Outdoor Memorial Day Masses and Services Set for Eight Maine Communities

LEWISTON---Bishop Robert Deeley will celebrate a Memorial Day Mass on Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m. at St. Peter's Cemetery on 217 Switzerland Road in Lewiston. All are invited to this Mass, which is an occasion to pray for all our deceased loved ones, especially those who served our nation and have now gone home to the Lord.

The origins of Memorial Day date back to the Civil War when many cities and towns would set aside a day to remember those who died in the war. Originally called Decoration Day, it was officially proclaimed by General John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, on May 5, 1868, and was first observed on May 30 of that year when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1971, Congress passed a law placing the celebration of Memorial Day on the last Monday in May.

Here is a list of special Masses and services scheduled for the Diocese of Portland (all Masses/services on Monday, May 29, unless noted):

St. Joseph Church, 178 Elm Street
Good Shepherd Parish will hold a Memorial Day Mass at 10 a.m. to honor those buried in St. Joseph and St. Mary's Cemeteries in Biddeford. Father Timothy Nadeau, pastor of Good Shepherd, will be the celebrant.

St. Peter's Cemetery, 217 Switzerland Road
In addition to the Memorial Day Mass celebrated by Bishop Deeley that is described above, Father Daniel Greenleaf invites all to join him at the cemetery in front of the chapel on Saturday, May 27, at 7 a.m. to pray the Rosary and to pray for those who laid down their lives in sacrifice.  

St. Martin's Cemetery, Medway Road
A 9 a.m. Memorial Day Mass will be celebrated by Father Dominic Savio, HGN. In the event of rain, the Mass will be held at St. Martin of Tours Church on 19 Colby Street in Millinocket.

Old Town
Holy Family Church, 429 Main Street
The Parish of the Resurrection of the Lord will celebrate a Memorial Day Mass at 8 a.m. at Holy Family Church in Old Town.

St. John Cemetery, Isthmus Road
The Parish of the Holy Savior will hold a Memorial Day Mass at St. John Cemetery at 8:15 a.m. A tent will be set up, but attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chairs. The Mass will include the reading of names of local veterans who have died during the past year.

St. Ignatius Cemetery, Berwick Road
Deacon John Buchholz will lead a prayer service at St. Ignatius Cemetery in Sanford at 9 a.m.

South Portland
Calvary Cemetery, 1461 Broadway
A Memorial Day Mass will be celebrated by Father Jack Dickinson at 9 a.m. at Calvary Cemetery.

Holy Cross Cemetery, 75 Smith Street
A Memorial Day Mass will be celebrated at 9 a.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery. In the event of rain, the Mass will be held at Sacred Heart Church on 326 Main Street in Yarmouth.