To the editor:
On Saturday, Feb. 23, we learned that our shepherd, the Rev. David Barnes, is leaving his church, St. Mary Star of the Sea in Beverly, due to a new pastoral plan. When my mother and I came to St. Mary’s, it was because of the closing of St. Alphonsus Church back in 2004. We chose to come to St. Mary’s because we heard that they had a young shepherd who was doing wonderful things at the church, and they were right; he brings together all the people as one. He is a true shepherd. My mother and I have grown to love this man with our hearts, as do many of our other parishioners. My mother has grown a special bond with Father Barnes. She loves him as much as she does me, and I feel as though he is my younger brother, and we can joke around with him and he can give it back.
We have grown fond of our church and what Father Barnes has done to it. It is now a showpiece of the Catholic Church, because of the love and grace Father Barnes has brought to it. My heart is heavy as we will prepare for a new priest. I feel as though the archdiocese has put a dagger in my heart. Twice, I’ve felt the sting of the Catholic dagger. I wish Father Barnes well wherever he goes. My heart will be with him in my prayers as it always was, and also for Father Chateau, my prayers will be with him. As for the new pastor, I will pray for him, as he does not know what he is in for. He will need our help. God bless him.
I will always be indebted to Father Barnes for the kindness he showed to two lost sheep who didn’t know what to expect from a new church. He brought me and my mother back to the church when we lost hope in 2004.
In closing, I thank you, Father Barnes, from the bottom of my heart. You were right when you said every Mass from now on will be like a funeral Mass. The 4 p.m. Mass on Feb. 23 felt that way for my mother and me. God bless you.
Michael and Rose Martin