Upcoming Retirements at Saint Matthew
From Fr. Paul Aveni: It is with heartfelt gratitude that we announce the retirement of Joanne Gagliardi and Richard Foppiano who have served the church in Billerica well for many years, originally at Saint Therese of Lisieux Parish continuing at Saint Matthew the Evangelist Parish. Though I have only worked with Joanne and Richard for two and a half years (a portion of which was spent in the restrictions of the pandemic) I think I can speak for my predecessors in expressing our sincere thanks for their dedication and ministry.
Joanne Gagliardi: Joanne has faithfully served our parish community since 1986 as Director of Music at Saint Theresa and as Cantor at Saint Matthew. In her role as director, she coordinated and prepared the music for liturgies and directed the choir at Saint Theresa. In Joanne’s retirement she is stepping away from her weekly commitments from cantoring at Mass, to enjoy time for recreation and family. Joanne has generously agreed to return on occasions to assist at our weekend Masses, as well as weddings and funerals. Joanne does not intend to step away from her generous volunteer service to Saint Matthew and will continue to be an active member of the Saint Matthew Woman’s Club. So this is not farewell to Joanne. It is our prayer to wish Joanne all good things as she turns the page to the next chapter of her life.
Richard Foppiano: Rich began his adventure in 2010 and has faithfully served our parish community as sacristan at Saint Theresa Church. I have found that sacristans are “unsung” heroes in our parishes. Though what they do can appear to be behind the scenes, their ministry is absolutely essential to the liturgy at our parishes. Just some of their responsibilities involve: opening the church, preparing what is needed for Mass and other liturgies, organizing the sacristy and the materials we use in our liturgies, and attending to the needs of our parishioners while at Mass. I have found Rich to be the person who greets us with a smile, while being meticulously attentive to everyone’s needs. It is our prayer to wish Rich all good things as he retires from his ministry here.
Reception on Sunday, January 2
We invite you to join us in showing our appreciation for all that they have done for our Parish after the 10am Mass on Sunday, January 2nd in the Parish Hall.