June 17, 2018

Friends,

On behalf of myself, Fr. Charles, and the staff of the Blue Hills Collaborative, I wish the families and the men of our three parishes a Happy Father's Day.  As I write these words, I think of all the wonderful occasions throughout the year when I either applaud, congratulate, or wish you the best on days designed to honor various members of our community and beyond.  Isn’t it great that we set aside so many “days” to celebrate the goodness and accomplishments within humanity.

This weekend it’s Father's Day around which we gather with our loved ones to honor the men who have played a major role in our lives, contributing in so many ways to make us who we are today.  We are all products of our background, and we know how deeply family experiences affect our lives.  I am aware that there are families and individuals who will not be celebrating Father's Day due to a recent death or tragic family circumstances that lead to traumatic experiences within their home.  We remember those families today, also.

However, for the majority of our families there will be time spent this weekend with the men in our lives who have done so much for us and who lead by example.

My father died in 2000 at the age of 82.  He would have turned 100 last January.  He was a member of the “Greatest Generation”.  He served in the U.S. Army in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.  I have his medals, which include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.  He was one of six children (four boys and two girls).  He was named Alexander, but was called “Dan” (his middle name).  Danny was a man of conviction who loved his country and was a faith-filled Catholic.  He didn’t have to express these priorities verbally; he lived them.  He and my mother brought us up together, and there was no doubt that they both took parenting seriously.  Father's Day was always celebrated around the dining room table, and everyone was present.  His chair was at the head of the table.  That’s who he was, and that’s where he sat.  It was just understood as a sign of respect.

As they got older, I watched their relationship evolve as they spent more time together.  My father had worked for the US. Post Office (night shift) prior to his retirement.  They loved our home and spent so much time together caring for it (inside and outside).  As my father’s health failed, they would be seen walking around the neighborhood holding hands.  Words were no longer necessary between them.  Eventually, my father was no longer able to be at home, and my mother spent every day by his side.  Two years later, when her own health failed, my mother requested to be at the same facility where my father had died.  I was very aware of what that statement meant.  It said it all, and words weren’t necessary.

Thank you, Dad!  Happy Father’s Day to all!

Enjoy life!
Fr. Coyne

 

 

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