Gerry and Marylou Corriveau with their children Josh, 19, and Christian, 6.
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BELLINGHAM -- For Gerry Corriveau, being Catholic is a lot more than just going to weekly Mass.
“My wife and I want to participate in the sacrifice of the Mass, but we also want a community that has a strong spiritual component to it,” he said.
Ten years ago, Corriveau, a software manager from Blackstone, found just that place: St. Brendan Parish.
“My wife and I knew we had found our home,” he recalled.
Today, Corriveau and his wife, Marylou Corriveau, are both lectors at St. Brendan’s, and serve the parish as a marriage preparation couple, giving pre-Cana instruction to engaged couples in their parish community. They also help to run the annual parish fair.
In addition they “try to stay reasonably active in the parish,” he said, helping out in whatever capacity they can.
Corriveau praised his pastor, Father David Mullen, for his untiring commitment to St. Brendan’s.
“I am just amazed at what (Father Mullen) does to keep the parish vibrant and keep it going,” Corriveau said in a tone of amazement. “He always tries to push the faith into areas of our lives that are more than just attending church on Sundays.”
“Just to know him, you know that he really enjoys being a priest,” he added. “He enjoys ministering to his people.”
“We have a very generous parish, and it is all led by the example of Father Mullen,” Corriveau stated, noting Father Mullen publicly gives 10 percent of his stipend to charity.
“Because of him, other people in the parish now tithe,” said Corriveau. Each week, the parish also tithes their weekly collection, donating 10 percent to a local charity.
Corriveau, 45, grew up in Bellingham, one of seven children in a strong Catholic family. However, after graduating from high school, he admits he “fell away” from his faith.
Corriveau credits MaryLou, his wife of 21 years, for renewing in him a desire to deepen his faith.
“She really helped right my ship,” he said. “I owe a lot to her.”
“My faith has really grown year after year. I find myself being much more open to trusting in God,” he said.
The couple, with their two children ages 19 and 6, try to live their lives with God always present in their midst, he said, praying the rosary together and participating in church events as a family.
“My faith helps me to think about and to understand why I’m here and what it is that God wants me to do,” he said. “It is how I try to approach my day, my week, my life.
“God helps me during the tough times, but he’s the first one I want to praise in the good times,” he continued. “I can’t picture going through the day without that relationship.”