BANGOR – People from all corners of the community turned out to Saint John’s Catholic Church in Bangor.
The purpose of Wednesday’s service was to unite different faiths – all coming together for those impacted by the opioid crisis.
“We have diversity in our faiths, we have some common ground,” said Rabbi Darah Lerner of the Beth El Congregation. “[This service is] to remind us of what we share – our concern for community and family and healing.”
Father Anthony Cipolle has been helping to plan the service since he joined the parish last year.
“This shows our humanity, there are no boundaries,” said Fr. Cipolle.
Along with the general public, people on the front lines of the opioid crisis came out. Local city councilors, police officers, nurses, and fire chiefs were all in attendance. Prayers were given for those recovering from addiction and their families, but also to those who see the opioid crisis in their work life.
“It’s part of what they do for work, but it is stressful,” said Bangor Fire Chief Thomas Higgins. “There’s a lot more of it that we never used to see.”
Pamphlets given out at the service listed recovery centers all over the area. Event organizers said that information is for each person to bring back to help their own community. Our reporter received a PDF version of that resource list, which appear at the end of this article.
“We need churches, synagogues, hospitals, the non-profit community, the business community, everyone to step up and work on this together,” said Bangor City Councilor Ben Sprague, who was also in attendance. “So I’m quite heartened that there are so many people here tonight for this event.”
The music also served to unite people. Multiple groups came together to perform, including Lucas Richman from the Bangor Symphony Orchestra.
“I know from my background in the arts that music has a healing quality,” said Richman.
On a gray, rainy day, the Greater Bangor community came together to shine a little light, reminding those suffering from addiction that they’re not alone.
“They’ve lost hope, they no longer love themselves so we need to love them,” said Fr. Cipolle. “So it’s going to take the whole community to do that.”