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Steering a big ship through choppy waters

Joyce juggles complexity as combined parish priest

The Rev. Peter Joyce, priest of the Blessed John Paul II Catholic Parish, spends a few moments with his dog, Thor. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
December 01, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — Rev. Peter Joyce is no stranger to complexities.

He's been in town since June 1987, but came here as the fifth priest in five years, with no guarantee of how long he'd be staying. At the time, he'd just finished a building project in his previous parish, and wasn't too excited about starting one here.

Since then, he's had to deal with the St. Mary's Ministry Center fire 12 years ago and the years-long resulting "debacle" surrounding the reconstruction effort. And now, he's shepherding the aftermath of merging four parishes at the same time the Vatican is starting the use of a new Mass translation.

He's not planning on going anywhere soon.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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