Pastor’s Weekly Message:
Hello, Community of St Andre Bessette Church!!! It is such a Grace and honor for me to be asked to serve this wonderful Community as your newest Pastor. I am grateful, humbled, and excited for the opportunity to join this Community of Faith and Service. As my first “official” Bulletin entry, I would like to introduce myself and tell you all a little bit about myself.
I was born in New Bedford, MA in February of 1958; the third child (of four), second son, of Richard and Mary (Muldoon) Gaughan. Both my mom and dad were children of Irish immigrants to the US. Both of my grandfathers were born in Ireland (Counties Mayo and Donegal) and immigrated to the US as young men. My father was a fireman who ended his 30+ years of service to the city as Fire Chief. My older sister and brother, Kathleen and Rick, are “Irish twins” being born one year and four days apart! They are 5 and 6 years older than me, and my younger brother, Pat, is 6 years younger than me. My sister is currently living with my 92 year old mom as caregiver, my older brother retired last year after 33 years of teaching literature at the University of Central Arkansas, and lives in Conway, AR with his wife. My younger brother lives in Middleboro, MA with his wife and three boys, and works as a bank bigwig currently in Taunton, MA.
After graduating from Bishop Stand High School in North Dartmouth, MA in 1976, I headed off to Indiana to attend the University of Notre Dame. On May 18, 1980 (a date remembered around here for a certain mountain to the north that blew it’s lid that day) I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology. (I have always hoped that there was NOT a connection between me getting my ND degree and the earth shaking!!!!)
After graduation, I did a year of volunteer service as a Holy Cross Associate….HERE in Portland!!! So, after a 38 year hiatus, I have returned to the City of Roses!! And am excited to do so, I might add! Following my Associate year, I entered Formation for the Congregation of Holy Cross in August of 1981. In August of 1983 I Professed First Vows after completing the Novitiate Year in Colorado. In 1986, I received my second degree from Notre Dame, a Master of Divinity (no earthquakes or volcanoes this time!). In August of that same year, I Professed Final Vows and was Ordained a Deacon. I served as Deacon in a parish in South Bend, IN. Then, on April 25, 1987, I was ordained a Priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross. (Again, no natural disasters that I am aware of!) My first assignment as a Holy Cross Priest was to serve at Notre Dame. This assignment lasted 25 years during which time I served in many capacities; largely in Campus Ministry (10 years as Director of Retreats) and in Residence Life (20 years as Rector of Stanford Hall…one of the men’s residence halls on campus). Also during my time at ND, I earned my Doctorate in Preaching from the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St Louis, MO.
When my time at Notre Dame drew to a close, I was granted some time in sabbatical to work on some of my research and writing. After the sabbatical, I was assigned to serve in southern Vermont as Parochial Vicar at the two parishes that Holy Cross staffs in Bennington. These past two years have been spent living at Stonehill College in North Easton, MA doing some writing for Holy Cross Family Ministries and helping out at local parishes in the Boston and Fall River Dioceses.
After God, Family, and Notre Dame, my loves are music and sports (specifically ice hockey: I’m a goalie….yes, that is a present tense description). I thank you all for your warm welcome, and very much look forward to serving you as your Pastor. God Bless you. St Andre, pray for us!!