|circa 1978; left to right: Mark Lajoie, Danny Gagnon, Chuck, Jimmy, Joline|
Father Danny Gagnon: “When He Came Into My Life”July 30, 2010 at 11:08 am
Danny Gagnon is a great success story of perseverance. There were many side trips for him, but now he has had a thriving ministry in Mexico for many years, from what I hear, as an Oblate Missionary (OMI). He favors the Divine Will devotion and is extremely popular on the Internet where many ‘friend’ and ‘tag’ him with great affection. Along with Carmelite Ann Dallamora (who sang and whose father drove our bus at one point) and TOR Franciscan Mike Higgins (who was an early crew member), he is an LW alumni who has embraced that “more perfect way” suggested by Our Lord Jesus.
Several of us living at Oblates were thinking about religious life or priesthood and we lived in this wing in a far upper corner of the building. I always laugh at the expectations everyone had about who would actually become a priest. It seemed all bets were on Chuck Rossignol and Mark Lajoie, maybe, but certainly NOT Mike Higgins or Danny – you get the idea, and you see that it all turned out exactly opposite from expectations! Congratulations to those guys.
In the early days, Danny & his brother Jimmy Gagnon were in the group. Jimmy was our drummer for those first few years and also with our secular band which we called Siloam [another water reference; that became a problem to pronounce just like in that movie “That Thing You Do” where no one can figure out “The Oneders” is pronounced “Wonders” and not “O-need-ers”!]. Danny played guitar and sang and he really wanted to write songs, too. Dave Bourque seemed to help him every time (except for “He’ll Be There” which involved Beth Medeiros?) It’s funny because sometimes Dave and Danny could get testy with each other, too, but they did manage to write some good songs. The one song the group embraced totally and used extensively was “The Lord Will Come” and I sure wish we had that one on tape somewhere! It included an awesome bass line contributed by Dave and I think the dancers did something, too. I have one flash of memory of Danny singing that song for the Steubenville Youth Conference (1978?) and it was wonderful! It got quite a reaction.
I do have one song to offer in regards to Danny. I took one song he and Dave wrote and tried to write it up on the Noteworthy Composer midi program you see featured on this site. In the process, I altered the arrangement and presentation. I had always imagined a bass line in my head for this that was never actually done and that is what I put down here. In that regard it’s similar to “The Lord Will Come”: Gagnon melody, Bourque-like bass line.
I asked Danny if it was OK to use his song and he said it was. I like the simple emotion of the lyrics: ‘He really helped me when it was bad; He can help you, too’! That’s what Danny is still saying I guess in everything he’s doing now.