NEEDHAM -- Pope John Paul II once said that parents face “the onerous task to transmit human, moral and spiritual values to young generations, which will allow them to be men and women who are concerned to lead an upright personal life and to commit themselves to social life.”
This work is evident in the lives of Morgan and Emilie Mahoney, parishioners at St. Joseph’s in Needham. “I came to Needham as a bride,” recalled Emilie. Married 50 years, she and Morgan have raised their four children in the parish, sending them to the parish elementary school.
“And we now have the privilege of seeing our grandchildren grow up and go through St. Joseph’s (school) as well,” she said.
The Mahoney family is certainly involved in every aspect of parish life. From altar-serving teens to members of the parish council; from musicians in the choir to members of the Knights of Columbus, their presence is visible everywhere.
One unique, cross-generational way the family is involved at St. Joseph’s is as the parish sacristans. Emilie, together with her two daughters, Marybeth Warner and Amy Rockett, help prepare the linens and the altar cloths every week.
“Most of the things we do, the children wind up getting involved,” said Marybeth Warner.
Together with her husband Mark, Marybeth Warner has five children. They married at St. Joseph’s 21 years ago, but soon after moved to Michigan, Mark’s home state.
Parishioners at St. Joseph’s for the past six years, the couple “feel very lucky to be a part of such a wonderful parish,” according to Mark Warner.
“My faith has helped me form my whole outlook on life,” he added. “It really helps me to manage my life, not only to take me to heaven but to take my family there too.”
“We were so fortunate to receive our faith from our parents and to pass it onto our children,” chimed Marybeth Warner, noting that she has received all her sacraments at St. Joseph’s.
“We are a vibrant parish family,” she said.
“There’s a friendliness, an openness, for all different age groups here at St. Joe’s,” commented Rockett.
Rockett also underscored the impact her parents’ faith has had on her life.
“My parents reasoned with their faith. They never veered from it,” she said. “That has passed onto us and I hope that it will pass onto our kiddos.”
Rockett, 43, and her husband Peter, 47, who have four children, both were raised in strong Catholic families. Members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, they are striving to raise their children to value the importance of their faith.
“We hope they’re strong Catholics and strong leaders,” said Amy Rockett.
St. Joseph Parish, Needham
Year established -- 1917
Pastor -- Father Michael Lawlor
Parochial Vicar -- Father Paul Sullivan
In residence -- Msgr. Francis McGann
Religious Education Directors -- Susan Foohey, Michael Lescault
Business Manager -- Rosanne Timmerman
Music Director -- John Cice
Organist -- Mia DeMeis
Elementary School principal -- Paul Kelly
Middle School principal -- Jane Abel