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Lighted wreaths honor loved ones

FORT KENT, Maine – More than 400 lighted wreaths will brighten Fort Kent area cemeteries in memory of departed loved ones laid to rest there. 

St. John Vianney Parish organized the second annual Lighted Wreath of Remembrance project to raise funds for heating and snow removal services for the parish. 

Community response to the project was overwhelmingly positive last year, according to office manager Gale Rioux. 

“Many people expressed their joy in driving by the cemeteries and seeing the bright red-bowed wreaths.  At night, they are amazed at seeing the wreaths come alive and glowing with lights shining toward the heavens,” Rioux said. 

This year 425 wreaths were made available for members of the public to purchase to be placed at any of the 10 parish cemeteries: St. Louis Old Cemetery, St. Louis New  Cemetery, Holy Family Cemetery in Daigle, Sacred Heart Cemetery in Soldier Pond, St. Joseph Old and St. Joseph New cemeteries in Wallagrass, St. Mary’s Cemetery in Eagle Lake, St. John Cemetery, St. Francis Cemetery, St. Charles Cemetery in St. Francis and St. Paul’s Cemetery in Allagash.

The wreaths are being in November, during which Catholic parishioners “offer Masses and prayers for the purification of all souls in purgatory,” Rioux said.    

It is also significant because it is the beginning of the holiday season when families gather together.

“The wreath project unites families and brings joy and comfort to them while paying respect and honor to those who have passed,” Rioux said. “During the winter months we do not have access to the cemeteries, but the wreaths and lights remind us to pray for the loved ones we have lost.” 

A limited supply of wreaths is still available. To purchase a wreath for $35, visit Stjohnvianneyparish.net, go to the parish office or call the office at 207-834-5656.  

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