A note from Father John

Father John will be on sabbatical from early June to late September 2022.

Dear Friends,

I just wanted to say hello on this beautiful sunny day here in Boston. Many of you heard me announce at Mass last month about my upcoming sabbatical from late June to late September. In 2019, I was unexpectedly humbled and honored to be nominated as a Barr Fellow. The Barr Fellowship is a program that gathers a diverse group of Boston’s leaders and it recognizes and supports leadership growth as well as the growth and well-being of their organizations…in our case, Saint Cecilia! The program normally lasts two years and includes a wealth of resources such as mentoring, support, leadership development, relationship building, a two-week whole group learning journey, and an individual three-month sabbatical. Initially, I told them, “I think you have the wrong guy,” but they were not dissuaded! 😊 It has been a pure gift and humbling opportunity to be selected as a Barr Fellow.

The vision and support of the Barr Foundation, as well as the opportunity to learn from and with the other Barr Fellows (check them out! Some of Boston’s unsung heroes!) has been so beneficial. Even though we have not yet gone on our group learning journey because of Covid, the individual sabbaticals are starting for each of us. It’s time to step back, take the acquired knowledge, let it sink in… and rest, read, and renew. This is NOT the “Irish/Italian goodbye” or a sneaky way to leave the parish! I’m planning to be back at the end of September and be present at the liturgies, baptisms, and weddings that weekend of October 1-2. In the meantime, I really look forward to spending some time in Italy and France, getting on a bike, making a silent retreat, and reconnecting with God, self, family, and friends.

While I’m gone, you’re going to be in great hands with one of the best priests of the archdiocese: Fr. Ron Coyne. He is someone I have looked up to since I was young! He’s down to earth, real, kind, energetic, and engaging. Best of all, he can deliver a tight, cogent, ten-minute homily!!! You won’t know what to do with all the extra time on your Sundays throughout the summer!! 😝 Parish operations will remain the same and Ron will be here and present with Giovanna and Fr. Jim for all spiritual/pastoral matters. The rest of the stellar Saint Cecilia crew will also be at your service to tend to the pastoral needs of the FFF (Far Flung Flock) and local parish community.

Please know that while I’m away, I do not take this wonderful opportunity for granted. It is a huge gift to be able to go. I will miss all of you and will miss the energy of the parish rhythms (literally and figuratively!) Thank you for being so supportive and willing to let me step away and recharge so we can all come back in the fall, ready to go and, hopefully, Covid-free! In the meantime, please keep me in your heart and prayer while away. You will all continue to be in mine the whole time away.

The last weekend Sunday celebration before I leave will be on Pentecost Sunday, June 5th. I will introduce Fr. Coyne and then we have our high school Confirmation later that afternoon at 2:00 p.m. I’m away this Sunday (May 15) and Fr. Peter Gyves will be presiding! Can’t wait to fill you in on my upcoming experience this weekend…so stay tuned!

See you on the big screen or in the pew next weekend and I look forward to participating this summer from afar…just to see if Fr. Coyne can actually give a ten-minute homily! 😂

God love and bless you all!

With love and prayers,