land for the church was purchased on July 17, 1954, under the care of
St. Peter parish in Auburn. $20,000 was transferred from St.
Peter to St. Paul parish to build the church. The first Mass at the new
St. Paul Mission Church was on Christmas Day, 1955. On
Dec. 17, 1971, St. Paul Catholic Community was dedicated as a
serve the Catholic people of Candia and Deerfield, NH. The
downstairs hall and other rooms along with the
rectory were built in 1973. On October 30, 1980, an additional
3.09 acres abutting the east and north boundries of the existing land
were acquired, bringing the total parcel of land to 3.9 acres.
In 1972 St. Jerome mission in Chester, NH became a part of our parish and was located in the Congregational Baptist Church. St. Jerome mission had to close in September 2004 due to the scarcity of priests.
From the inception of the parish there have always been many hard-working and dedicated parishioners who have helped with construction and upkeep projects, with committee work, with fund raising events, and most importantly with the varied ministries needed for the spiritual growth of a parish. One large undertaking that was a total parish effort - was the interior renovation of the church in 1986.
Lay ministry and empowerment of the parishioners has been a recognizable reality throughout its short history. Working together, the pastor, pastoral staff and the parishioners have had many years of growing in faith and unity through worship, prayer, education, and fellowship. The fruit of our spiritual growth manifests itself in the support of a sister parish in Haiti, outreach to the more needy through a community food panty and sharing of our bounty with charitable organizations and the needy through tithing.
Originally named Saul, he was born at Tarsus. He was raised as a pharasaical Jew. At first he persecuted Christians, even taking part in the stoning of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
On the road to Damascus, he was struck blind and experienced a vision that led to his conversion and the conviction that he was to bring Christianity to the Gentiles. He was baptized and went to Arabia for three years of prayer and reflection.
Returning to Jerusalem, the apostles were wary of him until St. Barnabas perceived his sincerity. A tireless missionary and elegant writer, he led a dangerous and adventurous life on behalf of Christ. He worked in Jerusalem, Antioch, Cyprus, Asia Minor, Greece, Ephesus (where he wrote I Corinthians), Macedonia, and Achaia (where he wrote Romans.)
Upon his return to Jerusalem, he was attacked and imprisoned for his preaching and invoked the privilege of his Roman citizenship to be tried in Rome. On his way, he was shipwrecked at Malta. Finally reaching Rome, he was kept in house arrest for two years awaiting trial and wrote the four "captivity" epistles.
Presumably acquitted, he returned to Ephesus, and may have gone to Spain. According to tradition, he was beheaded in Rome during the persecution of Nero and is buried where the basilica of St. Paul's "outside the walls" now stands. The date of his death is thought to be June 29, 65 AD.
Paul had a profound effect on the development of Christian theology including promulgation of the concepts of redemption through faith in Christ, the abrogation of the old Law and the beginning of the age of the Spirit, Christ as the eternal Son of God, His pre-existence before the Incarnation, His exaltation to God's right hand after the Resurrection, the Church as the mystical Body of Christ, and the belief that Christians live in Christ and will eventually be transformed at the final resurrection.
It would be difficult to overstate St. Paul's influence on Christian thought and history, not only through such figures as Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin, but continuing on today through the reading of the Bible.
Incidentally, the image of Paul is thought to be fairly accurate. He was described in contemporary documents as being small, bald, bow-legged, with a long nose, and eyebrows that met. He has consistently been depicted as having a long beard and face and deep set eyes.
Finally, he is the senior member of our congregation, having attended every Eucharist at St. Paul's since its founding.
Taken largely from The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 2nd ed, 1987, David Hugh Farmer