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March 7, 2017

Parish mourns loss of mother and four children; Bishop Rozanski issues statement

REGIONAL
By Carolee McGrath

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151 OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA TURNERS FALLS ANGLE WIDE 2

Our Lady of Czestochowa Church, Turners Falls (Catholic Communications file photo)

WARWICK – Parishioners at Our Lady of Czestochowa in Turners Falls are rallying to support a family of parishioners left devastated by a fatal fire in Warwick Saturday, March 4.

Forty-two year old Linda Seago, along with four of her children, ages 7, 9, 12, and 15, died when a fire ravaged their Richmond Road home. Her husband, Scott Seago, and another of the couple’s five children survived.

“Today at Mass, I asked the people to pray that the blessing bestowed on Job, be bestowed on Scott,” said Father Sean O’Mannion, pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

“I can’t think of anything else that compares in the Bible,” he continued referring to the great suffering of Job in the Old Testament.

Warwick is a rural town in Franklin County on the New Hampshire border; it has a population of about 800.

Father O’Mannion said two of the children killed were altar servers at the parish. He said they have been active members and great witnesses of the faith. He added that Lucinda Seago was a Third Order Benedictine Oblate with St. Joseph’s Abbey in Still River, Mass. She was also a member of the Board of Health in Warwick.

“Pray for them because the power of prayer is amazing. We ask people to pray through the intercession of St. Joseph and Mary to help Scott endure this difficult time,” said Father O’Mannion.

Bishop Rozanski statement

Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, who is leading a Lenten pilgrimage in the Holy Land this week, issued the following statement on the tragic deaths:

“As I make a Lenten pilgrimage to the Holy Land this week, I carry with me a heavy heart over the news of the tragic deaths of Lucinda Seago and four of her children in last weekend’s house fire in Warwick. At a devastating time like this, all we can do is seek some comfort from our loving God, who is always present to us, especially during such deeply sad and difficult moments.

“To Lucinda’s husband Scott and their surviving child, I offer my heartfelt sympathy and fervent prayers. I extend those condolences to Father Sean O’Mannion and the parish family at Our Lady of Czestochowa in Turners Falls, who mourn the passing of these members of their faith community. 

“I know Father Sean and the community there will walk with Scott and his child, not just in the coming days, but in the many challenging weeks, months and years which lie ahead.

“I will offer a Mass in repose of the souls of the Seago family during my pilgrimage here in the Holy Land as well as offer special prayers as I visit the sacred sites where Christ’s own passion and death unfolded. For it is through Christ’s own death on the Cross that this beautiful family and all our faithful departed now share in the promise of his resurrection,” the bishop wrote.

Members of the community have stepped forward to help with housing, clothes and transportation as two cars also were destroyed. Investigators said the fire was accidental and are looking at a wood stove as the possible cause.

“No human power can heal this, but God can heal this,” continued Father O’Mannion, who said he wasn’t trying to sugarcoat the unimaginable grief the surviving father and child will endure.

“In our faith, we believe when a person leaves this world, they go into a new mode of existence, which is what we all hope to attain in Jesus Christ,” he said. “They simply went ahead of us. That being said, they leave an enormous void.”

Calling hours for the deceased family members will be Friday, March 10 from 3 to 7 p.m. at Kostanski Funeral Home in Turners Falls. A funeral Mass will be held Saturday, March 11 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Czestochowa Church.

A fund has been set up to assist the family at givesendgo.com under “Victims of Warwick Fire.”