April 23, 2017

Friends,

I had the privilege to return to my home parish, Holy Name in West Roxbury, to baptize 2 babies for my former next door neighbors (I moved 2+ years ago). They are a wonderful family and I watched the parents of these children grow up and I married both of them as well. It is always great going back to Holy Name. I have the best of memories from my childhood and teenage years in that parish. My sister raised her children there, as well, and still lives in the parish.

In my priesthood I have been stationed in many parishes in and around the city of Boston. Naturally as a priest, you make a lot of friends and you try to keep up the relationships over the years. Sometimes you do that successfully and other times life gets in the way. I still have long-standing friendships that date back to my first parish, St. Angela in Mattapan, and in every parish in which I have served. What a privilege to be invited into peoples’ hearts and homes. Of course, as the years go by, those you knew as children and teenagers are now parents and even grandparents. Many of these families are still close to the Catholic Church, whether they reside in the parishes in which I met them or have moved their families elsewhere. I have celebrated weddings, baptisms and funerals for them, their loved ones and their extended families. It is a privilege to be asked to support these families when they want to celebrate the joyous and the painful times in their lives. I am honored that they invite the Church to be with them during these occasions and I hope that my presence and my words convince them that the Church continues to be a meaningful part of their lives.

Obviously the more parishes in which you serve and the longer you are in ministry, it can be difficult to be present when you are asked to return to your former parishes. Every priest has to be present to his own parish and parishioners, and at the same time attempt to support those he has known over the years.

During times when I am unable to return to celebrate with others because of my present commitments at the Blue Hills Collaborative, my hope is that the priests and others ministering in my former parishes are able to befriend and offer support to their parishioners.

I have always said, it’s not the messenger, it’s the message. That is what made Christ so welcomed in peoples’ lives. Some things never change.

The Church is my avenue into your lives. How blessed am I!

Enjoy Life!
Fr. Ron Coyne

 

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