, Salem, MA

June 1, 2013

Letter: Pastor grateful for his time in Beverly

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

When I was told 13 years ago that I was being sent to Beverly, this kid from Quincy had some vague notion that Beverly must be somewhere “up north.” That was about all I knew. Well over a decade later, Beverly has become a place that I will never forget. It has been much more than an assignment. It has become my home and its people have become my neighbors and my friends.

As I prepare to leave Beverly, I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude. Beverly has been such a great place to be a priest! In an age of social media, it often seems that the more adept we become at texting and Facebook, the less capable we are of the common courtesies of personal conversation. We are becoming more connected to people far away and less connected to the person sitting next to us at the lunch counter. But, I have found Beverly to be a place where people still strive to be truly friendly. People in Beverly still have time for one another. That is a rare treasure.

I am grateful for the tremendous cooperation and working relationship that I have had with the mayor, the city government and its various agencies. I am grateful to the men and women of the Beverly police and fire departments who have responded so generously and pleasantly to various emergencies along the way. I am particularly grateful to the Beverly Police Department for allowing me to be their chaplain and for the friendship that we have forged. I am grateful to the restaurants and coffee shops that have always treated me so well. I am grateful to the college kids, the families, and the hero veterans. I am grateful to all of the citizens of this great city. I am grateful that wherever I went, somebody said, “Hello.” It’s a small thing, but it made Beverly more and more of a home to me. Thanks for welcoming me 13 years ago and for being such a great city. I can honestly say that I have had the best assignment of any priest in the Archdiocese of Boston. I, of course, thank God for that, but I also thank you. This city and its citizens remain forever in my gratitude and in my prayers.

Rev. David J. Barnes

St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish

St. Margaret Parish