Living the Faith: Bobby Talbot

SOUTH BOSTON -- While adversity can lead some to question their faith, for Bobby Talbot, adversity in life is exactly what led him to re-enter the Church.

Talbot, 29, grew up “a couple doors down” from St. Vincent de Paul Church in South Boston.

As a child, he would attend Mass with his family. He and his sister attended parochial school. But all that changed when Talbot became a teen.

“I strayed from my faith,” Talbot recalled.

Then, as he watched several of his friends battle addictions -- some even to the point of overdosing or committing suicide -- he found himself looking to the Church of his youth for answers.

“My life completely changed for the better once I let Christ into my life,” he said, adding that coming back to St. Vincent’s “just felt right.”

Today, Talbot and his wife of one year, Candice, are regular parishioners. In addition, Talbot is a member of the parish pastoral council and he participates in a Bible study group, which he began one year ago.

“The more I get involved, the more it has snowballed,” he said with a chuckle.

Prompted by his experience at the Boston Catholic Men’s Conference which he attended with another parishioner last year, he has also started a Men’s Group this year.

“The men’s group has been fantastic,” he said, noting that he has been “blown away with the amount of sharing.”

“Pretty much every age group you can imagine is represented there,” Talbot continued. “It’s great -- the younger guys like to listen to the old guys and their experiences and the older guys like to listen to the young ones.”

Talbot largely credits his re-entering the Church to his pastor, Father Joseph White.

“He was one of the main reasons I was attracted to the parish,” Talbot recalled. “His sermons relate to everyday life...they captivated me and made me interested.”

According to Talbot, the parish is a “healthy mix” of long-time South Boston residents and newcomers to the area. Father White has helped to create a great sense of community within the parish.

This has led to a great amount of involvement, especially from young adults such as Talbot.

“I think we have the youngest parish council in all of South Boston,” he said.

The sense of community has created a wonderful bond between parishioners.

“There’s just something about this community,” said Talbot. “The people in this parish, the closeness you feel in being a part of this parish, it’s not common.”

In fact, the community is such an integral part of his life that when Talbot and his wife began to think of buying a house, they couldn’t bring themselves to leave the parish.

“We initially planned to move out of the city and into the suburbs to start a family, but we just couldn’t do it,” he said. Instead, the couple is looking to buy a house “just around the corner” from the parish, so they can continue to be a part of St. Vincent’s.

“It’s really nice to be able to count on people in the community,” he said.

St. Vincent de Paul Parish, South Boston

Year established -- 1872

Pastor -- Father Joseph White

Pastoral Associate -- Nicole Feeley

Music Director -- Mary Swanton

Religious Education Director -- Mary McDonough

Organist -- Ted Finnegan