There was a time when people walked everywhere they went. Churches, schools, and corner stores were in reach. City factories and downtown businesses were a short walk away if you lived on Norwich’s west side. Saints Peter and Paul Church was built in 1938 so that people in this part of town could walk to church. Our parish quickly became quite a center for neighborhood life. In addition to Mass and the sacraments, we boasted of a beautiful park with two baseball fields, a pool and a basketball court. For many years, the parish ran a lakeside summer camp in Lebanon. Kids in the neighborhood belonged to Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, most by worshiping at Sunday Mass, but all by playing ball and having fun.
Our park is still there, even if the baseball fields are not. Our church still stands on the hill overlooking West Main St., now a very busy commercial strip. Our parish still opens its doors to be a neighborhood church, a gathering place. Most people now come in cars, some of them from a distance. We don’t know our neighbors as we once did, but our parish strives to live up to its remarkable heritage: to be a place of welcome where neighbors become brothers and sisters. Finding one another at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, may we find Christ.