It was about nine years ago when Jeff Pelletier, a lifelong communicant of the former Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, now part of Holy Trinity Parish in Woonsocket, felt a strong inspiration to take his faith to a higher level of service.
“My older son had done a youth search at the CYO Center in Woonsocket and we went to the closing Mass and I just saw how much it affected him and all the other youth that were there, it just ignited something in me,” Pelletier says.
Soon after, when his son was preparing for his confirmation, Pelletier decided to get involved in the parish’s faith formation program as a teacher and has remained committed to that ministry ever since.
In 2012, he participated in an adult search which served to stoke even more the passion to serve that already kindled within him.
About two years later, Deacon Robert Lafond approached Pelletier about forming a Men of St. Joseph group at the parish.
The Men of St. Joseph pledge to be faithful in their baptismal call as they hold fast their Christian ideals and attributes in their everyday lives.
“I just asked him when and where he needed me to be. I told him that I was all in,” Pelletier says.
Deacon Lafond led the group for two years before handing the reins over to Pelletier.
“For the past couple of years I’ve been the leader, but as far as I’m concerned, I get probably more out of the group than I necessarily put into the group,” Pelletier says.
“It’s a great brotherhood. The men that I’ve met in the group are remarkable men. We learn from each other, we support each other, we pray for each other.”
The ministry of the Men of St. Joseph revolves around the movie “Courageous,” a 2011 independent Christian film in which a group of law enforcement officers facing a tragedy sign a pledge to become better Christians and better parents.
Along with his wife Lynne, who is also generous in offering her service to her parish, the Pelletiers have three children, Emily, 21; Jonathan, 18; and Thomas, 14.
Pelletier is proud to note that all three of the couple’s children have been altar servers and all have also volunteered to serve in their middle teen years in the “Catholic HEART Workcamp” in Florida. The camp provides parish youth groups, teens and adult leaders service opportunities to restore homes and hearts, feed the hungry, lift the spirits of children, bring joy to the elderly and disabled and offer assistance while partnering with social agencies.
“To me, as a parent, it’s amazing to see them step up and do that service for others,” Pelletier says.
From his parents, he learned how to live his faith. While faith continues to play a strong role in his life, he prefers to live that life simply.
“I don’t seek recognition for anything I do,” he says. “It’s humbling to realize how the things that I do affect people’s lives. The willingness to help out is part of me.”
Pelletier, an electrical engineer who since 2004 has co-owned Control Automation Group along with fellow engineer Eric Freitas, enjoys quietly helping his parish community in any way that he can.
Although he has served weekly as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion for several years, and a lector for about the last two years, he sees these ministries as more of his weekly obligation to help the parish and not service above and beyond for which he should be commended.
“I consider it an honor, but it’s part of my being at Mass,” he says.
That is why he makes himself available whenever needed in other areas to help others grow in their faith. That includes volunteering to be submerged in the Dunk the Dad tank after an accurate throw by a participant at the annual parish carnival.
Alicia Rochefort, a pastoral assistant at the parish, nominated Pelletier for the Lumen Gentium award for parish service.
“Jeff does not boast about the time he spends volunteering or the people he assists with his service,” she says. “I know this because I see him working or I hear other people talking about his service and commitment. Jeff’s sense of service and ministry also carries over to his family.”
— AWARDS BANQUET —
The honorees will be awarded during a dinner at Twin River Event Center in Lincoln on Wednesday, May 15.
Guests wishing to purchase tickets to the dinner — whose proceeds will support Diocesan Youth Ministry — are asked to register online at dioceseofprovidence.org/lumen-gentium-awards.
For more information, please call 401-277-2121.