This is one of my favorite days on vacation – the day I call my “Catholic Good Girl” day. It’s the day Joseph and I drive north to Winter Harbor and go to Mass at the tiny St. Margaret’s Church on Grindstone Neck. The chapel as built years and years ago to accommodate the Irish kids who worked for the wealthy summer cottage owners. Now it services the summer Catholics so they don’t have to drive to St. Joseph’s in Ellsworth. The Saturday before Labor Day is the last service for the summer.
We drove from Town Hill to Bunkers Harbor in Gouldsboro. We parked and walked along the shore for a couple miles. I love this walk. There’s something about the combination of the rocks and trees leading up to the shore and the endless horizon that makes my insides relax and my heart feel happy.
We walked until 3:45, getting back to the car with just barely enough time to get to Grindstone Neck and St. Margaret’s. I got into church just as the priest was at the top of the aisle waiting to “process” to the altar. I grabbed a hymnal and mass card and followed him down the aisle to an empty pew. Joseph had stopped to use the bathroom (an outhouse outside the front door of the church) but he joined me a few minutes later.
The priest, Father Cahill, is a tall, gray-haired, craggy-looking guy. In his homily he was a former pastor and is now the parochial vicar from St. Joseph’s. He was a likeable guy. Based on the way he said Mass, including some one-man singing, he seemed to be a fan of the dramatic. But he gave a good sermon and I enjoyed the mass.
When it was over, Joseph and I helped the “organizer” – Rose, a midlife schoolteacher – to close the place down for the winter. That includes flipping up the pew cushions, locking the windows, taking down the alter cloths, etc. We like doing that, and only one other person stayed behind to help, so we know Rose appreciates it.
Afterward I tried to find a new bar I saw on the way up, but I couldn’t. So we went back to the Pickled Wrinkle in Birch Harbor before going to Schoodic Point for sunset.
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Every year, for the last 19 years, I trek to Maine. Find out what keeps me returning year after year in The Maine Diaries.