Award winner dedicated to life of parish, blessed to serve for 40 years

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Louis DeMascole has been a member of St. Gregory the Great Church in Warwick for more than 40 years and will soon be honored with a Lumen Gentium Award in Parish Service for his decades-long dedication to a church that has meant so much to him.

DeMascole is a man of deep faith who always tries to live the Gospel message in all he does, said his pastor Father Alfred Ricci, who nominated him for the award.

In his time at St. Gregory’s, DeMascole has served in many different capacities. He is a member of the Parish Council, after serving twice as president, a member of the Parish Finance Committee, a Eucharistic Minister and third–degree Knight of Columbus. DeMascole presently serves as one of the Parish Trustees. Outside of the parish, he volunteers weekly at Hospice Care Rhode Island.

“Deep within you, you have to have this rooted feeling that you want to help, that you want to give of yourself,” said DeMascole. “I feel fortunate and recognize all that I’ve been blessed with and I just want to give back. Your Catholic faith strengthens that desire to help. We do have a responsibility to help one another and my church is the place that I have always wanted to give.”

DeMascole served as chair of the parish’s first capital campaign in 1991 to build the existing parish offices and classrooms. He served once again as chair for Project 2000, which financed more classrooms, a new gathering space and a new entrance to the Religious Formation Center. He was also the first chair of the Evangelization Committee to help encourage more participation and reach out to new parishioners.

Father Ricci shared that among all of the wonderful service he devotes to the parish, DeMascole is more to St. Gregory’s than just a member of these committees — he is also a man of the church, attested by his deep dedication to the parish.

“Lou, who is often referred to as the ‘Mayor of St. Gregory’s’ always has the best interest of St. Gregory’s,” said Father Ricci. “He has consistently encouraged active participation from both old and new parishioners. He has personally recruited parishioners for vacant ministries, so as to keep those ministries alive. Lou is a great example of dedication to the life of a parish. He has served unselfishly no matter who the pastor was, and there were many priests who have served here. If we could have ten Lou DeMascole’s in any parish, those parishes would be blessed.”

There’s a lot of challenges for Catholics today, explained DeMascole, adding that in order to serve the church well, you must always remain faithful and be focused.

“We have been lucky enough to have pastors at St. Greg’s to allow us to build community. We have to minister to one another and I’ve been a strong advocate of that,” he said. “Whatever you do in life it’s about building community — building our strong Christian community.”

Over the next several weeks, Rhode Island Catholic will feature profiles of the winners of the diocese’s 2018 Lumen Gentium Awards, which formally recognize those who ‘toil in the vineyard’ in service to the Lord, and minister to those in greatest need in their parish or community. The honorees will be awarded during a dinner at Twin River Event Center in Lincoln on Wednesday, May 16. Guests wishing to purchase tickets to the dinner — whose proceeds will support Diocesan Hispanic Ministries — are asked to register online at www.dioceseofprovidence.org/lumen-gentium-awards. For any questions about the event, please call 401-277-2121.