On my first day at the Shrine, I was unsure what to expect from this experience. I had become familiarized with the Shrine, but I truly did not understand all that it meant to the people it serves. To people across the Boston area, St. Anthony Shrine is a family, offering religious events and opportunities for worship, along with important outreach services to those who may be in need.
Though the first week of a new job requires an adjustment, at the Shrine I have already begun to feel like a part of the family. Sitting in an office on the third floor has me in the middle of traffic all day long, with friars and other members of the staff flowing in and out of the hallway nearby. Each and every person who walks by me stops to say hello and offer a smile. It genuinely shocked me just how compassionate and open the friars have been to me. I enjoy coming into the office and seeing them every day.
Not only are the friars and lay staff so amazing, the work they do everyday is equally impressive. I didn’t realize that the Shrine is such an integral part of the local community, and a way of life for so many of the city’s residents, especially those in need. Growing up in a small parish, we did what we could do for those in our town that needed assistance, but the sheer number of people to help was very small compared to that number in Boston. With such a larger body of people to offer assistance to, the impact of St. Anthony Shrine is greater than I had ever experienced before.
Though it has only been five days since I began working at the Shrine, I am excited about the opportunities, lessons, and relationships that this summer may hold for me.
Written by Kathryn Chaney; a rising Senior at Boston College