March 3, 2019

Friends,

I know Spring doesn’t officially begin until March 22 but this year we’ve experienced signs of spring all winter with the minimal amount of snowfall and periodic 50 degree days. I look forward to the arrival of the warmer weather, the sound of the birds and the colorful flowers making their appearance (not to mention the baseball season).

I think we’ve had one of our best winters in a long time. At times it’s been frigid and we’ve had strong winds but otherwise very few of us had to alter our plans due to the weather. In fact, very rarely did any of us have to say as we set dates to meet friends and family: “Let’s see how the weather is”. I know it is only the first weekend in Marchbut I’m thinking “winter’s over!”.

I’ve had the privilege of living with many priests during my ministry. I’ve also lived alone at times in parishes. Today, many priests are living in rectories by themselves because of the decline in vocations to the priesthood. Where there used to be 4-5 priests serving in our parishes, there are now 1 or 2 and they may be responsible for 2-3 parishes, as Fr. Charles and I are. Personally, I don’t see any sign that this situation in the Archdiocese or the world will be changing soon. This forces us to look honestly at the Church, the priesthood and parish life.

The concept of collaboration in the Archdiocese of Boston is an attempt to face the problem of how to best serve the needs of the people of our parishes and attempt to support the priests of the Archdiocese (physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially). But even the collaboration model is showing its weaknesses in the Archdiocese. Thanks to your faithfulness and generosity (and the leasing of MPB school), our 3 parishes continue to provide for the people of our community. We are in pretty good shape.  We will have a State of the Collaborative meeting on April 3 as we do every year. It’s our responsibility to make a presentation of where we are and where we hope to be. We will speak about this meeting as we approach the date. All are welcome to express their feelings (positive and negative).

Back to my original thoughts on rectory living; it is Saturday morning 7:30 am and I am heading to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Somerville to visit Fr. Bob Mottau who is in residence there for 2 years. I lived with him in Charlestown. He will be 90 in April and has Parkinson's Disease. I go on Saturday morning to avoid traffic. I try to see him every 3 weeks. Bob is a very unique person (aren’t we all?). He has been a priest for 61 years. I’ve learned a lot from him since we met in 1990.

I often think “we were all young once”.

Enjoy Life,

Father Coyne

 

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