I’m taking a year off starting in June, but staying in Gloucester


[This is a slightly updated version of a note in our parish bulletin this weekend.]

Almost two years have passed since I began my ministry at Holy Family Parish here on Cape Ann. It’s been a really blessed time! This is a wonderful community, and I am very grateful for the warm welcome I have received.

As some of you know, a lot has happened in my life in the past four years. Not all of it has been as good as coming to Cape Ann. A terrible scandal came to light in my religious congregation (the Legionaries of Christ) in 2009, and since 2010 I have been working in parishes, seeking to discover the new path that God has planned for me. I have not really had time to step back and process all that has happened, and it has raised personal issues that I am still trying to work through. I have come to realize that it is not possible for me to deal with these things adequately at the same time as trying to serve the community in active ministry at a parish. I need some time without pastoral duties in order to heal and discern. As a consequence, Cardinal O’Malley has agreed to allow me to take a year off from ministry, starting in early June.

I hope that this period of leave will help me to find greater peace and clarity so that I can better carry out God’s will in my life. Another priest will take my place here at Holy Family Parish, and I hope he will love and enjoy this community as much as I do.  At the end of this year I will either take a new parish assignment or explore other avenues, either inside or outside the diocese.

At first I was planning to move closer to Boston, because leaving my position at the parish means a change in my role in the community of Cape Ann, and the adjustment could be awkward. However, in the past couple of days I realized that I have such great friends and community here, and there are so many great things going on in this city, that I don’t want to leave.  So, I am looking into affordable, preferably shared housing (i.e. sharing a house or apartment – hopefully with room for lots of books and origami) in Gloucester from June 2013 to June 2014, and I will be looking for light employment to help me cover my expenses.

Please keep me in your prayers!

About Matthew Green

I am a translator, origami artist/teacher, and photographer, a blogger, former philosophy professor, and I love to sing. You can see my photos on Flickr and buy prints of some of them on Fine Art America. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter (@mehjg), and in various and sundry other social media sites on the web.
This entry was posted in New pastoral experiences and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to I’m taking a year off starting in June, but staying in Gloucester

  1. Jeanne says:

    Fr. Matt –
    You have our prayers, our best wishes, and our offer for any help that we might be to you. Hope we will continue to see you at the parish and around town. Allyn and Jeanne Smith

  2. Kim says:

    Fr. Green

    I for one will miss your posts, but I think you should do what is needed to help you come to a place where our lord is leading you, may it be a place where you can fulfill you duties and be a Shepherd to Christ. May peace rein in your (heart and soul). Jesus and Blessed Mother Mary love you. A friend Kim Consiglio

    I am going to keep you in my Circles so when you do return I can read your posts.

  3. Best of wishes to you. I know you will find your way.

  4. Kim says:

    PS Fr. Green read below

    “My sheep hear my voice;

    I know them, and they follow me.

    I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

    No one can take them out of my hand.

    My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,

    and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.

    The Father and I are one.”

    “My sheep hear my voice;

    I know them, and they follow me.

    I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.

    No one can take them out of my hand.

    My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,

    and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.

    The Father and I are one.”

    ~ Jn 10:27

    ~ Jn 10:27-30 I send you peace

  5. Cory says:

    Father Green,

    I hope that you find your path. I would just like to thank you for being you during your homilies. You have really enriched my return to the church, and I am sorry to see you go.

    God Bless
    -Cory

  6. Father Green, your strength is inspiring. To take a year off for searching and contemplation, will be so healing! Photography is a great tool to help you explore your mind. Hope to see some introspective images reflecting your personal path. An in-depth look at what you’re going through would help us all see through our struggles as well. That would be a wonderful contribution to mankind.

  7. Anthony VanArsdale says:

    We’re praying for you, Father.

  8. Jo Major Ciolino says:

    A “year off” is the best gift you can give yourself, and in turn will enrich the many others whose lives you touch. One of my favorite things about your priesthood is the human face you put with it. So many people are under the mistaken impression that priests sit around in the rectory all day doing nothing, and thinking nothing other than the topic of their next sermon. You are a living example of how priests really are sons, brothers, uncles and nephews with real lives, real interests and real hobbies. It’s a living gospel few people are privileged to witness and we are fortunate to have you in our community. Best wishes for a great “retreat”!

  9. Thank you all for your comments! It’s great to feel such support from everybody. It’s also kinda humbling, in a good way. I can see how God has worked through me (despite me, sometimes) in many ways. There are times for giving, and times for receiving. I hope to keep giving in different ways during this year, but I also appreciate receiving your prayers and support.

  10. adriansharp says:

    Will keep you in my prayers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s