FORT KENT — A parish fundraiser that also served as a way to honor departed loved ones is a massive success at St. John Vianney Parish in Fort Kent.

“The Lighted Wreath of Remembrance” program offered the opportunity for those with family members or friends in ten parish cemeteries to purchase one of 400 solar lit wreaths in advance of All Souls’ Day, Advent, and Christmas.

“All 400 blessed and lighted wreaths were sold,” said Gale Rioux, office manager for St. John Vianney Parish. “The project was a first of its kind in the parish and the community showed overwhelming support.”

The fundraiser generated over $12,000 for parish ministries, and the community’s reaction to the cemeteries lit up at night has been amazing as well.

“They are saying that their loved ones ‘will not be forgotten this winter’ and that the lights ‘shine like stars in the night sky,’ said Rioux. “In this season, the wreaths bring hope and comfort for families. It’s a beautiful way to include all of the deceased in the upcoming season.”

The wreaths can be seen at St. Louis Cemetery in Fort Kent, St. Mary Cemetery in Eagle Lake, St. Joseph Old and New Cemetery in Wallagrass, Holy Family Cemetery in Daigle, St. Charles Old and New Cemetery in St. Francis, St. John the Evangelist Cemetery in St. John Plantation, Sacred Heart Cemetery in Soldier Pond, and St. Mary Cemetery in Allagash.