News & Events

March 16, 2020

Statement of Bishop Thomas Tobin Regarding the Suspension of Public Masses in the Diocese of Providence

In light of the growing coronavirus crisis in Rhode Island, in response to the request of public officials, and upon the recommendation of health experts, I hereby direct that the celebration of all public Masses and other liturgical services be suspended in the Diocese of Providence effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020 and continuing until further notice.

The celebration of funerals and weddings may continue, but must be celebrated without Mass using approved liturgical forms. Every effort should be made to limit the size of the congregation to necessary participants only and the health precautions previously announced by the Diocese of Providence and the State of Rhode Island should be carefully followed.

To the extent possible, churches should remain open during the day for personal prayer, devotions and visits to the Blessed Sacrament. Individual confessions may also be heard during this time.

This is an exceedingly difficult and painful decision, but it is necessitated by our commitment to promote the health and well-being of our brothers and sisters, especially the frail and the elderly. That is a moral priority we should all share. May we continue to pray for and support one another in these very trying times, and through the intercession of Saint Patrick, Saint Joseph and Our Lady of Providence, may God be with us.

We are looking for our forgotten parishioners. Those who are unable to come to church due to illness, age, and/or lack of transportation. Is there someone you haven’t seen in church in a while? Someone who lives alone and has no family. If you know of anyone who would enjoy having communion brought to them, please let us know. These parishioners once were a vital part of St. Eugene Parish, let us not forget them in their time of need. Who knows… this small gesture may be the only contact they have with the outside world.

The K-5 CCD classes asked Father Dandeneau if they could interview him about Holy Orders on Priesthood Sunday. The students thanked Father Dandeneau for his service and presented him with handmade cards, cookies, and punch. The questions that the students asked and the answers Father Dandeneau gave have been reproduced below:

  1. Why did you become a priest?

I became a priest because I grew up believing in God, and I believe that God asked me to become a priest.

  1. When and how did you receive your call to become a priest?

My call to the priesthood was something that happened over time.  I started to receive it when I was between five and seven years old. By the time I was fourteen or fifteen, my calling became clearer and I was able to understand it better. I fully understood that I was being called when I was sixteen or seventeen, but I pushed it aside and went to college. When I was in college, the call became even stronger.  At first, I stayed away from God because I was afraid of giving my whole life to Him, but as my faith grew stronger, I finally accepted His call to the priesthood.

  1. What do you like about this lifestyle?

First, I like that I have been given a gift of closer friendship with Jesus and God the Father than I would have had if I had done something else.  Since the purpose of the priesthood is helping people to know and love God, I need to remain closer to Him so that I can do what He needs me to do for other people. Second, because I have a different lifestyle and fewer commitments than an unmarried man, I have the freedom to love others in a different and more profound way.  Since I'm not devoted to one particular person or family, I am able to offer love to everyone that I meet. When a priest gives up the chance to get married and have a family, he does so in order to enable him to love others in a unique way which is symbolic of the way that we will all live in heaven.

4) What advice would you give to a young person who is considering religious life?

Religious life is a wonderful calling from God. Don't be afraid if you are called to it, because it's from God and it's meant to help you love others more. Make sure that you stay as close to Jesus as possible by practicing the sacraments, praying often, and being the best person you can be. The better a person you are, the more prepared you will be for your calling when you grow up.

5) What is a typical day like for you?

My typical day involves taking care of the church and its needs. I say morning Mass at 7:30. After the end of Mass, I offer Eucharistic Adoration and leave the church open for prayer until 9:00. A group of people from the church regularly prays the Rosary at this time. I usually go to the office to do paperwork and deal with the church's bills either right after setting up for Eucharistic Adoration or after the end of the time for prayer, since the church needs to pay for electricity and repairs. I also prepare learning opportunities for adults, plan events for the youth group, and help coordinate five or six major fundraisers per year. The fundraisers are opportunites for the parish to get together, and I need to prepare for them with members of the parish. I spend time studying so that I can teach other people what Jesus taught. I also help groups like the St. Vincent de Paul society with charitable activities. Parish priests have several very serious responsibilities. Apart from all of the event coordination that I'm involved with, I help the parishioners of St. Eugene with their spiritual needs, including hearing confessions, providing spiritual guidance on request, working with people who are suffering, helping those who are poor and less fortunate, caring for those who are mourning the loss of a loved one, and responding to emergency requests for anointing of the sick. I also help prepare people to receive the sacraments by offering marriage prep and occasionally helping people with baptismal prep.

6) What are your hobbies and interests?

I have far too many hobbies! I like hiking, going to the movies, spending time with and visiting my friends, going to prayer meetings, learning about spirituality and mysticism, doing things with the youth group, and playing with my pet cat, Marty. I have a large family, so I have a lot of family functions. I spent a lot of time with my mother before she passed away.

7) Do you wish you could be married and have children?

Human beings have a natural desire for marriage and children, but when God asks you to do something, He gives you the power both to do it and be happy doing it. Besides, in a way, priests are actually married. We stand in Jesus' place, and Jesus is married to the Church. Likewise, nuns are married to Jesus. These marriages are spiritual rather than natural. Every parishioner is my spiritual child, which is why they call me Father.

8) What is one thing you dream of doing someday?

I dream of one day going to heaven.

9) Why can't girls be priests?

The Church doesn't feel that it has the right to do something that Jesus didn't, and there's no sign of any woman serving as a priest in the Bible. The Apostles were given priestly authority to preach and celebrate sacraments, and none of the Twelve were women. There was no evidence that any other woman was doing that, either.

10) What's the next church color?

The next major color will be violet, but there is one day before that when the priest can choose between three different colors. On November 2, All Souls Day, the color can be either white, violet, or black. Black is no longer in style, but I like it, so I'm going to try to wear black this year.  Another interesting thing to note about church colors is that gold and white are treated as the same color, but gold is usually used for special occasions.

11) How can I tell when I'm receiving the guidance of the Holy Spirit?

Remember that God loves you. He doesn't want you to feel bad or to do things that are bad for you or for others. When you're close to God, you'll know that God is guiding you because you'll experience the Fruits of the Holy Spirit -- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If you practice kindness, for instance, the Holy Spirit will give you the power to become even kinder. This is a sign that the Holy Spirit is with you.  However, these qualities or characteriztics are not just feelings, but rather qualities or characteristics that describe your life as a whole.

12) Can you tell me more about Holy Orders?

Jesus created Holy Orders for several reasons. First, the Church needed a structure of authority so there would be people to make final decisions about how the Church functioned. Second, Jesus was going back to heaven and wanted to make sure that people would still preach the Gospel and spread the faith. Holy Orders is also necessary to provide people with access to the sacraments. The sacraments are powerful and important, and must be protected and treated with care. Because of this, only members of the Church hierarchy can preside over the sacraments.  As boys will one day be men, they may be being called by God to the priesthood. Be open to it, because it's very important. Without priests, we wouldn't have the Eucharist, confession, or anointing of the sick.  Even though nuns are not given a special sacrament the way priests are, we need them too, because they remind everyone what life in heaven will be like. While it's difficult to give up the natural desire for marriage and children, being a priest or a nun is a gift from God. Don't be afraid if you receive the call, even if it seems strange – everyone is weird, so being "normal" would actually make you the strange one! Besides, it's more strange to say no to a gift from God than to accept that gift.  Receiving a call is not that uncommon – one in four people are called to either the priesthood or to religious life. Since you need to be an adult to follow this call, many people who become priests or religious go to college first. There are a number of different types of religious life, as well.  Some religious pray all day, while others teach, act as nurses, do school administration work, become missionaries, or have various other jobs and assignments.

THANK YOU to all the members of our Saint Vincent de Paul Conference and parishioners of St. Eugene Church who helped in anyway with the success of our soup night. Our “Free Will” donations of $1,429.00 will help greatly heating and feeding the people in our community who are in need of assistance. (A special thank you to the Glocester Lions Club for their very generous donation!) Thank you! St. Eugene Conference SVDP

The children in our CCD program, Grades K through 5, put on a pageant celebrating their favorite Saints.

Congratulations to the newest member of our St Eugene Parish community, Ella Marie Prendergast and to her parents and godparents.

St Eugene Parish's Youth Group won First Place for the Scariest Scarecrow in the annual Chepachet Scarecrow Festival.  The scarecrow was designed and constructed by members of the youth group.

We are looking for items for our penny social table. Donations of gift certificates, new or VERY GENTLY used items may be brought to the rectory no later than Oct. 25th. Thank you for supporting this important (and fun) event.

Last week 6 youth & 7 adults braved the “Outback” of Pulaski Park. Aidan Babbitt, Hunter Cassidy, Ian Parker, Christian King, Joseph McKitchen and Isabella McMahon along with Fr. Dandeneau, Barbara Laberge, Sarah Kiff, Nicole Previte, Mr. Joseph McKitchen, Raymond McMahon and the church secretary all took part in our first trail hike. The weather was perfect and a great time was had by all. A delicious “feast” of marinated chicken, potato salad, cole slaw, chips, smore’s (and you can’t forget the hot dogs!) were enjoyed at the Pavilion by the hungry hikers in front of an inviting campfire. A special THANK YOU to Mr. Joseph McKitchen for his talented cooking skills at the grill, to Barbara, Nicole and the McKitchen family for their generous donations toward the meal, and to Maryann McKitchen & Sarah Kiff for their help in transporting the hikers from trails end to the campsite. And last but not least, a very special THANK YOU to Fr. Dandeneau for leading us on this adventure!

Congratulations to Camden, Callan, Eden,and Remington Ashworth and to their parents and godparents on becoming baptised members of St Eugene Parish.

Congratulations to the newly installed officers of St Eugene Council Knights of Columbus



Congratulations to Olivia, her parents and godparents on her baptism of July 28th.


He is the Morning Star, He is the Life, He is the Redeemer, He is the Savior.  May His Blessings be upon you on Easter and Always!


Congratulations to Christian King, his dad Jason, his godparents Gayle and Steve King.


Congratulations to Benjamin Almonte, his parents Jennifer and Stephen and godfather Ernest Almonte.

The members of the St. Vincent dePaul Society would like to thank all the generous parishioners and CCD students who donated in any way to the Christmas food baskets, food pantry or Giving Tree.

St Eugene Council Knights of Columbus held their annual Christmas Party at The Harmony Lodge with Fr. Dandeneau.

On December 11th, St Eugene's Knights of Columbus, CCD students and Parish Choir joined to present a living nativity scene and Lighting of Christmas Lights.


The children of St Eugene Parish CCD classes grades K - 5 conducted a food drive to help those in need this Thanksgiving.

St Eugene Parishioners welcome our new pastor and wish him a Happy Birthday!



Our Blessed Mother needs your help. Please consider joining our Legion of Mary meetings. Thus far we have had eight Legion of Mary meetings. Our meetings are held on Thursday evenings at 6:30pm in the church hall classroom. Please come to see if the Lord is calling you to support our parish will your talents, prayers, and presence through this ministry. If you have any questions, please contact Alice at 401-722-6388.

Pastor TJ Varghese is transferred to St Luke parish.  We wish him well in all that the future brings.  He is loved and will be missed!

Thank you so very much for the great send off last weekend. I am grateful for your support during my pastorate and for your tremendous witness of faith, hope and love over the years.
I thank you for the many kind words, best wishes, thoughtful cards and generous gifts. I wish to thank all those who helped with the reception, especially Helen Suess, Marie Robidoux, Deanna DiSalvo and Odete McMahon, so I could say “Farewell” after the 10:15AM Mass. It was a wonderful time and I am so happy I was able to say goodbye to so many great people. I was so very pleased to celebrate my final Mass at St. Eugene’s with such a great group of Altar Servers and the music by our choir was superb as usual.
For anyone who has helped and supported the parish in any way and for all those who have been so very kind and supportive to me personally, I say thank you. I truly give thanks to God for all of you and also thanks for sending me to this incredible place we call St. Eugene. My first pastorate has been a great blessing in my life and I wish God’s continued blessings upon all of you and this parish. God Speed! Farewell my friends!