WARWICK — Father Roger C. Gagne, pastor of St. Peter Parish and St. Peter Tri-Parish School, has been honored for his outstanding leadership role in Catholic education.
Diocesan Catholic Schools Superintendent Daniel J. Ferris surprised Father Gagne by presenting him with the 2017-2018 Diocese of Providence Distinguished Catholic School Pastor Award before the final blessing as he celebrated 10 a.m. Mass for the school students on the Feast of the Ascension, Thursday, May 10.
The presentation included a certificate of recognition, a letter of commendation from Bishop Thomas J. Tobin and a handsome handcrafted clock engraved with Father Gagne’s name, the year and the name of the award.
Ferris said that Father Gagne was recognized for ensuring that St. Peter School is rich in the life and practice of the faith.
“Father Gagne has guided and shepherded St. Peter’s Tri-Parish School for almost 20 years, along with the pastors of St. Benedict and St. Timothy parishes, and he has been directly involved in Catholic education for most of his priestly ministry,” Ferris said of the decision to present this year’s award to Father Gagne.
“He schedules Masses throughout the year for the school community and his well-crafted homilies turn the mysteries of the faith into simple lessons that the children can understand,” he said.
Ferris said the presentation of the diocesan award was planned with school officials to coincide with their celebration of pastor appreciation.
Principal Joan Sickinger, along with school staff and students, presented Father Gagne with flowers, and each student gave their pastor handmade cards with colorful drawings and expressions of gratitude.
After Mass the school community gathered for a celebration in the church hall with cookies and cake.
“For him it is all about the children,” Principal Sickinger said of Father Gagne. “He seldom takes a vacation, even in the summer. When we plan the school Masses for the coming school year, he always chooses a day that has a special feast or saint — even if it is his day off.”