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Hudson~Litchfield News

Hudson~Litchfield News Volume 22 Number 15 October 21, 2011 20 Pages Cemetery Tour

Litchfield’s Kayla Flaherty Good Will Ambassador at Peruvian

Festival de Primavera

submitted by Robyn Olson Kayla Flaherty of Litchfield recently had the honor of representing the United States as an Ambassador of Good Will at the 61st Annual Festival de Primavera in Trujillo, Peru. Flaherty was one of a dozen young baton- twirling athletes from across the U.S. selected due to her reputation as a competitor and as a person. As guests of the International Lions Club of Trujillo, the twirlers, along with queens representing each North and South American country, were an integral part of the festival. For two weeks Flaherty traveled the region performing onstage at a fashion show, at a horse show, an orphanage and women’s prison, as well as numerous other venues and parades. The festival celebrates the start of spring in Peru and Flaherty and her fellow twirlers were treated like rock stars. During the course of the festival they met with the Governor of Trujillo, the Lions Club of Trujillo President, as well as the CEOs of the various event sponsors. As the first ever representative from the State of New Hampshire, Flaherty passed on well wishes and mementoes from this great state. Travel of any kind, but especially foreign travel, provides an educational experience that cannot be matched in the classroom. This trip provided Flaherty with a unique perspective of the culture of not only Peru, but of all the countries and areas from which each of her fellow performers and queens hailed. Since returning home, most of the troupe members

Ambassador Girl Scout, Laura DeAngelis (left), will bring Hudson history and figures like Kimball Webster (portrayed by Tom DeAngelis) back to life on her October 23 Tour of the Cemeteries.

by Maureen Gillum We drive and walk right past them, often with little thought - almost a dozen cemeteries in Hudson, including Hills Farm, Blodgett, Westview, St. Patrick’s, and Senter. While some find graveyards morbid and spooky, others consider them serene and quiet. Hudson’s five town-owned and six private cemeteries are important links to our past and reveal much about our community today, as one Hudson Girl Scout’s community project proves. “I’ve always liked cemeteries. I find them relaxing and peaceful,” shared Laura DeAngelis, a 17- year-old Ambassador Girl Scout. “Walking through Ford Cemetery near my house and looking at the old headstones, I’ve often wondered what the lives of those buried there were like.” An Alvirne senior, Laura selected to chronicle Hudson’s 11 cemeteries as her Gold Award service project. The requirements for the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts, are extremely strict and rigorous; very few girls achieve it. The project mandates 80-plus hours of work time, must benefit the community (not just Girl Scouts), and be something new, needed, and sustainable. After extensive meetings over months with her troop’s leadership, Girl Scout Council, Hudson cemetery trustees, and the Hudson Historical Society, Laura’s Gold Award service project began to take shape. Initially, her objective was to document all of Hudson’s cemeteries in a brochure, slated to be available next June at the town hall, Rodgers Memorial Library, and on-line on the town web site (www. However, to involve more people, leadership development, and interactivity, Laura added a live 60-90 minute Tour of Hudson Cemeteries, including scripted character re-enactments of some of Hudson’s most renowned ancestors, like Kimball Webster, Dr. H.O. Smith and Captain Thomas Colburn.

“In short, the cemetery tour is a

way to bring a bit of Hudson history to life,” Laura enthusiastically detailed, “We’ve worked hard to make this fun, interactive and educational for the whole family!”

“I look upon this project as a

‘living history’ project,” concurred Ruth Parker, a Director at the Hudson Historical Society (www., who aided DeAngelis. “As we routinely pass the cemeteries, it is worthwhile to have some knowledge of the historical characters laid to rest within their walls.” As part of the project’s sustainability, Laura and Parker also hope to incorporate some of the cemetery project into the Town History Tour given annually to Hudson third and fourth graders. Once, completed, the cemetery brochure will also be maintained on-line by Hudson’s Cemetery Trustees. “I’m really proud of the initiative

Laura has taken with her Gold Award service project. She’s put in a lot of time already and done a great job of planning and managing,” commended, Rhonda O’Keefe, Troop 10279 Girl Scout leader. “The history of the cemeteries and the stories of the Hudson residents who are buried there have really turned out to be fascinating to all the girls in our troop. We’re also very grateful to the folks from the Hudson Historical Society and Cemetery Trustees who have helped so much with this remarkable community project.” After months of work and

research, Laura is “very excited” about her one-night cemetery tour open and free to all on the Sunday before Halloween. She estimated she’s already invested 60 hours into the project and it will likely top 100 hours at its culmination. “This is really big for me,” declared Laura, “It has taught me a lot about leadership, taking charge and following through to get something done.”

Care to peek into Hudson’s past and meet the likes of Dr. Alfred and Virginia Hills, Private Joseph Blodgett, Jessie Norwell or Kimball Webster? Join Laura of her troop at the Hills House (211 Derry Road) this Sunday, October 23 (4-7 p.m.) for a brief journey back in time via Hudson’s cemeteries. Don’t forget bring good walking shoes and a flashlight. The tour concludes at the Hills House at 8 P.M. for refreshments and Q and A. The event promises to be a historical adventure for all.

Evelyn Medeiros with Father Joe Cooper

submitted by Laurie Jasper “To the servant of God … every place is the right place,

and every time is the right time.” Saint Catherine of Siena St. Kathryn Parish in Hudson hosted a “Hail and Farewell” reception on Saturday evening, October 15, to welcome its new pastor, the Rev. Joseph M. Cooper and to honor the Rev. Gary J. Belliveau for his 18 years as pastor. Fr. Gary’s new assignment is pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Portsmouth. Fr. Joe began his pastorate at St. Kathryn’s on September 6, after serving nine years as pastor of St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester. I recently sat with Fr. Joe to learn a little bit more about this genial, kindhearted man of God.

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Kayla Flaherty holding one of many children of Trujillo, Peru. No matter where you’re from, a hug is a universal language.

have already been in touch through Facebook, sharing photos and memories and making plans to meet again at twirling competitions across the U.S. Kayla Flaherty is a freshman at Emmanuel College in Boston where is she is earning a degree in psychology and childhood education. A 2011 graduate of Campbell High School, Flaherty shared her twirling talent with fans of the Cougars Football Team and plans to continue supporting her school as a featured twirler and member of the dance team at

continued to page 10- Flaherty

left: Governor of Trujillo, Peru, Kayla Flaherty, President of the Lions Club of Trujillo, Peru

Welcome, Fr. Joseph Cooper

Fr. Joe was born September 17, 1958, on Long Island, NY, to an Irish Catholic family, the sixth of seven children and the elder twin to brother Michael, who passed away two years ago. Sadly, his eldest brother is also deceased, but he is very close to his three sisters and remaining brother and their families. An accomplished musician, he received his undergraduate degree in organ performance from Hofstra University in 1980. He obtained his master’s degree in music education from Hofstra and taught for three years as a lay person. He then entered the Capuchin Order and continued to teach music, Language Arts, Social Studies and Religion for 11 years. Capuchins embrace the contemplative lifestyle of St. Francis of Assisi. He was ordained a Capuchin Priest on November 18, 1995, and was assigned to St. Anne Church in Manchester. In 1997, Bishop Leo O’Neil recruited Fr. Joe to work in the Diocesan Worship Office; he later also became the Bishop’s Master of Ceremonies at the Cathedral. In 1998, the Capuchin Province was set to transfer him to New York; Fr. Joe made the decision to leave the Capuchin Order and remain in New Hampshire. He has been a priest for the Manchester Diocese since 2001. He became pastor of St. Joseph Cathedral in 2002. Originally, Fr. Joe was appointed the new pastor of St.

Aloysius of Gonzaga Parish in Nashua, effective September, 2011. He did missionary work in Bolivia and is familiar with the Spanish language. However, he was concerned that his understanding of the Spanish language was inadequate to properly perform his duties as pastor, most notably during confessions. He learned of the availability of St. Kathryn’s the week after he had been assigned to Nashua. St. Kathryn’s criteria and Fr. Joe’s interests matched so perfectly, he asked to be considered for the Hudson position. His appointment was made official on August 11. “I never felt as welcome anywhere as I did here. I attribute that to Fr. Gary’s good ‘P.R.’ on my behalf. When I met with him and he explained things that are done here, I would say, ‘we do that, too.’ So, even though we really didn’t know one another well, we were running parallel tracks the whole time.

continued to page 10- Fr. Cooper

Brings Hudson History to Life

Photo by Maureen Gillum Staff photos by Len Lathrop Courtesy photos

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