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Christ Church Cathedral is the Cathedral for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts.  

Dear friends,

Welcome to the website of Christ Church Cathedral.

The most important thing that I can tell you about our Cathedral is that it is marked by Easter joy – as a parish family, and as the mother church of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. ...more.

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(I want to share with all of us this moving message from our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Douglas Fisher. It was read at the service for the Rev. John DeBonville on July 11 and is addressed to John’s wife and children. – Jim Munroe)

Cathy, Christian, Katie...the entire Diocese of Western Massachusetts stand with you as you mourn John on this day and in these days to come. And we are committed to surrounding you with God's love and the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection.

In our liturgy we ask to behold 'God, who is our friend and not a stranger.' Last Saturday John saw God and recognized God as a friend. I know that because John already experienced God, who is love, in this life. John met God in the love of Cathy and Christian and Katie and in all his friends gathered here today. John is held by the living God this day, and John says, 'I know who you are. I met you before - in my family and friends, in my students and colleagues at AIC, in my church. You are a friend and not a stranger.'

The first time I met John was in October, 2012 at the liturgy at the Church Without Walls. I was still 'bishop-elect' then as I celebrated that liturgy. At the Peace, John came up to me and embraced me in those large arms of his and whispered in my ear 'I am a Yankee fan, too.'

I'm glad he said that. He made me feel welcome. But he also could have said: 'I am a fan of Jesus, too.' That is true also. But here is a key difference in what it means to be a fan of Jesus. We root for our favorite teams but we can't pitch or hit or field for them. We can only root. Being a fan of Jesus means more than being an admirer. To be a fan of Jesus means doing what he did, living as he lived. It means being a force of healing, reconciliation, and peace in a broken world.

And didn't we all get that from John? Following Jesus means taking the side of the poor and those who hurt. John did that as a fulfillment of his baptism, in his service for many years as a deacon, and as he proclaimed God's dream for this world in Word and Sacrament as a priest. Most recently, John took the side of the poor by his prophetic witness in the casino debate in West Springfield.

John is a faithful follower of Jesus in the mission of mercy, compassion and hope. I will miss you, John. May you rest in peace and rise in glory.

+Doug

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