September 17-18, 2016


There are a lot of beautiful places in New England and I was in one of them last week. I was invited to celebrate a wedding at St. Brendan Chapel in Biddeford Pool, Maine on a Friday afternoon. I left Hyde Park on Thursday around noon to head to the hotel in Kennebunkport where I would be staying overnight, thanks to the generosity of the couple to be married. The hotel is located right on the river and I was impressed. I had a short time to myself before the rehearsal at 4:00 PM. The Town of Kennebunkport is scenic and quaint and the ride to Biddeford Pool is picturesque as you drive by the ocean. I met a great lady who is the wedding coordinator at the parish, and she could not have been more hospitable. She is a gift to that community (and she liked me too!) We then returned to Kennebunkport for the rehearsal party (70 people) outside at the banquet facility on the river. It was one of the nicest atmospheres. On Friday morning, I met the groom at 7:00 AM to walk the main street along the water and we saw Stephen King’s mansion and the Bush Compound. I was on my own after that and spent some quiet time reading (outside) and walking. Of course my mind is always going. I was realizing that there is a lot of money in this world and it is hard to even imagine some peoples’ lifestyles. I also was aware that even though I was with a lot of people, I am alone at events like this. Young people have a different life experience than past generations. There were guests there from California, Mississippi, Minnesota, Maryland and many other places. It is interesting to see that many professionals even travel differently, e.g. the husband may arrive one day and the rest of the family may travel another day because of commitments with work and school, etc. 

I followed the trolley (carrying the wedding party) to the Church. It was a wonderful celebration (130 people). After the wedding Mass I got into my car and headed home. I did not attend the reception which I am sure was spectacular. 

I am a social animal so I think I thrive on meeting people and having conversations. I met many families and took advantage of the opportunity to learn from their life experience and to share my own. I am grateful for the privilege of interacting with and learning from other peoples’ lives. I am a priest and I am a Catholic, both of which play a major role in my life, but my first identity is as a human being. The wonderful people I met came from many professions and various religious traditions, but their first identity is also their humanity. Knowing that makes the conversation so much easier. 

Enjoy Life! 
Fr Coyne


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