Living the Faith:Marin Fortune

NEWBURYPORT -- “Being Catholic is who I am,” stated Marin Fortune, parishioner at Immaculate Conception Parish in Newburyport.

As the pastoral associate, Fortune helps her pastor, Father Marc Piche, in any way she can. Calling her position a “filler position,” Fortune explained that her role in the parish is mainly to “fill in when the priest cannot.”

“I will do certain things, such as wakes or burials, when the priests can’t,” she said.

In addition, Fortune also visits the sick in her parish. She leads a women’s prayer group that “looks for God in the everyday things of life,” and facilitates wedding rehearsals. She is a participant in a weekly reunion group for the Cursillo movement and plays a “leadership role” in the Daughters of Isabella, an independent sister organization of the Knights of Columbus, among several other parish activities.

“I do a little bit of everything,” she said.

In addition to being a pastoral associate, Fortune is also the director of religious education for the elementary school children.

“I really like what I do,” she mused. “It’s fun.”

Sharing her faith with others is something she enjoys immensely, she said.

“I probably get my greatest joy when I am sharing God with others,” she said, noting that sharing Christianity is not only speaking about Christ to others, but “trying to live the way Jesus Christ taught us to.”

A native of Newburyport, Fortune became a pastoral associate after a productive career in the town’s public schools, first as a teacher and ultimately as a principal. Following what she perceived was a call from God, this 63-year-old got her master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Boston College in 1998.

After working for a short time in another parish, Fortune became the pastoral associate of her childhood parish, just around the corner from her home.

“This is such a great parish, with so many wonderful people,” she said. “So many of these people have been in my life for so long, being involved in the parish here is a chance for me to give back to the parish I so love.”

“When you live it, and you work here, it seems that being Catholic is what you do,” she said with a smile, adding “I do it because I love it.”