Friends,

150 150 St. Mary St. Catherine of Siena

On behalf of myself and the priests and staffs at St. Francis and St. Mary-St. Catherine of Siena Parishes, I want to wish all of the wonderful families in our community a Happy Father’s Day. I was privileged to grow up in a home with both parents and this day was always sacred to us and was highlighted with a meal at the dining room table prepared by my Italian mother. My father always sat in the same seat at the head of the table. There was no question about that. Life was a lot simpler in those days. It was all about God and country and we never questioned either one. Anyone in authority in the Church and the Government was always right because they were in authority. We were in our own little world and we liked it there. I am grateful to have grown up at that time and have the best of memories. The world has evolved and changed greatly over the years. Nothing is simple anymore. We have access to so much more information and no one has all the answers including those in authority. As a result, we have come to realize that the truth for someone may not be seen as the truth for someone else. This has caused major upheavals in society but that is what education and knowledge will do. I’m at peace with that. I respect the past but I don’t live there. As an example, we see how family life has evolved. Concepts of family that we never imagined are very much a reality today and contribute positively in the lives of our children. We are blessed with many happily married husbands and wives raising their children together. We have couples with children who may be divorced and share custody, many have adopted children into their family, there are gay couples raising children, single parents, biracial couples, foster parents, children being raised by their grandparents. I respect everyone’s story. Our cultures, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, gender preferences and value systems may differ but it is our humanity that we share. I am so grateful that my concept of God has expanded throughout my life. There is room for all of us and we can all embrace our world. May we spend this Father’s Day surrounded by those we love.

I also realize there are families who will not be celebrating due to painful experiences and tragedy in their lives. Some of these situations may heal with time, others will not. Life can be so challenging for some.

Meanwhile, I want you to know what a joy it is to be back in Charlestown. I have met so many wonderful people from my past and renewed many friendships. Everywhere I go I run into people from the years I served at St. Catherine’s (1990-1996). We shared great times together and it was the Church that made that possible. In many cases, we also shared sad experiences when the Church was very present to offer us hope. For many of us, our relationship with the Church fluctuates and has its peaks and valleys.

What a privilege it is for any priest to be invited into our parishioners lives to share their joys and the sorrows. I thank you once again for making me feel so “at home” in this wonderful neighborhood.

Enjoy life!
Fr. Coyne

PS. The receptionist walks into the doctor’s office and says “there is a patient in the waiting room who thinks he is invisible, what should I tell him?”
The doctor says, “Just tell him I can’t see him today.”