St. Edith Stein Parish Established: 2003 Pastor: Father James Flavin Parochial Vicars: Father Brian Smith Father Lino Pereira Deacon: John Alexander Pastoral Associates: Sister Mary Lou McCarthy, CSJ Sister Eugenia DaSilva, FIC From the pastor: “We are a parish, rich in ethnic diversity -- we speak 19 languages. We are part of the new Trinity Catholic Academy which opened this year. The 2010 Initiative began here. Our parish has extensive volunteer opportunities with many active people. Debbie Hymon is but one example of the thousands of people who worship with us every weekend and make this a light on the hill in the midst of a struggling city.” Pilot photo/ Gregory L. Tracy
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BROCKTON -- Debbie Hymon credits baptismal preparation with laying the groundwork for her involvement in St. Edith Stein Parish.
“I keep thinking of the day when my husband and I went to get our son baptized. It all started there,” she explained.
Over 22 years ago, Hymon and her husband, Ross, came to St. Edward Parish in Brockton seeking to baptize their first son. Ross Hymon was raised Catholic; Debbie Hymon was raised Protestant, although she was not practicing any particular religion at the time.
During the baptismal preparation sessions, recalled Hymon, Father Robert Kelleher, then-pastor of St. Edward’s, and Sister Mary Lou McCarthy, CSJ, suggested she enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
“It was at the Easter Vigil 22 years ago that I became a Catholic. I’m glad I did it and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” she said.
Today Hymon is not only a regular communicant at the parish -- She is an extraordinary minister of Communion; president of the St. Vincent de Paul Society; she is involved in the parish’s youth group; and together with her husband, she assists the religious education coordinator.
“The parish is a big part of our lives,” she said. “It really feels like home.”
Relying on her faith is something that has become second nature to Hymon.
“I turn to God in good times or bad,” she said. “I can’t imagine going through the hard times without my faith.”
Hymon praised her pastor, Father James Flavin, for fostering a sense of community in St. Edith Stein Parish, a new parish established in 2003 in a merger of St. Edward’s and another Brockton parish, St. Nicholas Parish.
In addition, the Cape Verdean community began attending Mass at the parish around the same time.
Despite the changes, “Father Flavin has done a wonderful job of creating communion,” said Hymon.
According to Hymon, Father Flavin is “very hands-on” in his parish involvement.
“You can find him doing just about anything,” she said with a smile.
In addition, the camaraderie among the priests living in the rectory creates a very welcoming atmosphere, she said.
“People seem to come together here at St. Edith Stein,” she said.
“Anytime we ask for anything, our parish gives -- and we are not a very rich parish,” she added, noting that parishioners always support the St. Vincent de Paul Society in a host of ways -- by contributing goods, by volunteering services, and by providing monetarily through the parish’s poor boxes.
“We are a very vibrant parish, and I feel very blessed to be a part of it,” she said.