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The “Resurrection” of Saint Thomas

by Father Kevin McBrien, O.Carm.

Earlier this summer I was in Salem, Massachusetts, visiting with my family (and to celebrate my brother’s and his wife’s 50th anniversary). During my visit I attended a meeting on June 27th called at my ancestral parish, Saint Thomas the Apostle, in Salem. The Archbishop of Boston announced that our beloved parish was to remain open! He had announced last year that it was to be closed, another among the thirty the archdiocese has closed so far. This announcement, made that night by Father Herb Jones, O.Carm., delighted the 300 parishioners who were present. Both the parishioners and the local clergy then praised the Carmelites for their efforts for “filling in 100% of the time” for the Archdiocese when the local priests were re-assigned last year. After a standing ovation one women yelled out: “Don’t ever leave!” All this exuberance is highly unusual coming from the ever-sedate people of Salem.

I am very happy for the parish where McBriens have worshiped since my grandfather’s day, and I’m happy to be part of the “Chapel Carmelites” who jumped in when they were needed. Lastly, congratulations to Father Herb Jones for his leadership.


The Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle, Salem, Massachusetts