WATERVILLE — A newly ordained priest has been designated to help lead a handful of churches in the area, including Notre Dame and Sacred Heart Church in the city.

The Rev. Patrick Finn has been appointed parochial vicar of Corpus Christi Parish, according to a news release from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. In addition to the two Waterville churches, the parish also includes St. John the Baptist Church in Winslow and St. Helena Church in Belgrade Lakes. A parochial vicar is a priest assigned to assist in the ministry of a parish.

Finn was ordained by Bishop Robert Deeley on June 16 at St. John the Baptist Church in Brunswick, and then celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Mary Church in Bath the following day.

On Tuesday, Finn said he was looking forward to getting to the Waterville area and working with the community. He said it was an exciting opportunity.

“It’s been kind of a long journey towards ordination, and to make it to this point of getting to full priestly and ministry duties in a parish in Maine is really just wonderful,” Finn said.

Finn, 34, is originally from Bath. He attended the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and completed his clerical studies at Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.

Finn said that being from Maine, he thought his appointment to the Waterville area was a good match and that he is excited to stay in Maine. Growing up in Bath, he said, he’s used to living in a blue-collar, working city like Waterville.

While asserting that there is definitely a learning curve for younger priests, he said he was looking forward to “hitting the ground running and getting plugged into the community and getting to know people and getting to know families.”

Finn remembers the priests who were inspirations to him as he was growing up, and he hopes to be able to be a similar force for the people in the Waterville area. While the churches in the area have had challenging times with closures and shrinking congregations, he is up for the challenge.

“I’m just thrilled to be able to get on the ground and have my little part in helping to build,” Finn said.

Finn will begin his ministry in Waterville on July 1. He is replacing the Rev. Matthew Gregory, who is leaving after two years in Waterville to serve at Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston, Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls, and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sabattus starting on June 29, according to a spokesman for the Catholic Diocese.

Corpus Christi Parish was formed in 2007 by merging several central Maine parishes. The parish also supports the teaching mission of St. John Regional Catholic School in Winslow and provides a summer chapel and Newman Apostolate at Colby College.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

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