William Hyde and his wife, Sally
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LYNN -- Looking back on his life, William Hyde feels “very fortunate” for his parents, his wife, his children -- for his entire life.
He can see that God was always there to guide him.
“My faith means everything to me. Whatever I’ve done, I’ve always turned to my faith,” he said.
Growing up in Swampscott, where he still lives today, Hyde was raised in a family in which “the Church was always a big part of our life.”
He recalled that, as a young man, he would often pray “that when I met somebody, I’d be able to share my faith with her.”
So when he met Sally Stowell, he knew his prayers had been answered.
Married for 51 years, Bill and Sally Hyde have been parishioners at Holy Family Parish for the past 45 years.
The couple is very involved in their parish. She is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, a greeter at Mass and serves on the parish council. He serves on the finance council, counts the weekly collection, and is the “72-year-old altar boy” for the morning Mass.
A retired Swampscott fire chief, Hyde is grateful to be retired. “That way I get to spend more time at the parish,” he said.
“Ours is a homey type of parish,” he continued. “People who come here feel like they are home.”
“If you’re looking for caring or nurturing then this is the parish to go to,” Hyde said emphatically.
Hyde praised his pastor, Father Gregory Mercurio, for his “dynamic personality.”
“He is a one-man show,” Hyde declared. “He can get you involved and once you are involved, he gets you to want to do more.”
“I hope he’s there for a long time -- at least I hope he’s here during my tenure here on earth,” he added. “He’s always doing his part for making the parish strong.”
However, when he looks to the future, Hyde said he is not so sure that young people will be given the same opportunities he was given, especially in regards to their faith.
“Without vocations, I don’t have a happy feeling about the future, especially for young people,” he said sadly.
“I feel like religious structures are deteriorating,” continued Hyde. “And it all starts at home.”
According to Hyde, “moms are just too busy to have the time they used to at home,” time that was often spent passing the faith onto their children.
However, Hyde admits that despite what he sees to be a bleak future, God can always create hope.
“My faith tells me never to lose hope. That’s what it’s all about, no?”