Kathleen Mehuron gave me the perfect topic of Valley history with her article about St. Patrick Church in Moretown. That was our church – all 26 members of my extended family which included the nine of us, Uncle Paul and Aunt Gertrud3e Viens and six children; cousins Phillip and Fleaurette Lareau and three children; Phillip’s sister Marie Blanch Lareau Marble, husband Carl, and two boys. All of the children, except for me, were baptized and made their first Holy Communion in that church. I was born in Canada and baptized in the town of Rougemont, Quebec. I believe all the parents were from Canada, except for Uncle Carl, he was from Fayston.
I don’t know when Uncle Paul and Aunt Gertrude Viens, Phillip and Fleaurette Lareau moved to Vermont. The Lareaus arrived in The Valley several years before Paul and then my dad came to Vermont.
However, St. Patrick Church was our church along with the Vasseurs, Benoits, Tremblays and several other French-Canadian families. Almost all had large families.
I loved St. Patrick. It has beautiful stained -glass windows with all the names of the families that donated them at the bottom of the glass. The old altar, not there anymore, was like the front of a small church with the statues of Jesus, Joseph and Mary. St. Theresa was separate on a pedestal just outside the communion rail. We knelt at the rail to receive communion. The only thing I didn’t like about the inside of the church was that it didn’t have a center aisle. There is a row of pews on either side and a double row in the center. So, when one of my cousins got married, she had to walk in on the right aisle and out on the left aisle. Not quite as dramatic as coming down the middle aisle with one’s groom.
I remember that Father Dwyer and Father Logue were the priests. There were others, but only passing through in their education to becoming a priest. They never stayed very long. As kids, we were a little afraid of Father Dwyer. He was of the old school and rather stern.
It bothered me that the two front doors were in such bad shape. When our construction crew remodeled, it was my job to do the doors. The men hated painting and staining. I used at least five to six coats of high gloss polyurethane. The doors looked like glass. Every time I’ve gone through Moretown past St. Patrick and saw those doors, I gritted my teeth.
I am so glad that St. Patrick Church will be here for another 100 years or more. History is so important for all of us.
Peace to all.