This year as we mark the seventieth anniversary of our foundation as a parish, it is interesting to note some of the markers along the road of our history. So much of what we enjoy every day on our beautiful campus is the fruit of the dedication and generosity of faithful and foresighted people many decades ago. Some of what we enjoy, though, predates even those hearty first parishioners.
Last Friday’s Nor’easter brought record winds to the region and did more than a little damage. While our area seems to have been spared a power outage, many things were toppled or torn away by the gusts, including a few slates (yes, slates) from the roof of our school.
But the biggest casualty was a beloved and central figure in our parish, especially among CYO athletes and their families: the large, ancient holly tree near the swings at the edge of the sports field snapped its trunk and toppled.
Most folks have no idea how old that holly was. All I know for sure is that it was full grown in 1958, because it stands out clearly in photographs taken of the campus as site preparation for the new church was just beginning. That indicates to me that it was at least a century old.
The tree was such a popular gathering spot during games that a few years back some folks put in benches and a garden around it in memory of parishioner Tom Bernier. I was worried about losing the beauty of the spot, but Jen Bernier has already contacted me about replacing the tree. We aren’t sure yet what type to plant, but we want to get at least one hundred years of shade and beauty out of it.
That way, during the sesquicentennial anniversary celebrations of the parish, in 2098, attentive parishioners will enjoy its mature splendor, and marvel at the dedication and generosity of faithful and foresighted people many decades before.