Courtesy of Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland

OQUOSSOC — A day to celebrate a special parish while also rejoicing together after a long pandemic apart is scheduled for the parishioners and community members in the towns of Our Lady of the Lakes Parish (Our Lady of the Lakes Church, Oquossoc; St. Luke Church, Rangeley; St. John Church, Stratton; Bell Chapel, Sugarloaf Mountain).

A “Welcome Home” celebration will be held at Our Lady of the Lakes Church, located on 43 Rangeley Avenue in Oquossoc, on Sunday, Aug. 22 from noon to 3 p.m.

“Our celebration will begin with an outdoor Mass followed by a picnic at the Mary Shrine in the field across from the church,” said Fr. Anthony Kuzia, CM, pastor of the parish. “The parish will provide the music, and all participants have to do is bring a picnic lunch and a lawn chair.”

Attendance is expected to be strong in this small, but close-knit community. The population of greater Rangeley, of which the village of Oquossoc is a part, numbers less than 2,000, but the special pride displayed by those who live there could exceed the biggest of cities.

Our Lady of the Lakes Church was built in 1908, primarily through the efforts of Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby, a legendary Maine outdoorswoman who was the state’s first licensed guide. A convert to Catholicism after convalescing in a Catholic hospital, she was authorized by letter from Bishop William H. O’Connell to accept donations “with a view to a chapel in the Rangeley Region.” It was the funds from residents and tourists and land donated by the railroad company that enabled Crosby to raise $5,000 and to see to the construction of the church.

The parish is asking for volunteers to help set up, clean up, and organize the celebration.

If you can assist in any way, contact Rick at 207-779-7502 or or call Suzanne at 617-957-6776.