Our history begins, as with most pre-Vatican II churches, with faithful Catholics who refused to accept the changes implemented in the early 60’s by “Pope” John XXIII and “Pope” Paul VI, because they knew and loved their Catholic faith and recognized the heresies in the declarations resulting from the Second Vatican Council. One of these faithful Catholics lived in Maine and through her determination and perseverance, along with many others (some we will be adding to this page soon), we have a church!
Jackie Obie passed away early this morning, on the Feast of Saints Peter Chrysologus and Barbara (patroness of a holy death), December 4, 2018. A parishioner, who came along a little later on, and who herself has contributed much to the building of our parish, writes for us Jackie’s story:
After the True Mass was replaced by the Novus Ordo Missae in the Conciliar church, Jackie was one of the Catholics who sought out priests who would offer the immemorial Mass for the remaining faithful. In the 1980’s, she hosted many Masses in her apartment, which many of our parishioners attended. Later, there were Masses in Lewiston, Rumford, and Lisbon. By the early 2000’s, she had no Mass to go to in Maine and, being legally blind by then, she could not drive herself to Boston.
She was a friend of our Bishop, his Excellency Mark Pivarunas, to whom she turned in her distress, asking him how she could gain access to the true Mass. His Excellency told her to wait, and he would “arrange something.” For two years, Jackie would occasionally phone the Bishop, who would tell her to be patient; he was working on it.
In early 2007, Fr. Francisco Radecki, CMRI, came to Lewiston to offer Holy Mass in the Activities Room of Jackie’s apartment building. It was understood that this would be an occasional, week-day Mass. Father expected a handful of people to come, but 35 showed up! In view of such a turn-out, His Excellency Bp. Pivarunas came to say Mass and to confirm. Soon, Mass was being offered on the second Sunday of each month.
Fr. Benedict took on this fledgling mission and started to come twice a month. Fr. Francisco sent Jackie a big box with all the materials needed for the Mass. Thus Jackie was the “sacristan,” who prepared for each Mass, washed, starched and ironed the altar cloth and Mass linens, ironed vestments, bought and arranged altar flowers, etc. The altar cloth Fr. Francisco sent was only recently replaced by our current, very beautiful, new cloth. The wooden altar cards still on our altar today are the original ones from those days, and we still have the old vestments stored, which have been gradually replaced by brand-new ones. The Monstrance and six-branched candle sticks also were part of that donation to Jackie, which she immediately gave to the new mission, which Fr. Benedict named “Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.”
The mission soon outgrew the Activities Room, and the Mass was moved to C&J hall in Lewiston. Jackie continued to be the sacristan. This work was the joy of her life. She often said that she lived for the Mass and for the work she did for it.
Even after the CMRI Masses moved to the Cohen Center in Augusta, Jackie continued to care for the altar and flowers. But, since she lived in Lewiston, transportation became an issue along with her failing health, and after a while she had to divest herself of her duties. She was most humble and self-effacing, so none of the new people knew who she really was: the lay foundress of our parish.
Had it not been for Jackie’s persistence in requesting our Bishop’s help, there would be no weekly, traditional Sunday Mass in Maine. We are eternally in her debt.
Eternal rest grant unto Our Jackie, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace. Amen.