Living the Faith:Marin Fortune

byDonis Tracy Pilot Correspondent

Marin Fortune. Pilot photo/Courtesy 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 cant, she said.

In addition, Fortune also visits the sick in her parish. She leads a womens 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. Its 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 towns 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 masters 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.