Original Repost Date: October, 2018 – During this vacation, I am doing some slowing down, some cleanup and some reflecting. On a practical matter I have an old website, randymarcotte.com that needs to be refreshed or taken down- we spend money monthly just to have it sit there. Here is the first of the pull-and-post items: My dad’s own review of the story of his life. He would have loved the views, the food and the people here in Ibiza.
In His Own Words
From October 1993 until he died, June 4th – 2003, Dad and I would write letters to one another. One of his most ambitious projects was to write down what he considered the meaning of life, “A Search for God.” That Story is below
In my search for the one God I find all three in one, Father–Son–Holy Spirit,
By Clovis A. MarcotteI write about a part of my life both human and spiritual which I call a search for God and a true meaning for my life here on earth. Because of my physical condition, I am greatly limited to the places that I can travel to on this journey through life. I was born with poor eyesight and for some time now eye doctors have classified me as legally blind. I have learned that on my journey through life that the location and the name of cities or countries etc. I not the most important part of this type of journey or search. I have found God in the people that I have met in these places. There are many such people who have touched and have become a vital part of my life.I will try to mention them in these few pages. I fully realize that I may fail to mention some of them and for this lack of memory, I ask for their forgiveness.It was my sincere hope and prayers that my sharing my spiritual life will be on some the benefit to other people just like other people were are today, and also will be of great help and benefit to me now and in the future.
To God first and then to all others who have helped me on my search in man ways I am very grateful. I praise and thank God the Father, God the Son, and God the
Holy Spirit for working in me, with me, and through other people to make my search for Him very rewarding.
1. The First Step of my Search: Birth–Baptism
With the partnership of God and my parents Antonio and Aurore (Barrette)
Marcotte I was born on November 14, 1923. I will always be proud of my quiet and humble parents. They and my godparents, my uncle Alphonse and my aunt
Fedora Marcotte saw to it that I was Baptized into the Roman Catholic Church of
St. Louis Parish on November 18, 1923 by the Rev. Rather D. B. Brunelle. It was
then that I was initiated into the Body of Christ (the Church) fully receiving God and His Gifts of faith and life itself. They were without a doubt responsible for giving me the right and true direction to start on my journey through life.
My mother and my father took good care of me for the next twelve years of my life. With their constant humble examples, they set in their daily lives. They always gave me many reasons for me to look up to them. Those twelve years from 1923 to 1935 were very tough years for my parents. We were living in the time of the great national depression. I am sure that the people of my age and my generation remember those years also.
Although there was no money coming into our home at this time, my mother and father never lost faith in God. It was their faith in God that gave all of us the strength of endurance that we all needed. It was later in my life that my mother told me that we came into contact with a great number of really good people. It is through people like this that we can see the workings of God.
Because of the fact, my father was not a naturalized citizen of the United States of America (born in Canada 1901), he was not eligible to receive financial help from the US Government program (W.P.A). My parents told me about our landlord Mr.Dalpe our bread man Mr. Lussier and our store man, More Cote that provided a roof over our heads and food for the table. The good officials of the town of Bellingham helped us to get some fuelwood to keep our home warm. There were also many of our friends and relatives and neighbors that were there to lend a helping hand with clothes and toys for us kids. I fully realize that they were all basically good, believed in God and brotherly love. I also believe that God Himself was working with and through these people.
During these financially troubled years, my parents were never shaken from their spiritually God-given directions. It was then that they led me on to the next step on my journey to find the one and only true God and also to learn of the real reason I was born here on earth. In their own personal ways, they taught us the basic truths about Jesus and His teachings and examples on what is bad and what is good.
During these depression years work in the mills were at a very low amount. My parents were at home and in their own way taught us how to live. They could not take the place of regular schools because they themselves had very little formal school education. It was then that I was introduced to a school so I could learn to read and write.
2. Second Step On My Search: First Holy Communion
From the time of my birth (1923) till I was 17 years old our family lived in
Bellingham, MA, just across the town line of Blackstone, Mass. I am told that we did not live very long on 497 Wood Ave, Woonsocket, RI before we moved to
Bellingham, Ma at 8 Auclair Street.
Now I am told by my parents that at that time (1929) although we were in the parish of the Assumption there was no parochial school there. With my parents’
concern, faith in God and religious education, I was enrolled into St. Theresa’s parochial school. I understand that 1929 was the years St. Theresa’s parish was founded. The first 3 years of my school education were spent at St. Theresa, that is from 1921 to 1931.
I will never forget the care and love and great devotion of the Religious Nuns of St. Theresa’s school. It was the only 3 years of formal religious education that I received. It was this education along with the help of my mother that I was able to take my next step on m search for God.
I was there at St. Theresa that I was prepared, instructed and received my first Holy Communion on June 8, 1930. I don’t remember the names of the Religious Nuns or the names of the Rev. Fathers that were there at the time. I am grateful for their instructions that certainly set me on the right directions on to the next step of my search.
I did not fully realize then what I now know for certain that we can find God in all places, all times and especially in all of God’s people.
3. Third Step on my Search: Sacrament of Confession (Now Called
When I received my first Holy Communion on June 8, 1930 I was an early age of
7 years old. That I believe was the custom at the time. Now came the time for me to move on to the next important part of my life. My Mother and Father frequently talked to us about the sacraments of the Catholic Church and they stressed the all-importance of them. I believe that is was also part of our Catholic Tradition, as it is today, to learn about and appreciate the Sacrament of Confession which we now call the sacrament of reconciliation with God and or His people we offend. Here in one of our 7 sacraments is an encounter with God in all three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I remember some of the good things and some of the not so good things I did in my growing years. Like most other growing children we listened to our parents. When Mom and Dad said so we had great respect for them. They earned our respect by the great faith they had and by their living examples.
As I am writing these words its 1983 and I am 59 years old. I will always have great love and respect for my parents. I thank God for them and honor them in a
very special way for they are living their faith in God at the age of 83 for my mother and 82 for my Father. I was because of the upbringing we received from our parents that we all attendee Mass on Sundays and observed the commandments of God and also the commandments or precepts of our Roman Catholic Church.
4. Fourth Step of My Search; Sacrament of Confirmation
About the year 1931 or 1932, a big change in my life occurred. I am not sure of what the reasons were for this important change, this is what happened. I was
transferred from St. Theresa’s School (3rd Grade) to (public school) South School in South Bellingham. I did not question the reasons for this change my parents had at this time but I am confident that they must have believed the reason to be good ones. Well anyway, upon my entering an English speaking school I found myself in great difficulties. In St. Theresa we were taught very little English and my parents could not speak English there of could not help me in my studies. So, what happened then is that I had to repeat the third grade in public school. It did help me to get settled with the English language because I did go on to the 4th grade with very good high marks.
While all these years (1931 to 1935) were passing by my mother was now
concerned about my receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. When I became 12
years old (1935) my mother saw to it that I would attend catechism classes. At that time I am told that the Bishop did not administer the sacrament of confirmation every year. I believe that nearby parishes waited till there were a good number of children who were old enough and ready. Our parish of the Assumption had just held a confirmation class and my mother did not want to wait until I was out of school to be confirmed. She found out that the Woonsocket, RI parish of St. Ann were going to have a confirmation class in June of 1935 so what she did was to enroll me in catechism classes there. In order for her to do that she had to say that I was living with uncle Gilbert Barrette on Social Street in Woonsocket, RI which was in St. Ann’s Parish.
Now what I had to do was that after school had let out in the afternoon I had to walk and sometimes run to attend religion classes. I do remember that I arrived barely in time for classes to begin. Religion classes were fairly easy using the Baltimore Catechism which was mostly a format of some questions and answers each day. I was very fortunate to have had three (3) years of basic instruction at St. Theresa plus a very good help from my mother and relatives.
Well, I passed with enough knowledge and good marks and I mad my Confirmation on June 23, 1935. This sacrament of Confirmation administered by the S.G. Mgsr.
Frances Keough. Since I was rather young in age and character I don’t remember having a very deep understanding of the sacrament of confirmation. One thing I do remember is that now I was a soldier for the causes of Jesus Christ. I learned later in my life that it is not only what we say or do on that special day, but what the Holy Spirit actually does to us in our own heart and soul in our daily lives.
Now that I was fortified with the Holy Spirit I fled confident that I was ready to face the world outside of my home and school. I went on to finish my grammar school education and I did graduate from the 8th grade in 1938.
I was during these 3 years (1935 to 1938) that I was introduced to the Boy Scouts of America. Some of my school friends were already in the Boy Scouts and I wanted to share in all the good times they were having, like camping, boating, fishing and marching in parades. This is what led me on the next journey or search for the 3 persons in one God.
5. The fifth Step on My Search: I joined the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 18, So. Bellingham, Ma.
I joined the Boy Scouts Troop 18 of South Bellingham, Mass in 1935. That was my first experience in the outside world away from the watchful eyes of my parents if only for short periods of time. I did get to know other boys of my age and I did get to have some very good times which are hard to forget. I will always remember the way I was treated by some of the boys, especially Woodrow Levesque.
Because I was born with very poor eyesight my life so far had been very difficult and at times almost impossible. Without a doubt, it had to be the love of God working through my friend “Woody” that made him guide me by the hand on many occasions while on camping trips in the dark woods. Of course, he was not the only one who out of the goodness of their hearts helped me along the ways so many, many times. All through my life, I was blessed with a great number of people that have helped me. In St. Theresa’s School there were the good, patient Religious Nuns, in Public School were the understanding teachers and now in the Boy Scouts were the dedicated generous adult leaders like Billy White and Harris Varier.
I guess that at that time I took all of this help and concern for granted. Later on, in life I got to understand that I had found a part of God’s love in all of them. I will always be thankful for people who will allow God to work through them when we least expect them to.
6. My Sixth Step on my Search: My first jobs in the outside world.
Now in 1938 came about a major change in my life. Although I was graduated from grammar school and promoted to high school, it was not in my parents’ plans for me to go there. My parents themselves had very little formal education, so they didn’t appreciate the value of higher education.
Our family was very poor and very much dependent on Town welfare and the goodness and generosity of relatives and friends. It was because of these conditions, that things would get better only if some of us would find a job to help with the family expenses.
I can remember my older brother Roger getting his first job working for our bread man Charles Leussier. He worked on delivering bread on Saturday only and got paid 75 cents for the seat offering at Sunday Mass, which was the only money coming into our home. My Mother brought up to believe that when you give to God’s Church, God will give us much more in return.
By this time I was now 16 years old and it was time for me to look for a job. I
think that it was through our bread man Charles Leisurre, who was Leo Leissurre ’s brother that I got a job at Leo’s Bakery on 3rd Avenue in Woonsocket, RI. My brother Roger was working there and that may have helped me to get the job. Then again it could have been the fact that our parents owed some money to the Leisurre and that became a way of my parents paying the fairly large sum of money that was owed to Charlie Lussier.
It was not the best job or working conditions to brag about and I believe that we were being taken advantage of and we had to work much too hard for the small wages we received. With all the hardships of holding a job, we were sometimes thankful because I suppose that job could have been given to someone else. It did take some time but eventually, my parents were able to pay for the overdue bread bill. This was my first experience in working in the outside world and that introduced me to a great number of different people. I have found that all people are basically good although at times we look for and question their motives for their actions. Although life seemed tough at the time I kept on my journey always looking for better things and a better life.
It was during 1939 or 1040 that our family moved to a larger and better tenement on Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket, RI. I got a better paying job in Fiberglass in Ashton, RI, and things started to look a little better as far as money coming into our home. We were now in St. Louis Parish and our family liked the change very much. Besides attending Mass on Sundays and days of Obligation there were retreats during the Lenten Season and my parents saw to it that we attended them. I not only attended because my parents said so but also because I was still searching for that true reason for my life. It was during these years of 1940 to 1947 that I experienced God working through His people in ways that I did not fully understand at that time. I now realize and understand that God creates all people different and unique in accordance to His plan for each of us.
During the time that I worked at Fiberglass, I did come into contact with man good people. One special one was Gene Tellier and we became good friends for many years. Many of them had sympathy for me because of my poor eyesight and they gave me transportation back and forth from work.
After a few years at Fiberglass, I then started to look for a new job closer to home and one that didn’t require extra good vision. I did find a job at the Glenard Wollen Mills with the help of my uncle Roland Barrette, my mother’s brother. He was a supervisor or a foreman in the spinning dept. Well, I worked for a few months under a Mr. Bacon who was foreman of the packing and shipping dept. All of the people I worked with were very nice to me and they all helped me to carry out my work. Regardless of what job I had I sometimes needed help because they all realized that I had poor eyesight and at times made mistakes.
I then moved on to a different job at the Woonsocket Falls Mills in the packing and shipping department. I had come to realize that this type of work was right for me because it required less keen eyesight. I worked there for about a year or so. It was now either late in 1941 or early in 1942 that the US Rubber company reopened their plant on Fairmount Street in Woonsocket, RI. I had found that my Mother, her sister, and her father had all worked there some years back. My mother told me that my grandfather received some kind of pension from the US Rubber company and this was something like that that made me apply for a job there. It was now in 1942 and the US Rubber Company had reopened because of
the war that was declared against Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7,
1941. I did apply for a job and was hired. I am very grateful for the US Rubber Co., for the many years of employment and the United Rubber Workers of America(C.I.O) the labor Union for all the numerous benefits I enjoyed and am still enjoying now. I worked there until November of 1969 which was 6 or 7 months before US Rubber Co or Uniroyal Inc which was the name of the company closed and moved down south.
I was 18 years old then and like all the boys of my age, we were being drafted into the armed forces of our county because of the declared war with Japan. I remember going to Providence, RI for the initial examination for the possible induction into the armed services. I was disappointed but I was not too surprised that I did not pass the physical exam because of my limited eyesight. I found out through my grandfather’s record that the US Rubber Co had a very good pension plan and that I was not able to serve in the service gave me enough reason to stay working there.
I enjoyed working there for better than 26 years. I met and came into contact with a great number of good people much too numerous to mention all of them. I found the love of God working always with people, places and time. The wages I received there were good enough for me to enjoy life much better.
These next years of 1942 to 1947 brought on a few challenges for me in my life.
All of these obstacles, challenges and personal goals brought me on to the next step of my search
7. Seventh Step on my Search
Now that I was rejected for military service of our country and that I had a steady job, I believed that at least these two challenges or goals of my life were met.
I was time for me to go on to own my own home and deep inside of me I was looking forward to meeting a girlfriend that would marry me and spend the rest of her life with me and raise a family. I had learned from my parents that the raising of a family was the primary reason and one of the most important achievements for those who are called to that vocation. Since I felt physically inferior in some ways I at times felt that those goals in life were beyond my personal reach. I just went along from day to day from one thing to another hoping that the next day would be better.
While all of these thoughts and actions were taking place in my life I never lost faith and trust in God. I was always confident that He would show me the way to a more rewarding reason for my life here on earth. I will always thank God for inviting me to the many retreats for I believe that it was then that I learned of the only true reason for my personal life. It was then that I did learn about my self-worth through the appreciation of the basic fact and belief that God loves me just the way He made me. All I had to do was accept Him and His works and He would be my eyes in my daily life. There were times in my life that I felt kind of disappointed and somewhat cheated. It was only with the love of God and my parents that I received the help and the necessary strength to carry on.
Just about that time is when I joined the Woonsocket Deluxe Sporting Club and that turned out to fill a big gap in my life. It did give me a place to go, to meet new friends, and take part in some sporting activities even though I was kind of limited physically. I don’t know how I did it but I did get to be an officer of the WDS club and later on did get to be elected as President. I did have a lot of good times and to this day I still enjoy very fond memories. We did get involved in many parades, camping trips, hiking trips, fishing trips as a group. We also took part in many individual sporting activities like tennis, swimming and bowling, etc., etc.
Although I had very poor eyesight I will always be grateful for the help I received from the members and friends. It wasn’t too long after that time that for some of us the WDS came to lack importance in our lives. Quite a few of the members had met girlfriends, got married and sort of lost interest in social or sporting events. Anyway, I realized that life had other demands and a lot of us responded to these demands. Because of the lack of interest in the WDSC, it became apparent that the WDSC was going to dissolve.
8. Eighth Step on my Search
I believe that it was either 1945 or 1946 that I met a girl (my wife Lillian) through one of my friends. From that day on my life took a more mature and serious path. I went out with her for about one year or so then I proposed marriage to her and she accepted. We were married on June 28, 1947 in Holy Family Parish Church, in Woonsocket, RI. I remember that our courtship was a very quiet and mature one.
In no way was it like the movie screen or storybooks. Like many of my friends who were getting married, we were faced with the usual problems of finding a tenement, furniture etc. It was tough to get started but with the help of God and my family, we made it as best we could. It was certainly good of my parents and my brothers and sisters to let us share their tenement. I was blessed to have a wife who was easily satisfied with the material things of life. That made my task of getting those things a lot easier for me. At that time tenement were very hard to find so we lived with my parents for about a years and a half. Then we moved from one tenement to the other pretty often always looking for a better and more comfortable place to live in and start raising a family.
For seven years (1947 to 1954) we kept on looking for a comfortable house that we could make a home for our two children. I had always wanted to either buy or build a house that we could afford to live in and raise a family our own way.
Then in March of 1954, we looked at a house on Elm Street in Blackstone, Ma and believed that is what we needed and could afford. Well, it turned out that we purchased that house and for 30 years had a great deal of success in making it a home for all of us. I was also very pleased that our new home was located in St. Theresa’s Parish. In Blackstone we had a choice of belonging to St. Paul’s Parish or St. Theresa’s parish and because of my early childhood days, St. Theresa’s was my choice. Through all of these years of trying to raise a family, we had some pretty good time and other times that were not so good. The one big reason that we never lost hope for the future is that my wife Lil and I never lost faith and hope in our Lord and God. During these 30 years with the help of God, we did bring 8 children into this world of ours. We have 5 boys and 3 girls and are still working on the task of bringing them up the way God wants us to. For all of these blessings we received we are and always will be grateful and we give special thanks and praise to God.
Now I would like to share with you the 30 years we lived at 116 Elm Street in
Blackstone. Let me first mention that at that time (1954) my wife Lil and I had only two children. Our first was Robert, Born August 9, 1949, and our second was Anita, born Nov 15, 1950. We were expecting our third child and that was
Paulette who was born on July 18th, 1954 which was about four months after we bought our home at 116 Elm Street, Blackstone.
9. Ninth Step on my Search: The Apostle Paul fell off his horse but I fell off a second story porch.
Now that I was living in Blackstone I was glad to know that I had a choice of what parish (either St. Theresa’s or St. Paul) we could join. Because of my early school years and the many people I had come to know, St. Theresa’s became to be and is still my favorite parish. One of the first things I did was to join the Legion of the Sacred Heart. The member of that league and the events connected to that League bring on memories that I will remember for many years to come. I did want to know better all the people that I remembered from my early childhood. Some of the families that to this day remain quite dear in our hearts are the Dalpe’s, the Jobin’s the Landry’s, the Plouffes, the Trottiers, the Giguires, and the Berniers. I am sure that my Mother could add many more to that list.
We had been in St. Theresa’s Parish only a few short years (1957) when an event
took place in my life that changed me personally. It was on Labor Day in Sept. of 1957 that I came very close to leaving my wife Lil to raise our children by herself. This came about when I fell off the second story porch of the house my Mother in law, Mrs. Aline Renaud owned on Lincoln Street in Woonsocket, RI. My uncle Ernest Barrette and I had agreed to build a roof over the second story porch. I don’t remember exactly how it all happened that I fell down and the end results is that I was transported to the Woonsocket Hospital. I stayed in the intensive care unit on the first floor of the hospital for three weeks in a state of unconsciousness or coma. Although I had a few broken ribs and a severe concussion to my head it surely was not in God’s plan for me to die. God surely listened to the prayers of my many friends and relatives who came to visit daily. The doorman at the Hospital was heard to say that he had never seen so many people praying and waiting to come in and visit me. In my life I always believed in the power of prayer and that this time without a doubt provided this fact to a lot of people.
God knows that my plan was to raise a family so He helped me out to carry on my vocation. It was with faith and trust in God that miracles do happen. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit we offer prayers of petition to our Lord Jesus who then intercedes for us to our God and Father in Heaven. After God had saved me from death my life from then on was to be different in many ways. I came to understand more fully the purpose of my life that God had planned for me. I sometimes believed that I am a little like St. Paul who was knocked off his horse to get on the right track or road to life. For me, it was falling down a roof and knocked unconscious that made me look at life in a totally different way. God surely was with me as I received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick.
After 3 weeks in the hospital, I was able to go home to fully recuperate. I was home for 8 months and still a bit shaky on my legs before I was able to go back to work. Because of the severe injuries I received in the fall from the roof I was limited to the type of work that I could do. It was with the consideration and help that I received from all my friends, relatives, co-workers, and the management of the US Rubber Co that I was able to return to work. There is a part of my life that I don’t remember fully, but one thing, I know for sure and will remember that with the help of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit all things are possible.
10. Tenth Step on my Journey: For the next twelve years I slowly tried to
get back to normal daily living.
From the time I went back to work (1958) to the year 1970 a great number of events took place in my life. It was during these years that I came into more personal contact with a number of persons who have made a tremendous effect on my life. These contacts gave me the assurance that I was on the road to complete my search for God.
It was also during these 12 years that my wife and I were blessed with 5 more children. Raymond was born on December 9, 1958, Jeanne was born on June 28, 1960, Ronald was born October 27, 1964, Steven was born on May 27, 1967, and Randy was born on May 23, 1970. Now that my wife Lil was 42 years old and I was 47 we came to a mutual decision that we believed what we had enough of 8 children to take care of. Although my wife was working at Tupperware and I was working at US Rubber Co it became certain that the US Rubber Co was going to close the Woonsocket Plant.
That fact began to cause me some very anxious thoughts. Where would I find a job to support my family? Could I do some other work? This caused me to worry is the fact that because I had poor eyesight I would have that much more problems such as traveling to work. A great disappointment I got was in November of 1969. It became a requirement in the State of Ma to have our eyes tested in order to renew our driving license. Well, it didn’t come as a great surprise to me when I failed the eye test and could not renew my driving permit. It was with the help, suggestion and guidance from a good many of my friends that I applied for my disability pension from the US Rubber Co and the Social Security Administration of the US Government. It was with the help of the officers of Local 224 of the URW (CIO) Mike Mahoney and Normand Thibeault that I was successful in getting my disability pension from the US (Social Security). I was denied a disability pension from the US (Social Security) for the first time I applied because I was not totally blind and they figured that I could do some other type of work to earn a living. With 3 appeals of 6 months each after testimony that I was refused employment I was finally accepted and classified as legally blind and I am now receiving my checks for disability monthly.
I have found out that when I have complete trust and faith in God’s plan for me, all types of problems are resolved for the good of all. Now that the decision was in and I was receiving my pension checks I thought my worries would be over but that was not the case. Deep inside me, I still would have liked to drive a car and got to work. I was only 46 years old then and I thought that I was too young to stay home all day long. The decision for me to accept my future life as part of God’s plan came only after some prayer on my part and the prayers of two of my closest friends. I could not accept this part of my life when I was depending on my patience alone. It was for sure that both Leo Doire and Ray Trottier were sent by the Holy Spirit of God to help me through those trying times. I found out later that both of these men had the same thing in common. Both of them had great trust and faith in God’s Plan for all of us here on earth.
11. Eleventh Steps on my Search: I am introduced and sponsored to a
In the month of August 1968, Leo was partly responsible for a great event in my life that I will never forget. This came about when I noticed a big change in Leo ’s smile. Although he was a man of great spiritual devotion there was something about him that I thought was different in many ways that aroused my curiosity. So one day I decided to ask him myself. When he came to my home on one of his many visits I asked, “Leo, what goes with you lately? What has happened to you?” I asked. Then in almost the same breath, I added, “I would like to know to that I can feel as joyful as you do.” His answer was simply, “I will show you someday soon and then you will see for yourself.” Well here is what happened in August of 1968. Leo told me to pack my suitcase because he and I were to go on a weekend trip. I had complete confidence in Leo so I went with him to Holy Spirit Institute in Spencer,
Once we arrive there he introduced me to a few men there and then said that he was going to leave me there for the weekend. He said that he would come and get me on Sunday of that weekend. We had gone on 3-day retreats together before but somehow this felt a bit different than the others. It was for me, a truly rewarding experience. It was for me 3 days of prayers, listening to a few Priests, lay speakers about a dynamic course in Christianity Living. It gave me the sensation of being much closer to Jesus than I had ever been before in my life. It was also for me an occasion to see and feel the working of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit together as One Person. I will always remember Leo for being my sponsor for that wonderful Cursillo weekend. I could fill a few pages with the names of the many friends I’ve met and the many wonderful things that have happened to me since that a weekend which was Cursillo #23, August 25, 1968.
I am sure that my Cursillo weekend has made and will make a big difference in my life and for this, I will always be thankful.
12. Twelfth Step on my Journey: I See God working through People
After my weekend in Aug. 1968, I learned a few things about my friends Leo and
Ray. I did not know this at the time but found out later that both of them were suffering from terminal sickness. I later learned that it was some type of cancer and heart problems. Of this, I am sure that they never told me about their problems and I never heard them complain about them. As I look back at these past years of 1968 to 1874 and remember Leo and Ray it gives me the strength to endure my aches and pains. Although these two friends of mine must have suffered much and that their days on earth were numbered, one could not tell by their smile or their faces and their concern for others.
I would like to mention the many visits Leo and Ray made to my home. This was during the first years that I was out of work because of my disability. Leo came one time to repair my countertops in our kitchen. As he became weaker because of his illness he still found time to visit just to kind of cheer me up. At that time I had not completely accepted my disability and lack of a job. Ray then came to help repair my bathroom and washroom and hallways. Very much like Leo, Ray came to visit just to kind of cheer me up.
I will never forget them because of their way they succeeded in cheering me up and giving me the strength to cope with my worries. They also reminded me that God works through people and with people, and in people to tell us that God will always be with us now and forever after.
Now let me give an example of what I just said about God working through people.
I use one of my closest friends Leo Doire as an example. All the time I could rely on him whenever I felt a bit discouraged or depressed he was there to give me comfort. One of the big things that impressed me the most is that Leo knew that he had cancer and he was dying. Although Leo knew that he had terminal cancer he never gave me any idea that he know about his condition physically. He was the type of a person that would have concern for others rather than himself. I believe now that he did know that the time for him to leave this earthly life was upon him. I understand that he had all the arrangements taken care of for his funeral Mass. I am told that he chose the music and the songs and the liturgy for his funeral mass. I know in my heart that Leo was ready to meet Father in Heaven and I pray that along with Jesus our brother he will watch over me until we meet again. Leo passed away on Sept. 28, 1972, just about the time I was starting to accept my physical limitations. Just the memory of Leo and the manner that he accepted his problems made my problems much easier for me to accept.
Leo had worked for many years for Millet Bros. Lumber handling all sorts of building materials. Although he was very good at building and repairing houses he never put material things first in his life. He used to say that the spiritual are the ones that God treasures most. It was like the time his house on Blackstone St. in Blackstone Ma burned down to the ground. He was heard to say this “Is only material things, just let us thank God that no one person was in the house at the time it burned down.” His life on earth as far as I know it was at many time like reading the Holy Bible and putting the words into action. Many times he gave me the image of my earthly father Antonio for he use to call me Son. Like many of the people in my life, in Leo Doire I found the workings of God in all three persons, Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
13. Thirteenth Step on my Journey: God never stops working with and
through His People
We read and learn from the Holy Scriptures how God worked with people form the
very beginning of time. We learn that God worked through the Prophets, and the
writers of the Bible both in the Old and the New Testament. God loved the people of this world so much that He worked through and with the person of our Blessed Virgin Mother Mary. I believe that it was God’s Plan for all of mankind to send His Son Jesus to show us the way back to Himself in Heaven.
I also believe that God sends people like Leo and Ray to be like road signs,
beacons of light, and good helpers. It is with this kind of help that we will not take the wrong detour on our journey or search for the right and true answers to the questions of life itself. I fully realize that our lives here on earth is full of detour signs, caution signs, helpful signs, stop and go signs of all kinds. Whenever we travel from city to city across our country we look for all sorts of signs. We look for the number of highways, the name of cities so as t to not to get lost. We at time get help and directions from people who know the part of the country we are at. When we do reach our city or place of destination we are very thankful for the many sings that helped us find our way. We must appreciate the fact that all of these signs are made by people, put up by people for the common good of all people.
Now some people might say, “What does the mention of these earthly signs have to
do with my spiritual journey through life in search of God?” My answer to that question is quite simple. We find this simple basic answer in the Holy Scriptures (the Holy Bible). We read that God will be with us forever till the end of time onto eternity.
There is no doubt in my mind that the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are always working through people, with people and in people of good intentions. We also are reminded during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the Great Amen to the Concluding Acclimation, “Through Him, with Him and Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours Almighty God and Father forever and ever. I fully realize that our Search for God in our earthly lives in an ongoing journey. That trip or temporary journey will be fully completed when we meet each other with Him face to face and all of our past friends and relatives.
Now I would like to close this part of my life journey in search of God in all three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This journey or search of mime here on earth will be a success if I only learn to see God in all three persons in the person or people that I come in to contact with.
It sure was God’s Plan to use people from the very beginning. After He created the earth and the entire universe He created the human race in Adam and Eve. God told them and he tells us also to go and multiply the human race. He did that so that all the human race could enjoy His Paradise with Him until eternity.
God made our journey through life back too Himself possible when He sent Hid Only Begotten Son Jesus. Jesus said it Himself when He said, “I am the Way, the Truth and The Life. No one goes to the Father except through me.”
I also believe that the reason He/Jesus sent the Holy Spirit is that we all need a helper to stay on the right journey to our Father in Heaven.
Let us all pray that we all accept God our Father, God our Brother Jesus and God our Helper. I am sure that at the same time we will also accept Their invitation for a life with them in Heaven for all eternity.
My Reward at the End of My Search and my life here on earth.
Here it is 1996 and I am now 73 years old. I will try to temporarily finish my recollection of my journey here on earth. I say this because no one know the amount of time I have left. All I do is remember all the good people of my life and see that a good number of them have finished their journey here on earth. I keep reminding myself of all the three for sure realities of life and that is We are born, we pay taxes and we will all die when God Calls us.
My life here on earth has been very challenging. There were times when I felt that I was not sure of what this life was supposed to be. After a great deal of evaluating my purpose of being here on earth, I have come to a wonderful conclusion. I honestly believe that I could not have made it all these years all by myself. Sure I had tough times, like everybody else, but one thing for sure is that I was never alone. From the time I was born God has been with me all the time.
Even with my poor eyesight, I can see God working in people and through people. I could go on and on the rest of my life just to try to mention all the help I have received from God’s people. We all have to remember that from the very beginning of time God told us that we will work to the sweat of our brows. He also told us that He would not leave us alone. All we have to do is ask and we will receive.I have come to the conclusion that I have been very blessed with all the help that I have received. I did try to remember a lot of people in my life but now I am going to mention some special ones.I can not possibly depend on my failed memory to mention all the people that have touched my life and have become a great influence on me. As I mentioned in the previous pages there were many I will never forget.The first and most important persons of my life here on earth are the three persons in one God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It was with their faith and trust in God that I was born of my mother Aurore and my father Antonio. I was part of their family of four boys and two girls, Clovis, Roger, Edgar, Normand, Theresa, and Pauline. There were many uncles and many aunts on both my Father’s and my Mother’s side of the family. There were also many cousins from these uncles and aunts, but I do not remember the exact amount. All my life I have been blessed with many, many friends and acquaintances. There were many during my school years.
There were many during my growing up years while in the Boy Scouts of America.
During my working years, there were hundreds and hundreds of more friends.Then came a very special friend and partner in my life who is my wife Lillian. We were blessed with a family of eight children, five boys, and three girls. The boys are Robert, Raymond, Ronald, Steven and Randy. The girls are Anita, Paulette and Jeanne. All my children have added more rewards to my life in their becoming parents of seventeen grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.Later in life, there came two special persons that has made a big change in my life. One of these persons is Leo Doire and the other is Raymond Trottier. I could write a book on the many ways they affected my life. As I mentioned in previous pages they were very special friends. Even at my age now I am still meeting new friends and I believe that life here on earth is an ongoing journey until the day when God calls my friends and myself back to Himself. Our Reward is in Heaven.Appendix: “A Review of My Life”Date of birth- November 14, 1923
1923 -1925 Lived in Woonsocket, RI on Wood Avenue
1925-1938 Lived in Bellingham, Ma on 18 Auclair Street
1929-1938 School Years
1929-1931 St. Theresa’s Parish School, Blackstone, Ma
1931-1938 South School, Bellingham, Ma
1938-1954 Lived in Woonsocket, RI
1938-1948 419 Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket, RI
1948-1954 Rathburn Street, West Street, Providence Street, Woonsocket,
1954-1984 Lived at 116 Elm Street, Blackstone, Ma
1984- 2003 Lived at 105 Summer Street, Blackstone, Ma
I married Lillian Renaud on June 28, 1947
Between the years 1947 and 1970 were gifted with eight (8) children-5 boy and 3
1. Robert- August 9, 1949
2. Anita- November 15, 1950
3. Paulette- July 18, 1954
4. Jeanne-June 28, 1960
5. Raymond -December 9, 1957
6. Ronald -October 27, 1964
7. Steven -May 27, 1967
8 Randy -May 23, 1970
Here are some of the highlights of my life that I can remember and some other that I do not remember and were told to me by my parents, or relatives or friends.
1938 Big Hurricane, My first job at Leo’s Bakery
1939 Work at Fiberglass in Aston, RI
1940 Work at Glenmack Mills, Woonsocket, RI & Falls Yarn, Wonsocket
1941 Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor – War is declared
1941 – 1970 Work at US Rubber Co, now Uniroyal Inc.
1941 – 1957
1941 – 1947 As a member of the Woonsocket Deluxe Sportsman Club
I attended many sporting events and many war efforts like waste
paper drives, blood donating drives etc., etc., etc.
1947 Was married to Lillian Renaud on June 28 at Holy Family Church in
1947 – 1954 Moved from tenement to tenement looking for a better place to
live and raise a family.
1954 – 1984 (30 years)
We bought and lived in a home at 116 Elm Street in Blackstone, Ma.
1955 (?) Most rivers overflowed into Harris Pond, horseshoe Dam overpowered by earth washed away– Social Flatlands in Woonsocket RI flooded out.
1978 The great “Blizzard of 1978” all of society was virtually “stranded or
homebound” We found that we lived through the ordeal because all people came together to work this out for the common good of all.
1957- Fell off 2nd Story porch – unconscious for 3 weeks
1958 Went back to work on many different jobs that did not require the bestvision
1969 Because of new eyesight requirements from the Motor Registry I
could not renew my driving license. I applied for my disability pension from
Uniroyal and Social Security and after 18 months I was accepted by both.
1970 Uniroyal closes its doors– I worked there for 26 years, my number 8th
child born Randy, May 23rd 1970, my granddaughter Susan Badeau was born
Sept 10, 1970
1968 I attended my Cursillo Weekend #23, on August 25, 1968
1970 – 1973 These years brought major change in my life. I lost my job when the Uniroyal plan closed its doors. My last child was born on May 23, 1970, I became a grandfather when Anita’s daughter was born. I then started on my attempt to accept life with all my problems.
1973 – 1984 These years were spent more or less in a kind of fog. I was till trying to go on with the rest of my life.
1984 – 1996 We sold our home at 116 Elm Street, Blackstone and bought a
home on 105 Summer Street, also in Blackstone, Ma.
I have made my home here in Blackstone for over 40 years now and I plan to live
out the rest of my life here.