CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Chicopee clergyman, known as ‘Father Joe’ celebrated his birthday and the anniversary of his ordination as a Priest on Saturday.
The beloved pastor of Chicopee’s St. Stanislaus Basilica was honored by parishioners who greeted him near the house of worship, where signs had been erected to highlight the occasion honoring his birthday and the date of his ordination, but the celebration was just beginning.
Father Bayne has also endeared himself as Chaplain of the Chicopee Fire Department, known as the fire friar, his roots in their calling run deep.
“My whole life I had an uncle and brother who were firefighters, dad died in the job in a fire,” Father Joe Bayne said.
Mayor John Vieau would stop by with a proclamation honoring Father Joe on this double celebration
As this special occasion continued on Front Street.
A motorcade of parishioners and other well-wishers recognized Father Bayne’s work over the years.
Father Joe told 22News that he is humbled by all this recognition, “I’m honored, I get embarrassed easily because I like to be in the background, not the spotlight, but me stepping in, I can pull everyone else in the light. And that’s what it’s about so thank you guys for being here.”
The faithful to whom Father Joe considers it an honor to serve at St. Stanislaus Basilica, repay him with a celebration befitting a person who has made quite an impression on his congregation and his city.