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Bishop McManus announces clergy transfers

Posted By June 9, 2017 | 12:01 am | Featured Article #1
Bishop McManus greets Father Henry Ramírez following the ordination June 3 at St. Paul Cathedral. Photo by Tanya Connor
Bishop McManus greets Father Henry Ramírez following the ordination June 3 at St. Paul Cathedral. Photo by Tanya Connor

Three pastors are retiring, one is becoming a senior priest, and two are moving into “specialized ministry,” in clergy assignments Bishop McManus announced this week. Other priests are becoming pastors, administrators, or associate pastors. In most cases, this involves a change to a new or an additional place of ministry for those priests.
An administrator has the powers and duties of a pastor, but it is envisioned that his oversight is temporary, according to Father Richard F. Reidy, the Diocese’s vicar general. An administrator does day to day ministry, without making innovations that should be left to a permanent pastor, he explained.
All the priests’ assignments are effective July 1 except for the newly ordained priest, who is to begin ministry July 21 after returning from a visit to his native Colombia.
Father Raymond M. Goodwin, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Milford, is retiring and taking up residence at St. John, Guardian of Our Lady Parish in Clinton.
Succeeding him is Father Peter J. Joyce, pastor of St. John Paul II Parish in Southbridge.
Succeeding Father Joyce is Father Kenneth R. Cardinale, pastor of St. Mary Parish in North Grafton and administrator of St. Philip Parish in Grafton.
Father Leo-Paul LeBlanc, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Fitchburg, will be pastor of  St. Mary Parish in North Grafton and St. Philip Parish in Grafton.
Father Juan S. Ramirez is becoming administrator of St. Anthony’s. He is currently associate pastor of St. John, Guardian of Our Lady Parish in Clinton. Father Henry Ramirez, the newly ordained priest, is becoming associate pastor of the Clinton parish July 21.
Father Joseph J. Jurgelonis, pastor of Annunciation Parish in Gardner, is retiring.
Succeeding him is Father Stephen E. Lundrigan, who is coming from graduate studies and has been in residence at St. Cecilia Parish in Leominster.
Father Eric K. Asante is becoming St. Cecilia’s associate pastor. He will give up his duties as chaplain of African Ministry and administrator of Prince of Peace Parish in Princeton.
Father Enoch K. Kyeremateng is becoming chaplain of African Ministry, with residence at Immaculate Conception Parish in Worcester. He is from the Kumasi Archdiocese in Ghana and came to the United States for studies in 2015.
Father H. Edward Chalmers is becoming pastor of Prince of Peace. He is currently pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Worcester.
Father Steven M. LaBaire is becoming St. Stephen’s pastor, while remaining pastor of Holy Family Parish across the street.
Father Andres A. Araque is adding duties as associate pastor of St. Stephen’s, while remaining associate pastor of St. Peter Parish in Worcester.
Father Dennis J. O’Brien, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Leominster, is taking retired priest status for medical reasons, with residence at St. Mary Parish in Uxbridge.
Succeeding him is Father C. Michael Broderick, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Rutland.
Father James M. Boland, associate pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Westborough, is becoming administrator of St. Patrick’s.
Father Joseph D. Rice, temporary associate pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Worcester, is becoming St. Luke’s associate pastor.
Father Joseph A. Marcotte, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Dudley, is coming to Blessed Sacrament as a senior priest.
Father Michael J. Sheridan, returning from medical leave of absence, is becoming St. Anthony’s pastor.
Father Marcin Nowicki, pastor of Holy Cross Parish in East Templeton and St. Martin Mission in Otter River is becoming a military chaplain with the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services.
Succeeding him as pastor of Holy Cross and St. Martin is Father Patrick A. Ssekyole, who has been a temporary Catholic chaplain with residence at St. George Parish in Worcester.
Two priests who were administrators are becoming pastors of their parishes: Father Jonathan J. Slavinskas at Our Lady of Providence Parish in Worcester and Father John F. Hamm at St. Denis Parish in Ashburnham.

Father James M. Boland

Father Boland

Father Boland

Father James M. Boland, associate pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Westborough, was named administrator of St. Patrick Parish in Rutland, effective July 1, 2017.
James M. Boland was born Dec. 25, 1985 in Framingham, son of Thomas and Virginia (Cole) Boland. He has a brother, Michael, and a sister, Meaghan, who is Sister Pio Maria of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist in Ann Arbor, Mich.
He attended Margaret E. Peaslee School, Northborough Middle School (now Robert E. Melican Middle School) and Algonquin Regional High School, all in Northborough, and Springfield College, where he got a bachelor’s degree in athletic training. He got his master’s of divinity from St. John’s Seminary in Brighton.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert J. McManus on June 7, 2014 at St. Paul Cathedral, Worcester.
He was named associate pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Westborough effective July 1, 2014.

Father C. Michael Broderick

Father C. Michael Broderick, pastor of  St. Patrick Parish in Rutland, was named pastor of  Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Leominster, effective July 1, 2017.
He was born in Worcester on Sept. 14, 1953, the son of Thomas F. and Dolores T. (McQuaid) Broderick.  A graduate of St. Peter High School, he earned his

Father Broderick

Father Broderick

bachelor’s degree from Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Rhode Island and his master’s of divinity degree from the Theological College of The Catholic University of America.  He also has a master’s degree in religious studies from Assumption College.
Following his ordination to the diaconate he served an internship with the Archdiocesan Bureau of Catholic Charities in Washington and also counseled inner-city clients in the nation’s capital.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Timothy J. Harrington on June 6, 1987 in St. Paul Cathedral. Following ordination he served as associate pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Mary’s parishes in Spencer. In 1989 he was associate pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Westborough, before being appointed associate pastor of St. Mary Parish in Shrewsbury on June 26, 1992.
Father Broderick was named pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Whitinsville on July 2, 1993, and then pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Rutland on July 3, 2013.
Pope Francis named Father Broderick a Missionary of Mercy in 2016, during the Year of Mercy. The pope gave the missionaries the mandate to preach about mercy and be gentle confessors during the Year of Mercy. The pope then extended the mandate indefinitely, after the Year of Mercy ended.

 

Father Kenneth R. Cardinale

Father Kenneth R. Cardinale, pastor of St. Mary Parish in North Grafton and administrator of St. Philip Parish in Grafton, has been named pastor of St. John Paul II Parish in Southbridge, effective July 1, 2017.

Father Cardinale

Father Cardinale

He was born Sept. 22, 1961 in Boston, the son of Simone E. and Dorothy A. (Hogan) Cardinale of Marlborough. He attended Marlborough High school and graduated from Framingham State University in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. He was a technical writer for Digital Equipment Corporation for several years before entering Pope John XXIII National Seminary, where he earned a master’s of divinity degree in 1998.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Daniel P. Reilly on June 6, 1998 in St. Paul Cathedral.
After ordination he was assigned as associate pastor at St. Mary Parish in Southbridge. He served as associate pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Clinton from June 22, 2001. On Sept. 24, 2004 he was named pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in West Boylston.
He was named pastor of St. Mary Parish in North Grafton and administrator of St. Philip Parish in Grafton, on July 1, 2011.

Father H. Edward Chalmers

Father H. Edward Chalmers, pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Worcester, was named pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Princeton, effective July 1, 2017.

Father Chalmers

Father Chalmers

He was born April 24, 1950 in Boston, the son of Hugh A. and Dorothy (McGrale) Chalmers.
He graduated in 1969 from St. John’s High School and, in 1973, from Assumption College. He studied for the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, and was awarded a master’s of divinity degree.
He was ordained Nov. 10, 1979, by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan in St. Paul Cathedral.
He served as the associate pastor of St. Brigid Parish in Millbury, St. John the Evangelist Parish in Clinton and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Worcester. He was named  pastor of St. Denis Parish in East Douglas on June 26, 1992.  On Sept. 20, 1996, he was appointed pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Fitchburg.
He was assigned pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Worcester on July 1, 2010.

Father John F. Hamm
Father John F. Hamm was named pastor of St. Denis Parish in Ashburnham, effective July 1, 2017, after serving as its administrator since 2015.
John Frederick Hamm Jr. was born May 9, 1958 in Harrisburg, Pa., son of John F. Hamm and Bernadine (Troisi) Hamm.

Father Hamm

Father Hamm

He graduated from Lenape High School in Medford, N.J., in 1976, and attended George Mason University and Assumption College. He completed studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md.
He was ordained to the priesthood June 29, 2013 by Bishop Robert J. McManus at St. Paul Cathedral.
He was assigned to be associate pastor at St. Bernadette Parish, Northborough, effective July 1, 2013.
On July 1, 2104 he was assigned as associate pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Millville and Good Shepherd Parish in Linwood.
The following year he was named administrator of St. Denis Parish in Ashburnham and St. Anne Parish in South Ashburnham.  Bishop McManus merged the two parishes under the name of St. Denis on Jan. 3, 2016, after St. Anne Church was declared unsafe and demolished.

 

Father Peter J. Joyce
Father Peter J. Joyce, pastor of Pope John Paul II Parish in Southbridge, has been named pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Milford, effective July 1, 2017.
He was born in Clinton, on July 26, 1957,  the son of Thomas J. and Elizabeth A. (Kittredge) Joyce.

Father Joyce

Father Joyce

He graduated from Clinton High School in 1975 and Providence College in 1979. He studied for the priesthood at the Theological College of The Catholic University of America and was ordained on June 25, 1983, by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan in St. Paul Cathedral.
He was named associate pastor of Our Lady Immaculate Parish in Athol on Aug. 17, 1983.
Bishop Harrington gave him an assignment to San Blais in Coamo, Puerto Rico, from May 1 to Aug. 1, 1991 to study the Spanish language and culture. After his return, he was sent to St. Mary Parish in Southbridge as administrator and on May 24, 1992, he was named pastor of St. Mary’s.
In 1999 he received the annual Nerio Pioppi Award for his work with the needy and for co-founding a medical clinic on Edward Street in Southbridge.
On July 1, 2011, Father Joyce was made pastor of Blessed John Paul II Parish in Southbridge, the merger of St. Mary, St. Hedwig and Notre Dame of the Sacred Heart parishes, all of Southbridge. The parish name was changed to St. John Paul II after the canonization of the pope.
Pope Francis named Father Joyce a Missionary of Mercy in 2016, during the Year of Mercy. The pope gave the missionaries the mandate to preach about mercy and be gentle confessors during the Year of Mercy. The pope then extended the mandate indefinitely, after the Year of Mercy ended.

Father Steven M. LaBaire

Father Steven M. LaBaire, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Worcester, has also been named pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Worcester, effective July 1, 2017.
He was born April 8, 1961 in Worcester, the son of Philip M. and Jacqueline M. (Fleurant) LaBaire.  He graduated from Tahanto Regional High School, Boylston.

Father Lebaire

Father Lebaire

He earned his bachelor’s degree in religious studies, cum laude, from Assumption College.  He earned his master’s degree in theology while completing his priestly studies at the Theological College of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Timothy J. Harrington on June 6, 1987 in  St. Paul Cathedral.
Following ordination he served as associate pastor of  Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Worcester and Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Webster, before being named associate pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Westborough on June 29, 1992.
Father LaBaire was named pastor of St. Mary Parish in Uxbridge on June 30, 2007.
He was appointed pastor of Holy Family Parish, Worcester, effective July 6, 2013.

Father Leo-Paul J. LeBlanc

Father Leo-Paul J. LeBlanc, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Fitchburg will become pastor of St. Mary Parish in North Grafton and St. Philip Parish in Grafton, effective July 1, 2017.

Father LeBlanc

Father LeBlanc

He was born Oct. 14, 1948, in Moncton, N.B., Canada.
He attended St. Cecilia Elementary School in Leominster and graduated from LaSalette Preparatory Seminary in Enfield, N.H.
He graduated in 1970 from Assumption College in Worcester and completed his studies for priesthood at Weston School of Theology in Cambridge in 1977. He holds a master’s of divinity degree. He also earned a master’s degree in social work from San Diego State University in 1988.
He was ordained a LaSalette Father on April 21, 1979 in St. Cecilia Church in Leominster by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan.
He was co-pastor and parish administrator at St. John the Baptist Parish in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., and associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Lebanon, N.H.
From 1985 to 1989 he was assigned to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Lakeside Calif., ministered to three Indian reservations  and was Catholic chaplain at the San Diego City Jail for men.
He then was assigned to the LaSallette Shrine in Attleboro. He worked in family service in Attleboro and Fall River from September 1989 to June 1991 and, from June 1991 to June 1993, was a mental health specialist in Milford. He became a licensed independent social worker in Massachusetts in 1991 and has been a member of the Academy of Social Workers since 1993.
He came to the Worcester Diocese and, in October 1997, he was assigned as associate pastor of Notre Dame Parish, Southbridge. He subsequently was named administrator pro-tem there.
In 2001, he was incardinated into the Diocese of  Worcester. He was named pastor of Notre Dame on July 2, 2004. On June 30, 2007 he was named administrator of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Southbridge while remaining pastor of Notre Dame. He was pastor of Notre Dame of the Sacred Heart Parish when the two Southbridge parishes were merged into one in 2010.
He was named pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Winchendon, July 1, 2011.
He became pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Fitchburg, July 1, 2015.

Father Stephen E. Lundrigan

Father Stephen E. Lundrigan was appointed pastor of Annunciation Parish, Gardner, effective July 1, 2017.

Father Lundrigan

Father Lundrigan

Stephen E. Lundrigan, son of the late Edward M. and Sandra T. Lundrigan, was born Feb. 7, 1968 in Springfield.
He attended St. Mary Elementary School and Marianhill Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School, both in Southbridge. He got his bachelor’s in psychology from St. Anselm College and his master’s in counseling psychology from Assumption College. He had a year in residence at Holy Name of Jesus House of Studies and got his master’s of divinity at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton.
His home parish is Our Lady of the Angels, Worcester.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert J. McManus on June 20, 2015 at St. Paul Cathedral. He assisted at St. Cecilia Parish, Leominster, until pursuing further studies at Boston College.

Father Juan S. Ramirez

Father Juan S. Ramirez, associate pastor of  St. John, Guardian of Our Lady Parish in Clinton, has been named administrator of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Fitchburg, effective July 1, 2017.

Father Ramirez

Father Ramirez

Juan Sabastian Ramirez was born Jan. 22, 1984 in Medellin, Colombia, son of Israel Ramirez of Argentina and Carmen Acosta of Colombia.
He attended Santa Elena High School in Medellin, and the University of Antioquia. He got his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from San Pio X Seminary in Istmina, Colombia.
In 2010 he came to the United States to study for the priesthood for the Worcester Diocese. He lived at Holy Name of Jesus House of Studies and studied English at Clark University. He got his bachelor’s in sacred theology and his master’s of divinity at St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Baltimore.
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 2015 by Bishop Robert J. McManus at St. Paul Cathedral. Following ordination he was assigned as associate pastor of St. John, Guardian of Our Lady Parish in Clinton, beginning Aug. 1, 2015.

 

Father Michael J. Sheridan

Father Michael J. Sheridan is returning to active ministry from medical leave to be pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Dudley, effective July 1, 2017.

Father Sheridan

Father Sheridan

He was born Nov. 18, 1948 in Syracuse, N.Y., son of William C. and Catherine (Purcell) Sheridan.
He attended Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Conn., from 1969 to 1971 and graduated from St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore in 1975.
He was ordained a priest by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan on April 25, 1975 in St. Paul Cathedral, Worcester.
He served in the following parishes: St. Pius X, Leicester; St. Bernard, Worcester; Holy Family of Nazareth, Leominster; St. Luke the Evangelist, Westborough; St. Peter, Northbridge; St. Mary, Southbridge; St. Louis, Webster and St. Mary, Uxbridge.
In the mid-1990s he began serving as a parish administrator in the Diocese of Portland, Maine. He also served as a state prison chaplain at the Washington County Jail in Maine. He then returned to the Worcester Diocese. An allegation of inappropriate conduct with an adult in Maine was found to be without merit. He did not serve in active ministry from 2005-2015.
In September 2015, Bishop McManus assigned Father Sheridan to provide sacramental ministry at St. Anne Parish in Southborough. Since his assignment in Southborough, he has been on medical leave.

Father Jonathan J. Slavinskas

Father Jonathan J. Slavinskas, administrator of Our Lady of Providence Parish in Worcester since July 1, 2016, has been named its pastor, effective July 1, 2017.

Father Slavinskas

Father Slavinskas

He was born June 25, 1984 in Worcester, son of Daniel and Deborah Slavinskas. His home parish was St. John’s in Worcester.
He graduated from North High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in Catholic studies from Anna Maria College in Paxton.
He studied at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in
Emmitsburg, Md., and received his master’s of divinity degree in 2012.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert J. McManus on June 2, 2012 at St. Paul Cathedral. Following ordination he was appointed associate pastor of Blessed John Paul II Parish in Southbridge. On July 1, 2014 he was transferred to St. Joseph Parish in Charlton, also as associate pastor. In July 2016 he was named administrator of Our Lady of Providence Parish in Worcester and diocesan vocations recruiter for the Office for Vocations, a position he still holds.

Father Patrick A. Ssekyole

Father Patrick A. Ssekyole, a temporary Catholic chaplain who has been living at St. George Parish in Worcester, has been appointed pastor of Holy Cross Parish in

Father Ssekyole

Father Ssekyole

East Templeton and St. Martin Mission in Otter River, effective July 1, 2017.
Patrick Atenyi Ssekyole was born Feb. 2, 1971, in the village of Lwangiri, in Kassanda County in the Mubende District in Uganda. He was the first of 14 children reared by Boniface Nkalubo and Regina Nnansengwe.
He attended high school seminary, then the National Teachers’ College in Mubende, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in education. From 1997 to 2000 he attended Alokolum National Major Seminary in Gulu, in northern Uganda, earning his bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Then he did a pastoral year in the Diocese of Kiyinda-Mityana.
In 2001 he attended Mundelein Seminary in Mundelein, Ill., near Chicago. There he earned a bachelor’s in sacred theology and a master’s of divinity degree.
In 2005 he attended Boston College, where he earned  his master’s degree in education in 2007. While at Boston College he contacted Father James S. Mazzone, director of the Worcester Diocese’s Office for Vocations, and began preparing for the priesthood for this diocese. He completed his licentiate in sacred theology at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore.
He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert J. McManus on June 6, 2009 at St. Paul Cathedral.
His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Worcester and assistant chaplain of the diocesan African Ministry. On July 1, 2010, Father Ssekyole was assigned to emergency response ministry and hospital ministry while remaining with the African Ministry. The following July he was made associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Auburn.
He was assigned to be a sacramental assistant, with residence at St. George Parish in Worcester, on July 1, 2014. In October 2014 he became administrator of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in West Brookfield.

Father Joseph A. Marcotte

Father Joseph A. Marcotte, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Dudley, is going to be a senior priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Worcester, effective July 1, 2017.

Father Marcotte

Father Marcotte

He was born on Aug. 2, 1943, in Worcester, the son of Joseph A. and Bertha (Desy) Marcotte.
He graduated from South High School in 1961 and from the College of the Holy Cross in 1965. He studied at the North American College in Rome from 1966 to 1970.
He was ordained a priest on Dec. 19, 1969 by Bishop James A. Hickey in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.
He served as associate pastor at Our Lady Immaculate Parish, Athol; Christ the King Parish, Worcester, and St. Bernard Parish, Fitchburg, before being named pastor of St. Louis Parish in Webster on July 13, 1984. On June 30, 2012, Father Marcotte was named pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Dudley.

Father Raymond M. Goodwin

Father Raymond M. Goodwin, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Milford, is retiring, effective July 1, 2017.
He was born in Clinton, the son of Raymond M. and Dorothy (Egan) Goodwin.  After graduation from Clinton High School and Providence College, he undertook

Father Goodwin

Father Goodwin

studies for the priesthood at Glastonbury Abbey, Hingham, and completed them at St. Bernard Seminary, Rochester, N.Y.
He was ordained in St. John the Evangelist Church in Clinton on May 16, 1969 by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan.
Father Goodwin has been associate pastor of St. Paul Cathedral Parish, co-pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Milford, chaplain at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester and associate pastor of St. Anne Parish in Shrewsbury.
He was appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Rutland on Jan. 6, 1984.  He was assigned pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Worcester in June 1989, Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Hopedale on Oct. 26, 1990 and St. Francis Xavier Parish in Bolton on Sept. 7, 2001.
On Sept. 19, 2003, he was named pastor of St. Mary Parish in North Grafton. He was given the added duties of administrator of St. Philip Parish in Grafton on July 1, 2009. He was named pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Milford on July 1, 2011.

Father Joseph J. Jurgelonis

Father Joseph J. Jurgelonis, pastor of Annunciation Parish in Gardner, is retiring, effective July 1, 2017.

Father Jurgelonis

Father Jurgelonis

Joseph J. Jurgelonis was born June 19, 1947 in Worcester, the son of Joseph and Helen (Markunas) Jurgelonis. He graduated from Millbury Memorial High School in 1965 and from the College of the Holy Cross in 1969.
He prepared for the priesthood at St. Bernard Seminary, Rochester, N.Y. from 1969 to 1973.
He was ordained a priest at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Worcester, on May 11, 1973, by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan.
He has served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Boylston; Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Clinton; St. John the Evangelist Parish, Clinton, and St. Mary Parish, Shrewsbury.
On Sept. 1, 1987, he was named pastor of St. Francis Parish, Athol.  He was appointed pastor of St. Denis Parish in Ashburnham and St. Anne Parish in South Ashburnham on June 29, 1990. On June 30, 2006, he was named pastor of Holy Cross Parish in East Templeton and St. Martin Mission in Otter River.
He became pastor of the new Annunciation Parish in Gardner on July 1, 2015. Annunciation Parish was created by Bishop Robert J. McManus, who merged the four Gardner parishes: Holy Spirit, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, St. Joseph and Sacred Heart of Jesus

 

Father Dennis O’Brien

Father Dennis J. O’Brien, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Leominster, is retiring for medical reasons, effective July 1, 2017.

Father O'Brien

Father O’Brien

He was born on June 17, 1951, in Whitinsville, son of William and Rita (Ducharme) O’Brien.
He attended St. Patrick’s School in Whitinsville and graduated from St. Mary’s Central Catholic High School in Milford in 1969.
He studied for the priesthood at St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, Conn.; St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, and the North American College, Rome. While in Rome, Father O’Brien studied at the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, where he received his bachelor’s degree in sacred theology in 1976.
He completed his deacon-internship at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, West Boylston, and was ordained by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan on June 18, 1977, in St. Paul Cathedral.
Following ordination, he was assigned for the summer to Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Hopedale. He then returned to Rome for graduate studies at the Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical Gregorian University. He received his licentiate in sacred theology in 1978 and returned to Sacred Heart Parish as associate pastor.
In July 1981, he was assigned to the faculty of St. Bernard Central Catholic High School in Fitchburg. In 1983, he was named to the faculty of Holy Name Central Catholic High School in Worcester. He received his master’s degree in administration and supervision from Boston College in 1985 and was appointed headmaster of Holy Name on July 11, 1986.
In 1993 he entered the novitiate of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance at St. Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer. Over the years, he spent more than four years with the Trappist community.
In 1996, Father O’Brien was appointed the first director of the Father James Fitton House for Priestly Formation in Leicester and taught in the diocesan Permanent Diaconate Program. He has served as associate pastor of St. Leo Parish, Leominster; St. Mary Parish, Shrewsbury and St. Joseph Parish, Fitchburg.
On June 25, 2005, he was named pastor of St. Theresa, the Little Flower Parish in Harvard and a year later he was appointed pastor of Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Bolton as well. After the two parishes were merged in December 2008, he became the first pastor of the newly formed Holy Trinity Parish.
He was named pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Leominster on June 30, 2012.
Father O’Brien was the dean of Deanery X and served as chairman of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council. He has been an Associate of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary since 1984.