JAY — On Saturday, Sept. 18, “Cathy’s Boutique” will officially open and become part of the successful St. Rose of Lima Thrift Store experience. Located in the parish hall on Church Street in Jay, the store has reached out and touched the lives of thousands of area residents since opening its doors in October of 2020.

The new boutique will offer higher-end clothing, formal attire, accessories, and even antiques and collectibles. But more importantly, it honors someone who touched St. Rose of Lima Church through her faith, kindness, and dedication.

Cathy Leclair passed away in January and was known for her devotion to faith, service as a eucharistic minister, work in the bread guild, and life as a humble church leader.

“Last fall, I was sorting through clothing with Cathy in one of the two rooms that the thrift store occupied at the time. Admittedly, we didn’t get too much done, not just because we were new at the process but mostly because Cathy would stop and admire so many of the beautiful items that had been donated,” said Stephanie Crowe, parish social ministry coordinator for the parish. “She would hold each item up, examine it, and say with her big smile, ‘Can you believe this?’”

One thing that did get done that day was the birth of an idea of a boutique that could highlight special items at the thrift store.

“The thrift store rapidly expanded, and women’s clothing moved upstairs into two rooms, one of them a boutique which Cathy managed,” said Crowe. “She thoughtfully and carefully gave attention to each item she displayed.”

After her passing, the room was left unattended for a time, but the idea of an official boutique never left those who manage the thrift store.

“In addition to fancy clothing items, we receive a lot of antiques and collectibles that would benefit from a dedicated space. So, we decided to group those items with the special clothing items in the newly named ‘Cathy’s Boutique,’” said Crowe. “We can’t imagine it any other way.”

Cathy’s daughter, Shawnna, who lives in Portland, is deeply moved by the gesture, just as those who encountered Cathy in life were moved and changed by her friendly and faith-filled nature.

“Her daughter wanted us all to know how much St. Rose’s community meant to Cathy,” said Crowe. “Here joyful spirit lives on with us. She remains in our hearts and in our prayers and we miss her dearly.”

The St. Rose of Lima Thrift Store will feature new hours starting September 14: Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations are gratefully accepted during the hours of operation. For more information or to make an appointment to donate larger items like furniture, call 207-897-2173, extension 1203.

The thrift store currently has over 20 volunteers but always welcomes interested parties who have spare time to help sort and shelf items or run the cash register. If you can volunteer, please call the number above. All proceeds from the store benefit church ministries and community outreach and direct assistance programs.