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May 14, 2017


Happy Mother’s Day to the women of our parishes and community. I begin by acknowledging that Mother’s Day will not be celebrated by some because of recent losses or traumatic backgrounds. I always believe it is healthy to recognize that we all do not have equal life experiences. Some live with a lot more pain than others.

I have been blessed with a strong family background. I did not have the privilege of knowing my mother’s mother. She died at a young age. But her presence was surely felt as she was always spoken of affectionately as “Nona.” My mother was Italian. I did grow up knowing my father’s mother who we always called “Nana.” We would often go to her home in Roslindale on Sunday afternoons for the Coyne Family gatherings. My father was one of six children. She always greeted us by saying, “Howdy Doody.”

My family celebrated Mother’s Day at our own home with a dinner at our dining table. It was my mother, father, sister, brother and I. Of course, my mother did all the cooking and serving. This is what she was all about. As long as we were all at the table, she was happy. We always invited my mother’s oldest sister who was like a second mother to us. She was not married and was so good to all her nieces and nephews.

My sister has 3 grown children and is now a grandmother. She has a son and 2 daughters who now have children (with another to be born in August). I’m not sure if I will be at my sister’s house on Mother’s Day, because as time has gone by, families celebrate in many different ways. Many children and grandchildren now live a distance from their parents and with work schedules and financial constraints, are not able to be home for Mother’s Day. In many cases the families focus on the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays for travel. It is also very common today for families to go out to restaurants on Mother’s Day, which would never have been acceptable to my mother.

The nuclear family has undergone many changes as our understanding of family has evolved. Society’s recognition of sexual orientation, same-sex marriage and issues surrounding transgender, have challenged everyone to broaden our understanding of family celebration such as Mother’s Day.

On behalf of myself and the staff at the Blue Hills Collaborative, I want to wish you all a very happy Mother’s Day.

If it is true that we learn how to love, today is a day that we are conscious of who taught us.

Enjoy Life!
Fr. Ron Coyne


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