JOINT STATEMENT ABOUT THE PEACE PARK FROM THE CLERGY OF CHARLESTOWN
As members of the clergy serving both the Catholic and Protestant traditions in Charlestown, we want to express our support for the Peace Park that is being revitalized by the students affiliated with Turn it Around and in conjunction with the Charlestown Coalition. As the clergy members of Charlestown, we recognize the diversity we represent concerning our faith backgrounds and see the diversity that is also represented in Charlestown.
We hope that not only our congregations see our stand for unity, but that we may also show our unity for such a necessary community project in Charlestown. The stated purpose of the park is to show a united Charlestown that is committed to being a community and to showing the resilience of our neighborhood. Those qualities are ones that we can all agree on, regardless of our ethnic, economic or religious background. We hope that as a community, all of Charlestown will embrace the principles for which this Peace Park stands.
In His Service,
Fr Daniel Mahoney
Pastor – Saint Francis de Sales
Rev. Thomas Mousin
Rector – St. John’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Erik J. Maloy
Lead Pastor – First Church in Charlestown
Rev. James J. Ronan
Pastor – St. Mary – St. Catherine of Siena Parish
To the Lt. Michael Quinn Scholarship Committee, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for rewarding me in being the 2018 Michael Quinn Scholarship recipient. I am writing to thank you for the generous scholarship that will help me continue to further my education at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. I am both honored and ,excited to receive this award, and I know that I have a big legacy to carry on my shoulders from here on. Your scholarship will be pivotal in helping me pursue my goal of a major in marine transportation and a career in the federal law enforcement fields. I hope that as the 2018 Michael Quinn scholar, I will continue on the legacy of a great marine and a great friend just as the 49 other recipients have done before me. Once again thank you for rewarding me this prestigious scholarship.
PEACE PARK IS A PLACE FOR HEALING, CONTEMPLATION AND POWERFUL IDEALS
Charlestown is a place of deep history and striking urban beauty—but it is also a community imprinted over many years by the sadness of division, violence, and loss. Gun violence—a national public health epidemic of growing proportions—has touched our community and set off reverberations through neighborhood families and networks. And mounting losses due to the opioid epidemic—of which Charlestown remains an epicenter within the City of Boston—have left our community shaken and traumatized. Deep divisions of race and class still exist in our community— often under the surface, but still playing a role in this diverse neighborhood where tremendous disparities of income and health persist among the many segments of our one-square-mile footprint.
In this setting, I honor and celebrate the many strong organizations in our community who work hard to reunite and heal the neighborhood. This month, as one of five recipients of a “Love Your Block” grant from the City of Boston, the Charlestown Coalition is unveiling a Peace Park in Mount Vernon Street Plaza, a small patch of mostly unused real estate located in one of the neighborhood’s border zones. The park—to be built around a longstanding memorial stone to Robert McGrath, a well-known Charlestown resident who lost his life to community violence in the late 1980s – will feature new landscaping, quiet places for contemplation and healing, and a wall of memory stones bearing names or cherished poems memorializing lost loved ones. The Coalition’s strong vision is to create a peaceful common space, like few others in the community, where Charlestown neighbors from all quarters can come together to share memories and find comfort. Facing the changing demographics, politics, and historical pain of our 390-year-old community can feel complicated, but the ideals behind the Peace Park are simple ones: unity, resilience, healing, and a way forward to solve problems together. And these powerful ideals are very much in sync with my mission and those of my colleagues at MGH Charlestown as primary care physicians watching over the health of this diverse neighborhood. Please join me in celebrating the Peace Park and the Coalition’s visionary work making it a reality by participating in the park unveiling and the first annual Charlestown Peace Walk on Tuesday—a rare chance to gather in honor of those we’ve lost and those we now seek to bring together and protect.
Jim Morrill, MD
MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center