Meet the Flock — Introducing Fr. Dave

by Denise Rush

Recently, an attempt to provide our parish with a “photographic yearbook” fell through after the company’s pricey and strict regulatory demands stopped its progress in its tracks. The thought then occurred to me that there had to be another alternative way to document and introduce “the flock” to each other. After all, this is our spiritual home and we, the members of St. Joseph Church, are its true support beams, upholding it in fellowship, both in the true physical and financial sense of the word. Therefore, after approaching Fr. Dave for his approval, I have volunteered my services to write a quarterly column entitled: “Meet the Flock-ers.” So, every 3-4 months, I will interview a parishioner who wishes to have a short biography printed about themselves placed either in the bulletin as a column, or as an inserted article within its pages. And, since, Fr. Dave is our pastor, I thought that it would only be proper for him to be featured as the first subject/guinea pig to be interviewed in my endeavor. With that said, let me introduce you to Fr. Dave Kneeland, “The Leader of the Flock”…

“A shoe polisher.” Yes, if chosen as the 13th apostle in the time of Our Lord, that is the task that Fr. Dave says he would do. “And, it wouldn’t be that bad of a job either, because they washed their feet a lot back then.” (Insert Fr. Dave’s hearty laughter here.) I have to say, I agree with his choice of what his profession would be when I posed the question to him during our interview session: “What would you do if you were alive during the time of Our Lord?” Though Fr. Dave was, of course, characteristically kidding around with his answer, I do think a shoe-shiner is probably the job he would be most suited for, and, certainly, one consistent with the well-known quoted sentiment of St. John the Baptist about the Messiah: “I am not worthy to unfasten the sandals of His feet,.” Likewise, the hypothetical and future official “sandal-shiner” of the day, Fr. Dave, would have to possess the same unquestionable virtue of humility as well. Let’s face it, obviously, there’d be a lot of on-the-job humble kneeling at the feet of the “Big Boss” ascribed to that job description!

Personally, however, I think Fr. Dave’s better job choice would have been to serve his “ultimate employer” as our Lord’s opening act during the Sermon on the Mount. Fr. Dave would warm up the crowd with his sense of humor, get them to seriously pay attention, heap praise upon the “real star of the show,” and then disappear backstage behind a boulder as the unknown comic—the humble, but holy 13th apostle. (Cue here, Fr. Dave’s serious side to shine): “I want to bring souls to Christ,” he somberly states.

That pretty much describes the two sides of our Fr. Dave. Lucky for us, we get two priests rolled into one — a hysterically funny, joy-filled preacher and a seriously prayerful, never-seeking-self-praise pastor. “Maybe,” he jokes, “it’s because I’m a Gemini. My birthday is May 27th.”

Christened David Lee (“Roth,” he jokes here), he was raised in Lawrence, MA by his parents, Lorraine and Michael, along with his three older brothers, Mitch, Glenn, and John. “I was the baby…the baby whale!” (He wails in laughter at this comment.) Anyway, while tending to her boys in between housework, his Mom would watch TV’s Mother Angelica, the public television celebrity — who did have and still has — a following on the EWTN Catholic network. One of those followers was the child, known as the future, Father David. Mother Angelica was, in fact, his childhood idol. He roars with laughter at that, “It even cracks me up!” However, unbeknownst to that nun, and the many other Sisters of St. Anne’s who taught him throughout grammar school, they all profoundly influenced him on his chosen vocational path. Between their holy teachings and his Catholic upbringing, he heard “the one true voice” speak to him.

“It was during religious class in first or second grade. I felt like God asked if I would be one of his priests. We had a religious book open, and I almost had the feeling like He talked to me, like with a little picture of a priest holding up the Eucharist.”

That was how his calling began. “I thought I would rather have been an evangelist like Jimmy Swaggart, you know, some get their own plane and tour the world!,” He lets out a real hearty laugh at that one. “But,” he continues on in a spiritual tone, “it was very specific — would you be one of my priests? (Then, he quickly breaks into laughter before delivering his next punch line.) “I tried to avoid it ever since.”

And, that he did. After attending and graduating from Lawrence High School and Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, MA, he later studied to be a chiropractor, following in two of his brother’s footsteps, attending pre-requisite courses at Scott College and then graduating from Palmer Chiropractic College in Davenport, Iowa. “But,” he states in a heartfelt, serious manner, “God talked to my heart.” That’s when he enrolled years later in St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, MA, going on to his Deacon year in Exeter, NH, until becoming ordained in 2006. He was then assigned to two other parishes in Bedford and Rochester, NH, respectively, serving as Associate Pastor in each. Then God delivered him to our doorstep in the tiny town of Lincoln, NH as our spiritual leader. He enjoys it here. “I love my leather chair,” he jokes again. “No, seriously, I love the people, parish events, the White Mountains, celebrating Mass, and the community.” What he doesn’t love is the paperwork that comes with the job.

When he is not doing all of those paper-filled priestly duties, however, he can be found attending to his other loves. Eating is #1. He loves all food, particularly Arabic, and sweets — but it’s much easier to say what food he doesn’t like, that being string beans and waxed beans. “I eat mostly roasted vegetables lately.” He also loves music, not the rock ‘n’ roll of Van Halen or Ozzy Osborne that he listened to as a teen, but the much-loved hymns: Let All Mortal Flesh be Silent, Pange Lingua (the lyrics are attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas), Ave Maria, and, of course, Christmas carols, his favorite being What Child is This? As for bible verses, the one near and dear to his heart is: I am the Vine, You are the Branches. When it comes to TV, his preferred shows on PBS to watch are: The Brother Cadfael Mystery Series and the Fr. Brown Mystery Series. As for more popular shows, not on PBS, he likes Deadliest Catch, Alaskan Bush People, North Woods Law, or Survivor.

Fr. Dave could not survive, however, without his constant companion, Bear, his eight-year-old Border Collie/Mutt. He takes her for walks or she can be found just sitting by her master’s side at his feet in the parish rectory when Fr. Dave is at work or when praying. His most beloved prayer is one that he recites on a daily basis, and which, I feel exemplifies Fr. Dave’s humble nature. It is called The Litany of Humility by Rafael Cardinal Merry DelVal. In my opinion, one of those lines best describes Fr. Dave himself. It reads as you pray: “Jesus, grant me the grace that others may be praised, and I unnoticed.”

Although, you can’t help but notice the joy in Fr. Dave’s laughter, or be entertained by his sense of humor during his homilies, he never takes credit for himself. Any job that is accomplished within the parish, he credits to others. That pretty much describes who he is. And, those great gifts of his — jocularity and humility — do, indeed, help draw souls closer to Christ. In fact, some people may not realize the similarities between Fr. Dave and his favorite saint who also brought souls to Our Lord when he was alive — St. Lawrence of Rome. He, too, had a good sense of humor, and like Fr. Dave loved food. In fact, he is the patron saint of chefs and cooks. (How ironic!) St. Lawrence preached during Roman times and, when martyred on a gridiron, he proclaimed, “I am well done on this side, you can turn me over now.” See, even, he had two sides!

As you can now surmise, it is precisely those dual personality traits of the one-and-only, Fr. Dave, the opening act at our parish, who is working hard, trying his very best, using his grade-A material as he subtly, yet seriously and humbly, teaches us all as companions on the journey to salvation to have a little fun and a few laughs along the way. That is his comedic “shtick,” his signature style that he employs, all for the purpose to bring souls to Christ. We are the lucky ones to have him here, and I hope and pray that he is on the job in Lincoln for years to come. If not, there’s the other kind of soles he could work with…after all, he’d make a great shoe polisher!

Faith Formation Bake Sale

Faith Formation Bake Sale

Sunday, 10/14…before and after the 10:00 Mass

The Faith Formation students and their families will once again be holding bake sales throughout the year to finance a field trip in June. Last year, we had a wonderful time at LaSallette Shrine in Enfield, NH and look forward to making the pilgrimage an annual event. The first sale of the year will be hosted by Paige and Ryder McAfee and their parents this weekend. Thank you for your support…and enjoy the goodies!

Blessing of Pets


Big “Thank you” to the parish volunteer maintenance group called the ”Heavenly Scent Steeple Angels.” They cleaned, painted and organized the Conference room in the church. It looks so nice! Please say a prayer in thanksgiving for all they did for us! They are: Denise & Eddie Rush, Ronnie Comesana, Beth & Matt Wright, Kay Lineham, Marty Nastasia, Maria Schirduan, Lisa Gutro.

This week we begin our new “Meet the Flockers” series. Every few months, we will feature a “flocker” from our beautiful parish. Please see insert in this bulletin. This series will help us get to know each other better!
This Sunday, October 14th, I will bless your pets in the church parking lot, near the late Sandy Crisp’s parish St. Francis statue garden area. Your pet will receive a blessing with holy water, and a blessed medal. Pets are part of the extended family and so we cherish them. Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment titled: Laudato Si (“Praised Be”) says: “Teach us to discover worth of each thing, to be filled with awe and contemplation, to recognize that we are profoundly united with every creature as we journey towards God’s infinite light.”

Next Weekend is Fr. Pat’s Healing Mass with Concert. Sunday, October 21st here in the church at 2pm. We can all use a healing! Spread the word and come early. We are excited to have him come to our parish!
Tickets for the Parish Big Raffle are on sale now after Mass. Top prize is a $1,000., 2nd is $250 and 3rd is $100. Tickets are just $10 or 3 for $25.00 (in which you have a chance to win all three prizes!) You do not have to be present to win. Santa will pick the lucky winners at the parish Christmas Festival, December 8th.
I will be on retreat this coming week with the monks at St. Joseph Trappist Abbey, Spencer, MA.
There will not be any weekday Masses this week, however, Adoration will still be here on Wednesday from 9am until 8pm. Know that the parish family will be in my prayers during my week of prayer.

May God continue to bless our little Catholic Church here in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Fr. Kneeland

Happy Columbus Day Weekend


By the time you are reading this, “hopefully” the conference room in the church, is freshly painted a new color! I invite you to take a peek into the room and check it out. Big “thank you” to all who chipped in and helped make it happen!

Happy Columbus Day weekend! Fittingly, on this Columbus Day weekend, our very own parish Knights of Columbus Council is having a parish-wide free-will offering pancake breakfast after the 10am Mass this Sunday, October 7th. All proceeds will help our parish Knights of Columbus Council, who do so much to help the parish and the surrounding area. Please join us for a delicious breakfast!

This weekend, after Mass, be sure to get one of the parish’s Big Raffle Ticket. For 10 bucks, you get a chance to win the Grand Prize of $1,000.00! Second place prize is $250.00 and 3rd place prize is $100.00. Three tickets for $25 (which gives you the opportunity to win all 3 prizes!). All proceeds help support St. Joseph’s Parish. We will draw the winners during our parish Christmas Festival scheduled for December 8th, you do not have to be present to win.

Enjoy the Fall Foliage and safe travels!
May God bless us, all visitors, and our little church here in the White Mountains.

Fr. Kneeland

Faith Formation


Faith Formation


Upcoming dates:

Faith Formation Bake Sale during the weekend of 10/13-10/14..

Father Pat’s Healing Mass and refreshments on Sunday, 10/21 @  2:00pm.

Thank you for your support and prayers! 














Happy Fall


Thank you to our Knights of Columbus Council for hosting the Red Cross blood drive in the church hall. Thank you also to those who donated blood, and saved lives!

We will begin our parish RCIA program in October. This informative program will help anyone interested in becoming Catholic by learning what it is we believe and why. Please let me know if you are interested in learning more about this; I will be happy to speak more about it with you.

Thank you to everyone who chipped in for a wonderful cook-out to kick-off the new Religious Education year. Thank you to Ronnie Comesana, who weeded the St. Francis’ garden, where the newly dedicated fountain is located; and to Eddie Rush and Marty Nastasia for their engineering capabilities in putting the fountain together.

The parish volunteer “cleaning” crew will meet for a “work day” this Saturday, October 6th at 9:30am until 1:30pm. We will prep the conference room for painting the walls and organize the two church kitchens downstairs. All are welcome to lend a hand. Just arrive wearing work clothes and perhaps gloves. If you have the time, please join us!

Next Sunday, our Knights of Columbus Council will host a parish Pancake Breakfast after the 10am Mass. Everyone is invited to come downstairs into the church hall for a delicious pancake breakfast and some fun. A free-will offering basket will be made available. All proceeds go to help our Knight’s council; who do so much for the parish and the community. Please join us next Sunday!

St. Francis’ Feast Day is October 4th, so, I will bless your pets this month, in a couple of weeks, on October 14th after the 10am Mass @ 11:10am in the church parking lot. Bring your pets, big or small!

If you recall, last Spring, our parishioner, Michael Wolowski left for the Marines, well, an update, he is doing fine, finished Boot Camp at Paris Island, spent the Summer in California for studies, and will be soon deployed. Thanks for your continued prayers for him and his family.

Have a Blessed Columbus Day Weekend and enjoy the Fall foliage!

Fr. Kneeland

Faith Formation News

Thank you to everyone who helped us dedicate the fountain in the St. Francis garden last weekend and then joined us for the opening celebration of our new Faith Formation year! We had a wonderful cook-out…thanks to all the families who donated food! We look forward to a great year!

This year, our students will be using Gospel Weeklies (Pflaum Publishing) to learn more about the Gospel and how we can translate our faith into everyday practice. If you have any questions or know of a family who needs to register, please contact the rectory or Paula King at
Upcoming dates…Faith Formation Bake Sale during the weekend of 10/13-10/14…Father Pat’s Healing Mass and refreshments on Sunday, 10/21 @ 2:00pm.

Thank you for your support and prayers!

Happy Highland Games Weekend

ithe barrachd taigeis. This translated reads: “eat more haggis!”

The Highland Games are upon us and I hope you get to enjoy some of the Scottish festivities at Loon or around town. I always do!

The Parish Knitters Club donated a boxful of mittens, hats, & scarfs to the Religious Sisters in Kentucky whom we supported as our annual Mission Appeal. If you recall, the Sisters couldn’t be with us, because they couldn’t afford the plane fare. Well they certainly appreciated the donation from the parish Knitters Club. The Sisters care for the poorest of people living in the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky. If you would like to “knit for a cause”, or learn how, and join the team, please contact Mary Aranyosi @ (603) 374-3589 or

Check out our Parish Capital Campaign Mountain, located inside the church near the poor box. The little boots are trekking higher and closer to our goal! And more of the footprints changed color, from white (pledged/promised income) to yellow (actual income). We are doing well! Thank you to all who filled out a pledge card. In the near future we will have a recognition wall-plaque , with levels representing those who support us. More to come!

Our new Parish “Cleaning Crew” group (waiting on an official name for us) met and concluded that our first “fix-it” project will be, painting the conference room. Saturday, October 6th, we (and anyone else who would like to help out) will meet at 9:30am to paint (we have 2 enthusiastic members willing to paint) the conference room downstairs. We need others to clean, and organize the room as well as, some will begin to tackle the two kitchens. Please lend a hand from 9:30am until 1:30pm.
Fr. Pat, from La Salette Shrine, will be celebrating a Healing Mass and Concert here at the Parish Sunday, October 21st at 2:00pm. Please spread the word! We are fortunate to have him come!

Gu bheil Dia a ‘beannachadh ar paraiste Caitligeach beag an seo anns na Beanntan Geal. This reads: “May God continue to bless our little Catholic Parish here in the White Mountains” (At least I hope, that’s what it says! LOL)
Fr. Kneeland

Faith Formation News

Faith Formation News

Please join us for the celebration of a new year of learning and growing in faith! Faith Formation students and their families will attend 10:00 Mass on Sunday, 9/16, and then gather in our St. Francis garden to dedicate a fountain purchased with money raised from last years’s bake sales. A potluck cook-out will round out our celebration, and all are invited to join us for food and fellowship. Hope to see you there!

Registration for St. Joseph’s Faith Formation program is always open. If you’d like more information about our program or know of a family who might be interested, please contact Paula King at or (603) 348-8166.

New Academic Year for Faith Formation


This Sunday after the 10am Mass, please join Ms. Paula King, Ms. Annie Anderson, and all the children with their families to celebrate the beginning of the new academic year and to dedicate a nice water fountain given in the name of the children as a gift to the parish’s garden. The kids worked hard last year selling baked goods to fund their field trip, and with the remainder, they donated this new water fountain. This new academic year is going to be an exciting year, because, most of the kids will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Bishop Libasci has changed the age of reception of Confirmation to the 3rd Grade in order to “restore, renew and proclaim” the Good News of Jesus Christ. Please pray for the children, their families and the teachers/coordinator of the Religious Ed. program here at St. Joseph’s.

Bishop Robert Barron’s “Pivotal Players” video series presentation on six inspirational Catholic thinkers, who influenced the Church greatly, will be shown here at the parish on Tuesdays & Thursdays. The date isn’t set yet, but stay tuned, I will announce it on weekend Mass announcements. I do want to show a preview “trailer” that highlights this wonderful production and terrific insights from Bishop Barron. I believe it would benefit everyone to watch it!

If you or someone you know, would like to become Catholic, or needs to receive a Sacrament that they are missing, or would simply enjoy learning more about their Catholic Faith, please let me know, the sooner the better. I can discuss with you some options and am willing to work with your schedule. Please e-mail or call the office.

Please check out “the Mountain” located inside the church near the poor box, to see our parish’s Capital Campaign progress. Our little boots are climbing!

I’m happy Autumn is only a week away, but saddened that the clocks will not turn back an hour until November…blah! Haha…

May God continue to bless us and our little church here in the White Mountains!
Fr. Kneeland