Blessings prayed and prayers answered...

Last night I had the opportunity to join some folks who drove into Logan International to meet parishioner Mark Merlino upon his return from a year's deployment in Iraq. You might remember the blessing my parish prayed over Mark just before he left. Well, our prayers have certainly been answered with Mark's safe return to his family and friends.

Here's Mark coming down the escalator to the baggage claim area where we were waiting for him - no need to comment on how happy he was to be home!

And here's the joyful crowd Mark encountered - on the right, that's his wife, Sue, running to meet her husband.

Please keep in your prayers those who are still in harm's way in the service of our country. And pray for those men and women who have suffered physically and emotionally as a result of this war - and for those who have given their lives that others might live.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

(Click on images for larger versions; more photos here)



  1. That makes me cry - it is beautiful to see this. Thank God for Mark's safe return, prayers for those who still serve and prayers for those who have gone to the Lord as a result of this conflct.


  2. Brought tears to my eyes as well. May God guard and protect all of the men and women who remain in dangerous areas of the world. May they also one day return home safely to their loved ones.


  3. Welcome home Mark.

    Hi wife remodeled the kitchen while he was gone - a nice surprise!

  4. Weepy on this end too. Welcome home, Mark, and may the readjustment be gentle.

  5. So good that you went along to meet him at the airport. Says a lot about what kind of pastor you are.
    We want more priest like you!!

  6. Anne: your words are kind but I'm also aware of how impossible it is for one pastor to be in all the places he should/needs/would like to be with his people. Reminds me of a reflection in the CNS Year for Priests series on pastors doing a kind of triage of ministerial life.

  7. Father Fleming and all, thank you so much for driving into the airport to welcome me home! It was a great surprise to see so many people! What a wonderful surprise! I feel so blessed to have so many friends and families at Holy Family who provided outstanding support to myself and my family while I was away. From raking leaves, to helping out with projects around the house, to the many care packages sent overseas and most importantly all those prayers! Thanks you very much to all from the Merlino Family!

  8. Father Fleming and all thank you so much for driving into the airport to welcome me home. What a wonderful surprise to see so many friends and family members! I want to thank you all for the outstanding support to me and my family this past year! From raking leaves, to helping out with home projects, to sending care packages and the many prayers that we received! Our family feels truly blessed to have you all as friends!


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