July 16, 2017

Friends, 

As you know, I grew up in the city of Boston and have spent most of those years as a priest in Boston (Mattapan, Dorchester, Charlestown, Roslindale and Hyde Park/Readville). I lived through the bussing crisis and the integration of the Boston Housing unit in Charlestown, the code of Silence in Charlestown, and the fears that took over the city of Boston in our most turbulent years. I have participated in many meetings with interfaith clergy, the police department, the DEA and ATF, and First Responders. I have been part of committees put together by our mayors and local politicians. Sometimes we might wonder the effect such undertakings have in the overall goal of achieving peace in our city and on our streets. I am a firm believer that we have to lead by example, and that adults have to set the tone. I often think that if the teacher is not in control of the classroom, or the T driver is not the responsible one on the bus, there can be havoc. 

The advantage to being an adult is that we already have been a teenager so we can look at situations from 2 perspectives. A teenager unfortunately cannot even imagine the adult perspective. The issue is responsibility. Once we get to a position of authority it changes everything. I was with a 15 year old young man recently who is now umpiring Little League and for the first time in his short life, he is in a position of Authority and is beginning to see how responsibility changes everything. It gives him some small insight into the adult world. 

We are blessed in the city of Boston with many wonderful politicians and first responders who are determined to do all they can to make our city streets safe for everyone. No one does it perfectly but I believe we are blessed and I thank those who serve, for raising the bar for all of us. I know how fragile peace can be. It only takes a word or a misunderstanding to disrupt calm. The way we speak to someone, or about them, is indicative of how we truly feel. Road rage, domestic violence, hate crimes, addiction and terrorism can destroy families, communities, neighborhoods and cities overnight. 

I was at a meeting on June 30th for the priests serving in Boston, to talk about crime and gun violence. I am proud to represent the community. I also attend some of our local Neighborhood Watch meetings, so that I hear the police reports. A lot of local residents work very hard to assure that our neighborhood is a wonderful place to live, work and raise children. I salute them and all those mentioned in this article. 

Our children and teenagers depend on us, even if they don't realize it yet. 

Enjoy Life! 
Fr. Ron Coyne

 

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