Living the Faith: Ed and Peg Collupy

DORCHESTER -- Every Wednesday evening for the past 30 years, Ed and Peg Collupy have participated in their prayer group at St. Gregory Parish. Together with a group of about 20 other parishioners, the Collupys celebrate Mass, then give voice to their spirituality.

The prayer group, part of Catholic Charismatic Renewal, “is the place that really has deepened our understanding of Christ’s love,” said Ed Collupy, 75.

“I guess you could say we were instrumental in starting the prayer group,” Peg Collupy, 73, said shyly, “together with other couples of course.”

This understanding of Christ’s love has also compelled them to become more involved in their parish, she added.

Both Ed and Peg are extraordinary ministers of holy Communion -- a service they find nourishes them immensely. Ed was one of the first laymen in his parish to perform that ministry in 1980. Two years later, when that ministry was made available to women, Peg was ready and willing to begin.

“It is such a great honor to be a eucharistic minister,” she said, adding that she wishes that more attention was given to “express how fortunate we are to be able to distribute Communion.”

For years, the Collupys were involved in bringing the Eucharist to The Boston Home, a home for convalescent patients located near their parish. Although they have not been actively involved for several years now -- mostly due to their age -- Ed Collupy still schedules other extraordinary ministers to bring the Eucharist to patients every Sunday.

Ed Collupy believes they have become so involved in their parish because of a series of retreats the couple took part in over 30 years ago. In 1976, the couple attended a Cursillo weekend. Shortly after, they attended a “Life in the Spirit” charismatic retreat.

“That was truly a turning point in my life,” Ed Collupy said. “Even though I was always a churchgoing man, my faith really began to grow on that retreat.”

“The Lord has blessed me in that I can talk to him like a friend,” he continued. “Instead of rote prayers, I feel I can talk to him about anything.”

Peg Collupy agreed, “Like Ed said, being able to talk to him, to be myself with the Lord, that is a personal relationship that I am fortunate to have experienced.”

Both Ed and Peg Collupy are cradle Catholics -- he was raised in Milton; she in the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston. Soon after the couple married, 53 years ago, they moved to Dorchester and became parishioners at St. Gregory’s. They raised four children, all of whom attended the parish school.

For the past 27 years, they have “been graced” with Msgr. Paul Ryan, the pastor, who just recently announced his retirement.

“He is such a holy priest,” Ed Collupy said.

“Everyone was in tears when he announced he was leaving,” said Peg Collupy. “He’ll be truly missed.”