July 28, 2019

Friends ,

Quite a few of our parishioners and my friends have asked me a lot of questions about what it means to be on the Emergency Response Team (ERT). I will begin my ministry on that Team beginning September 15.

Because many priests now live alone, it is not easy to find replacements if they get sick or want to take a vacation. The Archdiocese does not have priests hanging around and they are asked more and more by pastors if they can find someone to “fill in” for them in an emergency. Sometimes the Archdiocese will transfer a pastor to a new assignment without a successor in place yet, so the ERT can be called upon. In a case where there is more than one priest stationed in a parish or collaborative, the assistant pastor may take over temporarily during a pastor’s absence. In the past, when I have been on the ERT, some of my assignments were to replace priests who were activated in the military, had a brain tumor, were killed in an automobile accident or went on 3 month sabbatical.

As I said earlier, I don’t mind change or the unknown and I look forward to meeting more of the wonderful families who make up the Archdiocese of Boston. I’m very happy to assist the Archdiocese and the pastors in any way I can.

I’ve mentioned before that pastors can set the tone in their parish theologically and there are, therefore, some parishes that tend to be traditional while others more progressive. I will probably be called upon to serve in a wide range of parishes along the spectrum. Obviously, I tend to lean toward the progressive side, meaning that I am very open minded and open hearted. I look forward to hearing so many stories of parishioners throughout the Archdiocese. I hope I can help them along their journey to realize how blessed they are to know God’s unconditional love and to reach their unlimited potential.

I may be in some parishes for weeks, others for months. I will live at the rectory of the parish in which I am serving. For days off or between assignments I will find a rectory that I can call home base. That will provide me with a place to keep my belongings so I don’t have to travel by U-haul, but just my little Mustang.

I remember years ago growing up at Holy Name, priests came and went. We admired them because they were priests but we also realized some were more friendly than others, some we enjoyed more than others, some broke our hearts when they left because they were so involved in our lives spiritually, emotionally, and socially. In those days we were just beginning to realize their humanity and the impact individual priests could have in our lives.

Hopefully, these words help you to understand how the Archdiocese attempts to face the day-to-day issues that center around the “priest shortage”. You can imagine therefore how happy they were that I volunteered to serve in this capacity

Enjoy life!
Father Coyne

P.S. As I write these words I am listening to the CD from “A Star is Born” - best CD eva!!!

 

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