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In support of our priests in good standing

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Amid these difficult times facing our Church, we are often asked by friends and colleagues why we continually stand in support of priests. As a Catholic family living on the South Shore of Boston, we remember the many dedicated priests who were there for us throughout our lives. These priests have selflessly supported our family without asking for anything in return. The least we can do is give back to the faith-filled men who have given so much to us and to so many others.

When we drive by our local parish, Immaculate Conception in Weymouth, or other parishes nearby, such as St. Paul's in Hingham, where our 90-year-old mother still attends daily Mass, we are reminded of the many wonderful priests who have impacted our family through the years. Now, more than ever, we feel it is important to show gratitude to the priests who have devoted their lives to our parish communities.

Like many families, priests have been a constant presence throughout our lives. From when we were young kids growing up in Dorchester receiving First Communion through our marriage and raising our four boys, to now, navigating life as grandparents, Boston priests have been a guiding light for us.

As parents, our faith has certainly helped lead our family through all stages of life. Like all families, life doesn't always go as planned. We are grateful to the priests we have known throughout our marriage, such as Father Peter Martocchio, a most respected priest and a dear friend who is now a senior priest at Regina Cleri. We like to speak of these priests and many others, who have helped us to learn to take things in stride, to put our faith in God, and to remember there is always hope. These priests have always been ready to help us or help our parish, from administering the sacraments to supporting parish events and blessing our loved ones in their final hours.

Our priests have shown us that we need Christ in all aspects of our lives and our families. These men have paved the way through living by example, and act as a resource for our communities whenever we are in need. Throughout the years, our priests have become much more than just trusted spiritual advisors -- they have become our family friends.

At this time of year when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child in the manger, we are reminded of the devout pastors and priests who have served our Lord with humility and great belief, and who bring the love of Christ to everyone they meet. May we always remember these men in good standing who have devoted their entire lives to the Church and our families. It has been a true joy to see the faith that our parents instilled in us trickle down into the lives of our grandchildren, a faith nurtured by priests of great faith.

While not always perfect, our life has been wonderful, enriched by many hardworking, faith-filled Boston priests who helped us along the way.

Among the gifts you give this Christmas, perhaps you could add two to your list. The first would be to pray for our priests, that the Holy Spirit continue to bless, guide and direct them in their most holy vocation. Secondly, please consider a gift to the special Christmas Collection for the health and well-being of our Boston priests in good standing who have devoted their lives to our Church and to all of us.

KEVIN AND TRICIA MULDOON ARE PARISHIONERS AT IMMACULATE CONCEPTION PARISH IN WEYMOUTH.

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