August 6, 2017

Friends,

Every parish has a history, a personality and its “personalities.” We are blessed in the Blue Hills
Collaborative to have 3 parishes with histories that go back 137 years (Most Precious Blood), 98 years (St Anne), and 63 years (St Pius X). All 3 faith communities have been built on the faith of past generations of your ancestors. They had no idea when they sacrificed to build our Churches that we would one day be a Collaborative. In the days when these parishes were conceived, the Catholic population was increasing by such numbers that Catholic Churches were within blocks of each other (in some cases because immigrants wanted to celebrate in their native language). So we had Polish, Italian, Irish, French and Lithuanian Churches within the local parishes. An example is St Adelbert Parish Church. As you know, in the past, parish boundaries were sacred and the competition among parishes was fierce. Who had the most men in their Holy Name Society? Who had the best band, drum corps or drill team? Who won the CYO basketball or baseball championships?

The personality of a parish was also evident. It sometimes centered around the type of priests who were stationed at parishes during certain periods in their history. Parishes could be very vibrant at times and attract a lot of attention because there was an exciting element to its reputation. Of course parishes serving the city may be very different from those in the suburbs and even those serving the rural areas of the Archdiocese. The needs in these areas could be very different. Parish personality could center around the types of liturgy celebrated, the musical program, their outreach to youth, the sense of welcome and hospitality, and the openness to various ways of thinking. People do feel more comfortable in some parishes than others.

Finally, there are parish “personalities.” there are the legends and characters that typify a parish at various times in their history. Our 3 parishes definitely can boast of “personalities” that everyone know by sight if not by name. There will always be certain people who typify the spirit within a parish. Think of the entire families who have been on each of our parishes for generations. In some cases the family name is synonymous with the parish.

We are all privileged in 2017 to be identified with the 3 parishes of the Blue Hills Collaborative. Thank you for choosing to celebrate with us.

Enjoy Life!
Fr. Ron Coyne

 

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