Ann Lundbohn Pilot photo/ Courtesy St. Mary parish
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LYNN -- Seventy-nine year-old Ann Lundbohn can pinpoint the day her faith became a concrete force in her life.
She was just a child, one of four siblings and the only girl, when the family got a notice that her older brother was killed in action during World War II. Lundbohn spent the next three days praying, begging God to help them get through the ordeal.
Then, the family received a second notice -- her brother was wounded, but alive, and would be sent to a hospital in New York.
“That was my first real experience that prayers can be answered,” Lundbohn recalled. “As a young kid, you go to church because your mother tells you to. You go to religious education because your mother tells you to, but that was my first real experience of faith.”
Lundbohn, a parishioner at St. Mary’s in Lynn, has held fast to her faith ever since.
“I can’t describe how many times my faith has come to my rescue,” she said.
Lundbohn first became involved in her parish 50 years ago, when her two children were young. Initially, she was a den mother for the Cub Scouts, “and I’ve been involved ever since,” she added with a smile.
Over the years, Lundbohn has been a den mother, a lector and an extraordinary minister of Communion. She has served on the Altar Guild, the parish’s St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Ladies’ Sodality, the Justice and Peace committee and the hospitality committee. In addition, Lundbohn volunteers each week at the parish’s food pantry, distributing food to needy Lynn residents.
She is, however, very humble about her involvement.
“I don’t want to toot my own horn, I want to toot my parish’s horn,” stressed Lundbohn.
According to Lundbohn, St. Mary’s is, “one of those parishes where people just come together.” The parish has people of a host of cultures and languages -- all of whom call St. Mary’s, “their spiritual home.”
Lundbohn praised her pastor, Msgr. Paul Garrity, for his ability to unify the parish.
“When Father Garrity first came here, we were in limbo,” she recalled. St. Patrick parish had closed, the high school was ailing and on the verge of closing, and many were beginning to doubt the future of the parish.
Today, the parish is “energetic, diversified and most definitely alive,” she said. The parish high school also turned around, she said. The school now has over 800 students enrolled and has expanded to offer 7th and 8th grade instruction.
Lundbohn also noted that the parish reaches out to the community in a vari ety of ways. The Justice and Peace Committee hosts several talks about issues impacting Lynn residents -- issues such as politics, immigration and poverty. In addition, under the leadership of Father Michael Ferraro, parochial vicar at St. Mary’s, the parish also runs a food pantry that serves nearly 800 people each week.
“What more can I say? I just love my parish,” Lundbohn said.
St. Mary Parish, Lynn
Year established -- 1862
Pastor -- Msgr. Paul Garrity
Parochial Vicars -- Father Michael Ferraro, Father Gabriel Lormeus
Deacon -- Timothy Dempsey
Pastoral Associate -- Jaye Russo
Human Resources Director -- Steve Upton
Music Director -- Ed Lecuyer
Head of School -- Dr. Raymond Bastarache
High School Principal -- Carl DeMaiti
Junior High Administrator -- Michele Durgin