895 as a church for the city's Irish community. Holy Family was founded as a parish to serve French-Canadians in 1902. On its sprawling campus is a former convent that now serves as Haven of Grace Ministries, and a for- mer school sold and converted to Red Chimney Apartments. NORTH SMITHFIELD – North Smithfield High School is being treated to significant improvements this year, says Principal Timothy McGee. The building, constructed in 1968, has not seen many changes since then. "We are fortunate to have a well- built, 50-year-old building," said McGee. "Buildings, just like any man-made object, do not last for- ever. As times change, so do the needs of our students. Our building must reflect those student needs." Renovations include developing new classrooms, painting interior walls, new water fountains with filters and refill stations for water bottles, Wi-Fi access throughout the building, new LED lighting, refurbishing the floors, replacing the ceiling tiles, and creating a school store. Updates are being made to the outside of the school as well, includ- ing new shrubbery, flagpole lights, and a fresh coat of paint. "It is in very good shape for its age, however, several areas need updating," McGee said. "Many Renovations happening at 50-year-old N.S. High By MARIA MUNSCHY North Smithfield High School Senior See IMPROVEMENTS, Page 9 See MERGER, Page 6 MCGEE OUR 2018 HEALTH & WELLNESS DIRECTORY INSIDE OUR 2018 HEALTH & WELLNESS DIRECTORY INSIDE Health Wellness 2018 GUIDE A helpful guide… for better health & A Northern Rhode Island Guide of Physicians & Health & Wellness Professionals Published by MARCH-22-2018-HEALTH.indd 1 3/15/18 10:19 AM Old FashiOned CheeseCakes GOlObki • PierOGis sPeCialty easter kielbasas POlish hams bread & Pastry imPOrted GOurmet ChOCOlates & Candy Unique Gift Ideas 855 Social St. Woonsocket, RI 401-765-4600 679 South Washington St. Attleboro, MA 508-399-5385

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