SALEM, N.H. — Drive by Mary Queen of Peace Church and your eyes will gaze at the 10-foot cross right in the middle of the church lawn at 200 Lawrence Road.
The one there now is a little different than the one that stood there before.
“I didn’t like the looks of it and wanted a nicer one,” said Richard Keyes, 86, who does odd jobs around the church.
He said the previous cross was a 2-by-4 held up by nails.
“To me, it’s a symbol of Jesus’ crucifixion,” Keyes said.
So he, his son and fellow parishioner Barry Pietrantonio replaced it.
The foundation was laid last summer and the cross was finished up a week before Lent. Keyes and his son, Richard, also a carpenter, built the cross on the elder Keyes’ 8-foot-long kitchen table. Keyes said he had to build the cross indoors because it was too cold for the glue to stick.
“I built it out of cedar because it’s light, strong and didn’t have any knots in them,” he said.
He said the project helped him get closer to God.
“Everything you do for the church helps you do that,” he said.
Born in Methuen, he moved to Salem in 1966 and joined the Mary Queen of Peace the same year. When he returned from the Navy in 1946 after a three year stint, he started his career as a carpenter.
His next project at Mary Queen of Peace, part of Sts. Mary and Joseph Parish, is to convert the top on the baptismal fond into solid wood.
Bishop Coyle celebrates Mass in honor of Pope Francis’ election
METHUEN — Monsignor Arthur M. Coyle, regional vicar of the Merrimack Valley Region leads Mass celebrating the election and the beginning of the papacy of Pope Francis, Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Theresa Church, 22 Plymouth Ave.
Coyle will also be the homilist at the Mass.
Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Pope Francis became the 266th pontiff of the Catholic Church on Wednesday. He chose the papal name of Francis in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.
Pope Francis made history. He is both the first Jesuit pope and the first pope from the Americas. He is also the first pope from outside Europe since Pope Gregory III in the 8th century.
The Argentine native was ordained to the priesthood in 1969. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and in 2001, a cardinal.
:Abundant Grace, 127 Rockingham Road, Derry: Christian Coffee House, March 29, 7 p.m., featuring Christian music, open mic sessions and Christian comedy.
All Saints, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill: St. Anthony spring devotion is held Tuesdays at 6 p.m. with Rosary, followed by devotion.
Atkinson Congregational, 101 Main St., Atkinson: Cathy Dionne teaches an adult class about ‘Communion, March 24 at 8:45 a.m.
Ballard Vale United, 23 Clark Road, Andover: The series “Immigration and the Bible: A Guide for Radical Welcome,” Sundays 9 a.m. through March 24. The Lenten study looks at the stories of immigrants and migration from Abraham and Sarah in Genesis to the Israelites who wondered in the desert for 40 years and Jesus who immigrated to Egypt as a baby.
Christ Church, 25 Central St., Andover: Lenten lectionary based Bible study Sundays 9 to 9:45 through Palm Sunday. State Sen. Barry Finegold joins church members for the last session of “The Rich and the Rest of Us” Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Bishop Shaw has asked the diocese to read and discuss with the study guide
:Faith Lutheran, 360 S. Main St., Andover: Midweek worship services will be held from noon to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday. A soup and sandwich lunch follows. Pastor Marsha Heydenreich leads a Bible study group on “The Old Testament in Matthew,” Wednesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
First United Methodist, 57 Peters St., North Andover: “Facing the Cross” series continues tomorrow with “Facing Suffering” from Romans 8:18-19
Groveland Congregational, 4 King St., Groveland: Taize prayer, an ecumenical Christian service centered on scripture, silence and songs, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.
North Parish, 190 Academy Road, North Andover: The Green Sanctuary Film Series presents “Genetic Roulette,” April 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Discussion follows.
Sacred Hearts, South Main Street, Bradford: The topic of the Catholicism video Thursday 6:30 to 8 p.m. is “The Last Things.”
St. Anne, 26 Emerson Ave., Hampstead: Members of the youth group act out the different stations of the cross with narration and music, March 22 at 7 p.m.
St. Augustine, 34 Essex St., Andover: Evening prayer using the liturgy of the hours begins Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. through May 15. Catholicism series explores “World without End,” March 20 at 7 p.m. Tom Reynolds presents slides of the Holy Land, March 21 at 7 p.m.
St. Basil Salvatorian Center, 30 East St., Methuen: Tickets to the reverse raffle and dinner are available for $100. Drawing will be held April 17 at 6 p.m., and only 250 tickets will be sold. Grand prize is $5,000. Each ticket admits two people to a stuffed chicken dinner. Men’s evening of renewal takes place Monday, 6-7:15 p.m. featuring supper, prayer and song. Dennis Leblanc from the February Cursillo will speak. Monday Night Liturgy follows at 7:30 p.m.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal, 187 East Road., Hampstead: “Rhythms of Grace” a sensory friendly worship is April 6 at 2 p.m. The service includes Bible stories, interactive therapeutic arts and crafts projects, and gluten-free communion. The goal of the non denominational program is to meet the spiritual needs of children and their families living with autism-spectrum disorders.
St. James, Winter Street, Haverhill: Citywide youth Mass is tomorrow at 5 p.m. Reception follows.
St. Mary and Joseph Parish, 33 Main St., Salem: The Rev. John Michalowski leads a workshop on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius now through June. Participants will pray 45 to 60 minutes a day over the assigned scripture passages or meditations from Ignatius’ exercises, then write their experience in a journal. The program, called “Exploring the Catholic Faith,” where participants reflect on the Sunday Gospel and discuss it, continues Sundays, 7-8:30 p.m. through Easter. The parish’s Choral Ensemble and lectors will offer sacred readings about the Passion of Christ punctuated by sanctified songs March 22 at 7 p.m. Pastors from other Salem churches will join in the service.
St. Joseph Cathedral, 145 Lowell St., Manchester: Bishop Peter Libasci preaches on the spiritual works of mercy during the Lenten mission March 20 at 7 p.m. The bishop celebrates the feast of St. Joseph March 23 beginning with Rosary at 7:30 a.m., Mass at 8 a.m., followed by breakfast. Msgr. Anthony Frontiero is keynote speaker. Libasci leads Mass in honor of the Virgin Mary May 18. It begins with Rosary at 7:30 a.m., Mass at 8 a.m., followed by a catered breakfast. To register, log on to www.catholicnh.org/nhdccw.
St. Lucy, 254 Merrimack St., Methuen: Stations of the Cross Fridays at 5:30 p.m. followed by soup or pizza.
St. Matthew, 2 Searles Road, Windham: Lenten mission looks at the history of conversion from different Biblical characters. This week, is “Journey of the Magi,” from Luke chapter 2. Program starts with stations of the Cross at 5:30 p.m. followed by a soup supper and video presentation, reflection, questions and discussion.
St. Patrick, 118 S. Broadway, Lawrence: “Living Holy Week,” is the theme of the Lenten evening of reflection March 21 at 7 p.m.
St. Paul Episcopal, 166 High St., Newburyport: The parish hosts a progressive Lenten service with the five Episcopal churches in the Merrimack Valley, Wednesday at 6 p.m. Program include soup and bread supper, Lenten theme program reflecting the character and culture of the parish.
St. Paul Episcopal, 360 Main St., North Andover: The Women’s Book group reads “Mary Magdalene” by Diana Wallis Taylor, March 21 at 7 p.m. The Men’s reading group discusses “Painted Ladies” by Robert B. Parker, March 23.
St. Theresa of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, 22 Plymouth St., Methuen: “Perfect Love” a performance of monologues and music looking at the Passion of Christ through the eyes of Mary is presented March 22 at 7:30 p.m. and March 24 at 3 and 6 p.m.
South Church, 41 Central St., Andover: The Rev. Sarah Drummond is guest preacher during seminary Sunday tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. She is dean of the faculty and vice president for Academic Affairs at Andover Newton Theological School. “Stainer’s Crucifixion” music and worship service featuring the choirs of South Church, West Parish and Christ Church, March 29 at 7 p.m.
Trinitarian Congregational, 72 Elm St., North Andover: Renee Rivers, music director at Trinitarian Church performs the music of Mozart, Handel and Rachmaninov during a piano recital tomorrow at 2 p.m. Pastor Rich Knight leads a Lenten Book Club on “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife,” by Dr. Eben Alexander, Wednesdays during Lent at 10 a.m. or 7 p.m.