The Flowers of Life

Last Sunday, the “Basilica Brides” piece ran in the Lewiston Sun Journal.  My lovely neighbors, Dot and Alfred (Breezy) Galgovitch were one of the couples featured in the article.  The front page of the “B” section showed them in early wedded bliss, posing on the steps of the Basilica on June 25, 1946.  Breezy had just returned home from serving with the 10th Mountain Division of the 5th Army in World War II.

Dot and Breezy are a popular couple.  Everyone in town knows and loves them.  I was at their house briefly on Sunday and their phone rang and rang with congratulatory messages about their newspaper fame.  It was like they were newlyweds again.

Seventy-one years of marriage.  They deserve some recognition and fame.

My phone rang a few times too.  One caller, Jacqueline Bellegarde, called me to relay a Basilica story.  I was able to confirm what she said by doing some quick newspaper research.

On Saturday morning, June 24, 1944, Jacqueline’s father, Thomas Marquis stopped at what was then known as Saints Peter and Paul church to recite his morning prayers.  While praying in a pew in the rear of the church, he died of heart failure.

Oddly enough, according to his daughter and his obituary, his father Aurele Marquis “died in a similar manner 14 years earlier.”  Not at Saints Peter and Paul church, but at St. Mary’s Church on Cedar Street.

The day Thomas Marquis died, there were two weddings at Saints Peter and Paul church.

What more is there to say?  The Basilica was a busy place.  Babies were born and baptized, children made their first communion and were confirmed; men and women married in the church.  They died and were buried.  Speaking of which, in the event I can’t score an interview with the Bishop this week, my last piece on the Basilica may very well be on Saint Peter’s Cemetery.

What with all this talk of sacramental ceremonies, it’s a good time for an October floral interlude.

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