For more than 140 years, St. Francis De Sales was there to protect and serve the parishioners of Waterville.

They said the church’s upkeep cost too much, especially in the winter, and its old heating system cost too much. At the same time, however, they were living in a million-dollar mansion.

They are tearing down the church brick by brick. Those bricks were paid for by the sweat of French-Canadian immigrants who worked 12 hours a day, six days a week in the local mills.

Their Sundays, however, were reserved for God and St. Francis. We remember the good old days, when every seat was taken — even the two balconies were filled with children.

The church even had a beautiful pulpit that rose from the floor like a phoenix from the fire.

They said St. Francis ran out of friends and its seats were not full. We see the old friends, however; they are at churches on Kennedy Memorial Drive, Pleasant Street and Front Street. They still believe in God.

Pearley and Alice Lachance


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