Saying farewell to Holy Family Parish – thank you to everyone!!

 

Yesterday was my last Sunday at Holy Family Parish.  It was a bit emotional to be presiding my last Masses at the parish.  I got a very nice surprise when a group of friends of mine from the Wednesday night “Sing” and the Monday night Sea Chanty group showed up!

In the afternoon, the parishioners had a “going away” party for me in the parish hall.  There was a lot of food, including this beautiful cake:

cake

 

 

And another group of music friends showed up, and added live music to the mix!

live musicAfter came the evening Brazilian Mass:

and we had another going away dinner, with another delicious cake:

THANK YOU to everyone for all you’ve done for me during my time at Holy Family Parish!  The outpouring of support yesterday – kind words, business cards, greeting cards, gifts, music, hugs, etc. – reminded me once again that I have WICKED AWESOME friends in this amazing Cape Ann community! I hope to get out thank-you notes to those people who gave gifts and for whom I have a name and address, but if I miss you, please accept my thanks here!

Of course, although I am leaving Holy Family Parish, I am not leaving Gloucester or GMG! Why leave, when I am in such a great place with so many wonderful, talented, generous people?  I am starting to move my things into a new apartment today, and will hopefully finish moving my things and myself tomorrow. I hope to support myself in part by selling prints of photos, teaching origami and photography workshops (at The Hive for teens and adults and Art Haven for kids, and anywhere else I can), and possibly doing some translation work and/or language tutoring (Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and/or maybe Italian, although my Italian is a little rusty).

From tomorrow on, Fr. Linus Mendis will take my place here at Holy Family Parish. As of July 1, I will formally be on a year of leave of absence with permission from the Cardinal.   That implies that, although I continue to be a priest in good standing, I will not be doing any priestly ministry.  The archdiocesan policy with these things is that, since I am taking a year off,  I am not allowed to wear my clerical clothing or celebrate the sacraments in public (although I will continue to celebrate Mass in private – I am looking for a small altar for my apartment… ). Some people have asked if I should still be called “Father Matthew”, or just “Matthew”, or “Matt”, or whatever. Since I don’t know what will be going on at the end of this year (continuing as a priest for the archdiocese? seeking another option within priestly ministry, or taking another path outside of ministry?),  just call me whatever makes you comfortable. My preference is Matthew (with or without “Father”). For now, I will be signing my posts like this:

Matthew Green

 

22 thoughts on “Saying farewell to Holy Family Parish – thank you to everyone!!

  1. Fr. Matthew – I look forward to visits from you in my gallery and seeing you at other cultural events on Cape Ann. You are a friend to us all. Fred

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  2. Matthew, although we have never met, I have come to know and respect you through this blog. It occurs to me that you would make a wonderful spiritual director–I would only trust someone to help me with my doubts if he had shown the courage to face his own. God bless you, I hope I do get to meet you in person. It is obvious that many people love and honor you, and Gloucester is much richer for having you here.
    All shall be well…

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  3. Mixed emotions! ? Since your departure from the legionnairies there was time to ponder? Fr.John rolled out the red carpet..sorry for the negativity!At 40..Get your act together.Cc

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    1. Charlene, getting my act together is precisely what I am aiming to do by taking time off, which I am doing with the approval and support of those who have all the relevant information (which you do not). The problem is not that I am unhappy with Fr. John, or the parish, etc.; I could hardly be happier with all of that. The questions I need to resolve are internal to myself, regarding matters of faith, identity, integrity, vocation, etc.

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      1. I applaud your willingness to give up a good thing to find the right thing, Matthew. It’s easy to stay in a comfortable situation, but often God calls us out of our comfort zones to do what He really wants us doing. Blessings on your continuing journey in this adventure called life!

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      2. I never implied that you were unhappy with Fr.John..Fr.John made your transition to Cape Ann very smooth. Your comment as to how you will be called Fr.Matthew or Matthew..Reflect on what you said….Cc

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        1. Charlene, I appreciate your concern, but trust me on this. What I said is simply describes the truth of my situation, after long reflection and consultation with informed, qualified people. I am not impulsive or reckless about things like this.

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  4. I have only met you once Fr.Matthew, but my question would be: don’t you believe that once you are a priest, you are a priest forever? How does this leave room for the idea of abandoning the priestly ministry?? I guess I would just think that after so many years of service, how can one now feel that he is no longer called to serve?

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    1. Anon, the sacramental theology is clear… But one thing is the sacramental seal, another is the active exercise of priestly ministry. There are legitimate reasons why one might consider leaving ministry, even though the sacramental seal is conserved, but this is not the place to discuss it… I am not planning on leaving ministry permanently, although I don’t rule it out. I might elaborate more on this general topic and/or my specific situation later, but it would probably be on my own blog (http://advenus.wordpress.com), not on GMG.

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  5. Matthew, We in the GMG community are all richer for you having you shared your photos, travels, GMG posts, art and unique perspective with us. It’s easier to do one’s own thing and not put oneself out there on a limb. But we’re all better for your having done so. How many other clerics are frequent bloggers and talented photogs and origami artists? Thank you for putting yourself out there and sharing a big part of yourself with us. Best of luck.

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  6. I was looking for an address for Fr. Linus and found that he was in Gloucester and read your blog. I will remember you in my prayers during this year LOA that you may discern the Will of God in your life.
    God Bless!
    Margaret

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