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Saying thank you to a favorite priest

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When my family reminisces about our times at St. Theresa's over the years, Father Jack is almost always a part of that reflection. He has been with my family through joys and sorrows, and through life and death.

Father Marc
Bishop

A few years ago, I made the mistake of asking my four-year-old nephew, James, who his favorite priest is. I fully expected him to say, "You are, Uncle Marc!" But looking up at me with his bright blue eyes, full of joy, he cried out: "Father Jack is my favorite priest!" With hoots of laughter erupting from my siblings, I momentarily was taken aback by my nephew's innocent display of candor. My nephew couldn't quite understand what was so funny about his answer -- Father Jack was his beloved parish priest, and I was, after all, just his Uncle Marc.

As the good-natured ribbing and jokes from my family died down, I began to reflect on my nephew's honest response to my question. Father Jack McCormick has been a priest at my family's home parish of St. Theresa of Lisieux for 25 years. Since he could walk, my nephew has lined up with his brother after Sunday Mass to shake Father Jack's hand, just as I did with my siblings when I was young. When my parents passed away several years ago, Father Jack was there to pray with them in their final weeks, days and hours. When my family reminisces about our times at St. Theresa's over the years, Father Jack is almost always a part of that reflection. He has been with my family through joys and sorrows, and through life and death.

After 58 years of priesthood, Father Jack is now considered a "senior priest." Somewhat similar to retirement in the secular world, when a priest reaches senior status, his workload is often cut back, but his ministry continues on. Despite facing the challenges of advancing age, Father Jack's priestly charism and desire to bring the presence of Christ about in the world is as strong as ever. Thankfully, Father Jack has the support and quality healthcare he needs to sustain him in his ministry through the assistance of the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust.

Next week, you will have an opportunity to support priests like Father Jack in the Christmas collection that will be taken up at every parish in the Archdiocese of Boston. All collection proceeds will be given to the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust, which helps to provide a continuum of care for the Archdiocese's 628 active and senior priests. Through the Clergy Heavlth and Retirement Trust, we can care for our favorite priests and the faithful men who have dedicated their lives to serve the Church by bringing the real presence of Christ into this world.

Today, if the tables were turned, and my nephew asked me who my favorite priest is, I would answer him, saying, "Jesus Christ -- and I'm happy and grateful to have met Him in Father Jack and all who sacrifice so much to serve us as priests."

ORDAINED IN 2001, FATHER MARC BISHOP IS THE ADMINISTRATOR OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH IN MARLBOROUGH. TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CLERGY HEALTH AND RETIREMENT TRUST OR TO MAKE A GIFT, PLEASE VISIT WWW.CLERGYFUNDS.ORG.

ORDAINED IN 2001, FATHER MARC BISHOP IS THE ADMINISTRATOR OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH IN MARLBOROUGH. TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE CLERGY HEALTH AND RETIREMENT TRUST OR TO MAKE A GIFT, PLEASE VISIT WWW.CLERGYFUNDS.ORG.

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