Living the Faith: Beth and Ben Raymond

WALTHAM -- Speaking from their Waltham home, it is obvious that Beth and Ben Raymond take their faith seriously.

“Being a Christian is a part of me,” remarked Beth. “It’s where I am, it’s where I am going. It’s where I have been. It’s where I hope to go,” she said.

“My faith, too, is so tied up to the meaning of my life,” echoed Ben. “It’s knowing that I am not alone, that there really is someone guiding me.”

“Our commitment to our faith is so much more than just going to church one hour a week,” stated Beth, a librarian at Harvard University.

Beth is a extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, a lector and serves on both the pastoral council and the parish vision committee for Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Parish in Waltham. Her husband Ben is also a lector. In addition, Ben, a contracts compliance manager for IBM, also maintains the parish’s computers, keeping them up to date and fixing them whenever the need arises.

Unfortunately, she said, there are very few Catholics in their age group who are still active in their faith.

“We fit in a group where we are not young adults anymore, but we are not older adults either,” she explained. As a result, the Raymonds are trying to get a parish group organized that would focus on people in their age range. Beth is 29; Ben is 33.

“We are looking into what kinds of things my age group ? which is rather small ? would be interested in doing,” added Ben. The idea would be to create a group of similarly aged people who could share their faith.

Trying to reach out to people who may not ordinarily attend weekly Mass is something that Father Sean McCarthy, pastor of Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted, is very good at, according to the Raymonds.

His welcoming spirit is perhaps one of the reasons they chose to become parishioners at Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Parish three years ago, mused Beth Raymond.

According to Ben, “Father Mac,” as his parishioners refer to him, came to the parish at roughly the same time he and his wife started attending Mass there. At the time, the parish was rocked with a financial crisis and was struggling to overcome it.

Ben praised Father Mac, adding that in three years he has not only solved the parish’s fiscal woes, he has also restored faith in the eyes of many parishioners.

“Father Mac is crazy-busy,” Ben said with a smile.

“As a parish, I think we are ready to move forward after only three years,” he added, noting that even the parish school has seen changes.

“There are real changes in the parish and in the school, and that’s a really cool thing,” he said.