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Support our priests, as they have supported us

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This Easter, the special collection at every Mass helps sustain our beloved priests in their vocations, providing for their health and wellbeing as they continue their journeys of faith.

For most of my adulthood, I have been fortunate to consider the support of Father Richard "Dick" DeVeer as a constant in my life, both inside and outside my parish. From when we met 47 years ago to present day, I have watched him minister in his extraordinarily generous and faith-filled priesthood.

I have always turned to Father DeVeer for guidance during my most trying times, and not once has he been "too busy." No matter the circumstance, Father DeVeer has aided me and my family whenever needed. In our most crucial life moments -- the good, bad, and everything in between -- Father DeVeer has offered unwavering support. Although we are truly blessed to call Father DeVeer a close friend, we are far from the only ones who have been impacted by his kindness, support, and energetic spirit.

Today, despite no longer being in active ministry, Father DeVeer still maintains a full schedule devoting himself to others. When he's not helping provide compassionate and safe healthcare to the people of Southern Haiti through the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, Father DeVeer is celebrating local Masses and conducting baptisms, weddings and funerals.

Given their spiritual and dedicated impact, priests like Father DeVeer want neither credit nor recognition for their life's work. They need the same support they have afforded us throughout the years, however. This Easter, the special collection at every Mass helps sustain our beloved priests in their vocations, providing for their health and wellbeing as they continue their journeys of faith.

I ask you to remember Father DeVeer and the priests in your life, and consider making a gift to the Easter collection to thank them for their unwavering support. Priests are always there for us, and in this season of Lent, let's be there for them in return.

MARYANN MANFREDONIA IS THE RETIRED PRINCIPAL AT EAST BOSTON CENTRAL CATHOLIC SCHOOL AND LONGTIME FRIEND OF FATHER "DICK" DEVEER.

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