December 8, 2014 - Remembering Deacon Peter- St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church in the City of Waterville, Maine experienced a loss that cannot be easily expressed by words. This man known as Deacon Peter, Uncle Peter, Dad, Rabi, and friend and community leader passed from this world to eternal life in Christ. In that moment he was reunited with his beloved wife and sweetheart, Pat. Peter was born and raised in Waterville, the youngest of seven children of John R. and Lena (Ferris) Joseph. As a young boy, Peter helped his father lay the foundation of St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church, the church in which he spent his life serving, as an altar boy, parishioner, lector, council member, Sub-Deacon and Deacon. He left a legacy that all will remember and his spirit will live in his family and all who knew him forever. Joseph spent a lifetime helping people from the time he was a child handing out food to homeless people who stopped at the family market on Front Street,. Joseph came from a large Lebanese family that owned not only the market, but also Joseph Motor Co. His father, John R. Joseph Sr., came to the U.S. from Lebanon in 1900 and married Lena Ferris, who also was from Lebanon. Peter’s daughter Lea Williams said his deeds imparted a lesson that can only be taught through example — giving of yourself to others. I remember him always telling me that his favorite saying, the one that he identified with most, was the following: ‘I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.’ I think most people would agree that he lived up to this creed. Another parishioner, Paul Ferris, wrote on Facebook:" Peter had too many achievements to recount but what I remember most is the fact that he was one of the first people after Vatican II to serve in the role as permanent Deacon. He pioneered that ministry which had been dormant for hundreds of years. He had no map or example to follow so he made his own path with great humility and distinction. He once related a conversation he had with Father Paul. He said to him, “I am a Christian, a Catholic, and a Maronite.”
My father in law, Deeb Ferris, was ordained with Peter as Subdeacon, which led me to answer the call as well.
Rest in peace Deacon Peter.