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September 16, 2018

“They say” that only 25% of voters went to the polls for the Massachusetts primary elections on September 4th. “They say” that there are more registered “independents” in this state than there are Republicans or Democrats. “They say” those who don’t vote may play a greater role in determining the outcome than those who do. I voted in the primary, as I always do. I hear them speaking about absentee ballots, early voting, changing the election days to Saturdays, and having the ability to vote on-line. All of these are attempts to convince people to vote by accommodating, as much as possible, the life styles of today. I’m one of those people who believe that until something is a priority in someone’s life, you may do all you can to make it easier, but it will not have the impact you hope for. I believe that when we decide on a priority, it takes precedence when we are making plans. When something, i.e., voting, is not a priority, it doesn’t play a major role in our lives and is not a consideration when making plans. By the way, I feel the same way about Church. If it’s a priority, it will happen; if it’s not a priority, it doesn’t happen.

I see the same thing happening with church attendance that I see with election participation. As it becomes not so important for those responsible in the family, it is no longer an expected or accepted aspect for the younger members of that family. As we like to say: “We lead by example.” Most in my generation grew up in families where celebrating Mass and voting in elections were part of being faithful Catholics and good Americans. So it became by habit or expectation what we also did as we grew up. Sometimes we realized the value of both and made them a part of our own lives because we were convinced of their value in making us better individuals and vibrant members of our communities. I’m grateful today that I had that example set for me. If the leaders in our families today don’t agree with the direction of the Church or the country and divorce themselves from active participation, obviously their children will be much less apt to see either one as a priority when they make their choices.

All I’m trying to say is that these are the facts of life today—from where I stand.

Enjoy Life!
Fr. Coyne


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