Many thanks to Rebecca Duda for her piece on the early days of St. Mary of the Assumption parish in the Collinsville section of Dracut. I thought readers might be interested in learning about the later days of this wonderful, family-oriented parish.

My wife Carol and I moved into the parish in 1995. We immediately felt welcome by pastor Father Lucien Loiselle and resident retired priest Father Arnold Kelley.

Father Loiselle was appointed pastor in 1977 and remained in that post for 24 years until 2001 when the parish was merged with St. Marguerite d’Youville parish, just down the street.

The congregation was small, somewhat due to the size of the church, but when we were at Sunday Mass the pews were always full. This was certainly due to Father Loiselle’s charisma, but may also be just partly due to the fact that the parish was popular with families with lots of children. Along these lines Father Loiselle was active with home schoolers.

We remember being led in song by an enthusiastic singer/organist and particularly enjoyed his solo renderings of sacred hymns.

We also remember that every month or so a couple or more families would volunteer to host pasta and salad luncheons in the hall downstairs after Sunday morning Mass. These were great times of genuine fellowship between parishioners and their beloved pastor.

Understanding that in order to continue to exist parishes have to be self-sustaining it still broke our hearts when after merging with St. Marguerite’s the decision came to shutter St. Mary’s.

Nevertheless, we still have our memories of the wonderful priests and fellow parishioners we got to know at St. Mary of The Assumption parish and we wish success to the congregation of The Church of Pentecost who now occupy this space.

Michael Langlois