Category Archives: Catholic / Church

April, 2000: Saying Bon Voyage to Father Steve Madden

NOTE: THIS WAS WRITTEN IN 2000; IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE 2015 STORY CLICK HERE


By Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter April 2000

True story: Many years ago my mother went to confession to a priest I’ll call Father Brimstone. It had been a particularly stressful week, and Mom confessed that she’d yelled at my sister and me.

Father Brimstone let out a loud gasp and asked, “Would the Blessed Mother do that?”

Mom has no response for that, was a little hurt, and went to other priests for confession after Incident.

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Standing room only in church

 Saint Marys Church - Foxboro - Holy Family - Peace Gardenby Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter April 1999

Palm Sunday mass, and Saint Mary’s is filled beyond capacity this afternoon. There is literally a standing room only crowd. I’m late again, so I’m also standing.

This particular mass features the longest gospel of the year — the Passion of Jesus Christ, which tells the story from the Last Supper to the day after the crucifixion.

My mind wanders back to many years ago at Saint Kevin’s in Dorchester, when we’d all stand for the long gospel, and then afterward Father Kierce would say a seemingly longer sermon and then read the announcements from the church bulletin.

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Celebrating Vocations

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 3/1998
and the Boston City Paper 6/2006

Right around this time last year, I wrote a column celebrating religious vocations, and reflected on many of the priests who’d had such a positive effect on my life.

This year, the subject of vocations is once again on many people’s minds. A few weeks ago, Saint Mary’s Pastor Father Tom Riley gave a heartfelt sermon about the need for a greater number of religious vocations.

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