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  • Jun
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Bishop announces 37 assignment changes

Posted By June 19, 2014 | 1:30 pm | Lead Story #1
DIOCESAN-SEAL

This year’s changes in 37 priests’ assignments bring a variety of changes for parishes and other places priests serve. All but one are effective July 1.
Some parishes will begin sharing a pastor or administrator, and some will share an associate pastor, too. Some parishes are getting their own new pastor or associate. Some are losing an associate and not getting a replacement.
Four priests are retiring, two others are leaving Worcester Diocesan ministry, and two newly ordained priests are becoming associate pastors. In addition, spaces need to be filled where parishes lost their pastor for various reasons.
Some specialized ministries are also getting different priests. Father Walter J. Riley is becoming diocesan director of Priest Personnel, succeeding Father José A. Rodríguez, who is pastor of Holy Family of Nazareth Parish in Leominster. The Priest Personnel director heads the Priest Personnel board, which gives the bishop suggestions about clergy personnel matters.
Father Riley is remaining pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Worcester, where he has been since 2010, and chaplain to the Worcester Fire Department, which he has served since 2007.
The ninth of 16 children, he grew up in what was then St. Bernard Parish in Worcester, and worked for United Parcel Service for years. He got his bachelor’s degree from Assumption College and his master’s of divinity from St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained a priest in 2006 and was associate pastor of Christ the King Parish for four years.
Father James J. Caldarella is becoming diocesan minister to priests, succeeding Father Joseph M. Nally. The minister to priests seeks to provide pastoral care which supports and strengthens the priestly life and ministry of priests. Father Caldarella will remain pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Princeton, a position he has held since 1987.
Father Caldarella took simple vows with the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in 1964, received his bachelor’s degree from La Salette Major Seminary in Ipswich, and completed studies for the priesthood at Catholic University of America.
In 1969 he was ordained a transitional deacon for the Diocese of Wheeling, W. V. In 1971 he came to the Worcester Diocese, where he served as a deacon and was ordained a priest. He was associate pastor of Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of Lourdes and Our Lady of Loreto parishes in Worcester and co-pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Milford. He got master’s degrees in education from Boston College and “leadership in formative spirituality” from Duquesne University.
Father Nally is becoming pastor of St. John, Guardian of Our Lady Parish in Clinton, succeeding Father Thomas V. Walsh, who is retiring.
Also retiring is Father Thaddeus X. Stachura, pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in Worcester. Succeeding him is the parish’s associate pastor, Father Ryszard Polek. Succeeding him as associate pastor is Father Edward Michalski, associate pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in Leominster, which has not been assigned another associate.
Father Robert D. Bruso, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Fitchburg, is becoming St. Cecilia’s pastor, succeeding Msgr. Francis T. Goguen, who died last December.
Succeeding Father Bruso is Father Michael J. Clements, associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Fitchburg, which has not been assigned another associate. Father Clements remains chaplain to the Fitchburg Fire Department.
St. Anthony’s associate pastor, Father Edwin Montana, is becoming pastor of Our Lady Immaculate and St. Francis of Assisi Parishes in Athol and St. Peter Parish in Petersham. He succeeds Father Krzysztof Korcz, who is becoming pastor of St. Andrew Bobola Parish in Dudley. St. Andrew’s pastor, Father Joseph F. Szwach, is retiring.
Also retiring is Father John A. Dwyer, pastor of St. Boniface Parish in Lunenburg. Father Dennis J. O’Brien is becoming administrator of St. Boniface, while remaining pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Leominster.
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 said.
St. Boniface is also getting an associate pastor – Father Anthony Mpagi, a Ugandan, who has been chaplain of the diocesan African Ministry.
Succeeding Father Mpagi is Father Eric K. Asante, associate pastor of St. George Parish in Worcester. The African Ministry is headquartered at St. Peter Parish and its mission, St. Andrew the Apostle, in Worcester. Father Charles P. O. Omolo, newly ordained, is becoming associate pastor of St. Peter’s Aug. 1, after returning from celebrating with family and friends in Kenya. There is a Ghanaian community at St. Joan of Arc Parish in Worcester, where Father Asante, a Ghanian, will live.
St. Peter’s and St. Joan of Arc are losing Father Richard A. Jakubauskas, the associate pastor they share. He is becoming administrator of St. John the Baptist Parish in East Brookfield and St. Joseph Parish in North Brookfield. St. John the Baptist’s pastor, Father George A. Charland, retired last November. St. Joseph’s pastor, Father Kevin F. Hartford, is leaving to explore consecrated life in the monastic tradition.
Father Donald C. Ouellette, who has been serving St. John the Baptist as part of his “special ministry” assignment, is becoming associate pastor there, where he will live, and of St. Joseph’s.
Father Miguel A. Pagán is leaving his positions as pastor of St. Joan of Arc and diocesan director of Hispanic Ministry and is becoming assistant chaplain for pastoral care at St. Vincent Hospital. He is also to do Hispanic ministry at St. Louis Parish in Webster and live at St. Paul Cathedral.
Succeeding him as pastor of St. Joan of Arc is Father Nelson J. Rivera, one of two associate pastors at St. John Paul II Parish in Southbridge. Father Juan G. Herrera, St. Louis’ associate pastor, is becoming St. John Paul II’s associate pastor.
St. John Paul II’s other associate pastor, Father Jonathan J.  Slavinskas, is becoming associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Charlton. He succeeds Father Mark A. Rainville, who is becoming associate pastor of St. Leo Parish in Leominster.
St. Leo’s associate pastor, Father Thien X. Nguyen, is becoming associate pastor of St. Theresa Parish in Blackstone. Father D. Timothy O’Mara is becoming St. Theresa’s administrator, while remaining pastor of St. Paul Parish in Blackstone. Father Paul M. Bomba, St. Theresa’s pastor, is becoming pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Auburn.
St. Joseph’s pastor, Father Edward D. Niccolls, is becoming pastor of St. George Parish in Worcester. St. George’s previous pastor, Father Ronald G. Falco, became pastor of St. Bernadette Parish in Northborough last November.
St. Joseph’s associate pastor, Father Patrick Ssekyole, is to live at St. George’s, while serving as a “sacramental assistant” wherever he is needed.
Father Paul M. LaPalme, pastor of St. Brigid and Our Lady of the Assumption Parishes in Millbury, is returning to the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana. Succeeding him is Father Daniel R. Mulcahy, pastor of St. Augustine Parish in Millville.
Father Lawrence J. Esposito is becoming St. Augustine’s administrator, while remaining pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Linwood. Father John F. Hamm, St. Bernadette’s associate pastor, is becoming associate pastor of Good Shepherd and St. Augustine’s, with residence at St. Augustine’s.
Father  Thomas H. Hultquist is becoming pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Lancaster. He has been serving there as temporary administrator since January, when the previous pastor, Father Edward P. Lettic, was placed on administrative leave due to a misconduct allegation.
Father Jesús E. Martínez has been named director of Prison Ministry at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction and associate pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Ann Parish in Worcester. He has been ministering at both places. He is to live at St. Paul Cathedral.
Father James M. Boland, newly ordained, is becoming associate pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Westborough.
Father Manuel A. Clavijo’s appointment as part-time chaplain of Anna Maria College in Paxton has been renewed. He remains pastor of St. Mary of the Hills Parish in Boylston.
Bishop announces the following pastoral changes

RETIRED PASTORS

Father John A. Dwyer

Father John A. Dwyer, pastor of St. Boniface Parish, Lunenburg, will retire effective July 1.
He was born June 10, 1943, in Lowell the son of John G. and Evelyn (Cook) Dwyer. He graduated in 1961 from  Keith Academy and attended Merrimack College in North Andover.
He prepared for the priesthood at Holy Apostles Seminary, Cromwell, Conn., and the Theological College of The Catholic University of America. He was ordained a priest on March 23, 1974, by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan  at St. Mary Church, Jefferson.
He was associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Auburn; Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Gardner; St. Mary Parish, Southbridge,  Holy Angels Parish in Upton and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Fitchburg.
He was named administrator of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Fitchburg on June 1, 1988, and was appointed pastor of that parish on May 19, 1989.
On Aug. 1, 2005 he was named pastor of St. Boniface Parish, Lunenburg.

Father Thaddeus X. Stachura

Father Thaddeus X. Stachura, pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, will retire effective July 1.
He is the son of John J. and Helen R. (Rudnik) Stachura of Auburn. He graduated from St. Peter High School and attended the College of the Holy Cross.
He studied for the priesthood at St. Mary Seminary and SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, in Orchard Lake, Mich.
He was ordained a priest on May 7,1964, in St. Paul Cathedral by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan and was assigned as associate pastor of St. Mary Parish, Uxbridge.  In June 1967, he was named associate pastor of St. Catherine of Sweden Parish, Worcester. He was appointed associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Webster, in 1971 and in September 1978, he was named associate pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, Worcester. In June 1989 he was honored by the Quo Vadis Club of Worcester as its Man of the Year.
Father Stachura was appointed pastor of St. Joseph’s, Webster, on April 6, 1983. He was named pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish on June 18,1993.

Father Joseph F. Szwach

Father Joseph F. Szwach, pastor of St. Andrew Bobola Parish, will retire July 1.
He was born in Dudley Dec. 12, 1928, the son of Frank and Catherine (Krzystyniak) Szwach.  He graduated from Bartlett High School, Webster, and completed his college studies at St. Mary College, Orchard Lake, Mich. He prepared for the priesthood at SS. Cyril and Methodius
Seminary, Orchard Lake, Mich.
He was ordained a priest by Bishop John J. Wright on May 21, 1955 in St. Joseph Church, Webster.
After ordination he was associate pastor of St. Mary Parish, Uxbridge; St. Aloysius Parish, Gilbertville; Our Lady of Jasna Gora Parish, Clinton, and St. Joseph Parish,
Webster.
He was also temporary administrator of St. Stanislaus Parish, West Warren, for a time and was named pastor of Our Lady of Jasna Gora Parish, Clinton, June 1, 1973. Father Szwach was assigned pastor of St. Andrew Bobola Parish in Dudley July 12, 1996.

Father Thomas V. Walsh

Father Thomas V. Walsh, pastor of St. John, Guardian of Our Lady Parish, Clinton, will retire July 1.
He was born in Worcester, the son of John J. and Delia (Gallagher) Walsh. He graduated in 1958 from St. John High School and, in 1962, from the College of the Holy Cross. He prepared for the priesthood at Glastonbury Abbey, Hingham, and St. Mary Seminary, Baltimore.
He was ordained a priest on May 4, 1967 in Ascension Church, Worcester, by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan.
He was associate pastor of St. Louis Parish, Webster, and St. Paul Cathedral Parish, Worcester, before being named chaplain at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Hospital and Hahnemann Hospital.
On March 1, 1977, he was appointed associate pastor of St. Margaret Mary Parish, Worcester, while continuing as part-time chaplain at UMass Medical Center.  In August 1979, he was appointed associate pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Northborough.
On  Aug. 17, 1983, he was named pastor of St. Mark Parish, Sutton.  He was appointed pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish, Clinton, on Oct. 6, 1989. On July 1, 2010, he was named pastor of St. John, Guardian of Our Lady Parish after it was formed by the merging of St. John the Evangelist, Our Lady of Jasna Gora and Our Lady of the Rosary parishes.

NEW PASTORS

Father Paul M. Bomba

Father Paul M. Bomba, pastor of St. Theresa Parish, Blackstone, will become pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Auburn, effective July 1.
He was born Nov. 23, 1951, in Webster, the son of Mitchell and Harriet (Krystyniak) Bomba.
He graduated from Bartlett High School, Webster. He studied for the priesthood at St. Mary College, Orchard Lake, Mich., and completed his studies at North American College in Rome. He also took summer courses at the Jagiellonian University at Kracow, Poland. During the summers of 1975 and 1976 he worked as a civilian with the United States Army in Germany.
He was ordained a priest Nov. 19, 1977, in St. Paul Cathedral by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan. He was assigned associate pastor of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in Worcester and Our Lady of Jasna Gora Parish in Clinton before being appointed chaplain in the United States Army in May 1982.
After completing the Chaplain Officer Basic Course, he was assigned to the Third Armored Calvary regiment at Fort Bliss, Tex., as assistant chaplain. He served in Mainz, Germany, until 1988, attended the Chaplain Officer Advance Course at the U.S. Army Chaplain School in Fort Monmouth, N.J., and was assigned to Fort Belvoir, Va.
In 1992 the Army assigned him to recruit priests and seminarians for the Army. He was stationed at the Pentagon. The next year he was assigned to provide Catholic support for the 10th Mountain Division in Somalia.
He then was a brigade chaplain in Korea, studied ethics for a year at Princeton and taught ethics at the Army’s Air Defense Artillery School at Fort Bliss. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1998 and  stationed in Hohenfels, Germany. He served tours of duty in Hungary and in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was stationed at  Fort Hood, Tex., in June 2002. He served as Catholic community chaplain at Fort Hood and was Third Armored Corps assistant command chaplain for operations.
He served in Iraq  from January 2004 to February 2005. He was assigned to the Multinational Corps, Iraq. He was stationed in Baghdad where he was Deputy Corps chaplain for operations.
In March 2005, he was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington, where he was Catholic base operations chaplain. He retired Dec. 31, 2006. with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
He returned to the Worcester Diocese  in September 2006, and was temporary administrator of St. Theresa Parish, Blackstone. In September 2007, he was named temporary administrator of Good Shepherd Parish, Linwood. On July 1, 2008 he was appointed pastor of St. Theresa.

Father Robert D. Bruso

Father Robert D. Bruso, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish and administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Fitchburg, has been named pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, Leominster, effective July 1.
He was born in Worcester on May 17, 1950, the son of Robert W. and Dorothy J. (Driscoll) Bruso. He graduated in 1968 from Sacred Heart Academy in Worcester and earned his bachelor’s degree in history in 1972 from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
He studied for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall College in South Orange, N.J. Prior to that he worked in the petroleum industry in Massachusetts and Maine, and for the City of Worcester Water Department.
He was ordained a priest by Bishop Timothy J. Harrington on June 5, 1993 in St. Paul Cathedral. He served as associate pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Clinton and St. Mary Parish in Uxbridge before being named pastor of St. Anthony di Padua Parish in Fitchburg on Aug. 18, 2000. He was assigned pastor of the newly established St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Fitchburg, on July 1, 2010.
Father Michael J. Clements

Father Michael J. Clements associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Fitchburg, will become pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish effective July 1 and remain chaplain of the Fitchburg Fire Department.
He was born Dec. 18, 1983, in Fitchburg, the son of James and Joyce Clements. He graduated from Leominster High School and from St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. While at college he worked as an Emergency Medical Technician for the college rescue squad, the Goffstown, N.H., Fire Department and the Nashua and Manchester ambulance squads.
He studied for the priesthood at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md. and at St. John Seminary in Brighton.
He was ordained a priest June 2, 2012, by Bishop McManus in St. Paul Cathedral and was assigned to St. Joseph, Fitchburg.

Father Thomas H. Hultquist

Father Thomas H. Hultquist, temporary administrator of Immaculate Conception Parish, Lancaster, since Jan. 30, has been appointed pastor of that parish, effective July 1.
He was born Oct. 2, 1948  in Whitinsville, the son of Carl H. and Antoinette (Abbate) Hultquist. He graduated from Uxbridge High School in 1966 and Glastonbury Latin School in Hingham. He studied for the priesthood at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Conn., and Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y.
He was ordained a priest by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan on June 5, 1976 in St. Paul Cathedral.
He served as associate pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Worcester; St. Joseph Parish, North Brookfield; St. Camillus Parish, Fitchburg and St. Peter Parish, Worcester, before being appointed associate of St. Cecilia Parish, Leominster.
On March 20, 1992, Father Hultquist was named temporary administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Barre, and St. Augustine Mission, Wheelwright. He was named administrator there in July 1992, and on April 23, 1993 was appointed pastor of both.
He was appointed to special ministry effective July 6, 2013.

Father Krzysztof Korcz

Father Krzysztof  Korcz, pastor of Our Lady Immaculate and St. Francis parishes in Athol and St. Peter Parish in Petersham, has been appointed pastor of St. Andrew Bobola Parish in Dudley, effective July 1.
He was born May 5, 1967, in Radom, Poland, the son of Edward and Gabriela (Szpotowicz) Korcz. He graduated in 1988 from Automobile High School in Radom. He studied for the priesthood in the Seminary of Radom, graduating with a master’s degree in 1994.
He was visiting priest from Dec. 1, 2001 to June 2002 at St. Joseph Basilica in Webster. He was associate pastor at Our Lady of Czestochowa, Worcester from June  2002 to June 2009. He was incardinated into the Diocese of Worcester on July 12, 2007. He was associate pastor at St. Anne and St. Matthew parishes in Southborough from July 1, 2009 to Jan. 10, 2010.
On Jan. 31, 2010 he was named associate pastor of Our Lady Immaculate and St. Francis parishes, Athol and St. Peter Parish, Petersham. On June 30, 2012, he was named pastor of those parishes.

Father Edwin Montaña

Father Edwin Montañna, associate pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Fitchburg, has been appointed pastor of Our Lady Immaculate and St. Francis parishes in Athol and St. Peter Parish in Petersham, effective July 1.
He was born Aug. 31, 1984,  in Colombia, the son of Juan and Judith (Baicue) Montañna. He graduated in 2001 from Luis Lopezde Mesa, Medellin, Colombia and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Pontifical Bolivarian University in Medellin in 2003. He studied for the priesthood from 2005 to 2006 at the Pontifical Bolivarian University and from 2008 to 2011 at St. John Seminary, Brighton.
He was ordained a priest June 4, 2011 by Bishop McManus at St. Paul Cathedral. He was associate pastor at St. Anthony of Padua in Fitchburg and Hispanic minister at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Gardner.

Father Daniel R.
Mulcahy Jr.

Father Daniel R. Mulcahy Jr., pastor of St. Augustine Parish, Millville, has been named pastor of St. Brigid and Our Lady of the Assumption parishes, Millbury, effective July 1.
He was born on Jan. 5, 1954, in Philadelphia,  the son of Daniel R. and Ann Barbara (Puchly) Mulcahy.  He attended Cathedral Preparatory Seminary and graduated from Assumption College in 1975.
He studied for the priesthood at St. John Seminary, Brighton, earning a master of divinity degree.  He was ordained a priest  on Nov. 10, 1979 by Bishop Bernard Flanagan in St. Paul Cathedral.
On Dec. 10, 1979, he was named associate pastor of St. Bernard Parish, Worcester.  He has also served as
associate pastor of St. Boniface Parish, Lunenburg, from Oct. 1, 1984, to June 30, 1989, when he was named associate pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Hopedale. He then was associate pastor at  St. Mary Parish, Uxbridge.
On October 1, 1994 he was named pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Linwood. On June 30, 2007, he was named pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Milford. On July 1, 2011 he was assigned to be administrator of St. Augustine Parish in Millville. He was made pastor there in August 2011.

Father Joseph M. Nally

Father Joseph M. Nally, diocesan minister to priests, has been named pastor of St. John, Guardian of Our Lady Parish, Clinton, effective July 1.
He was born June 11, 1944 in Worcester, the son of Joseph and Florence (Scales) Nally. He graduated from St. John’s High School in 1962 and from Assumption College in 1967. He studied for the priesthood at St. Mary Seminary, Baltimore until 1972.
He was ordained a priest on May 5, 1972, by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan in St. Stephen Church. He was associate pastor at St. Bernard Parish, Worcester; Notre Dame Parish, Southbridge; Our Lady of the Angels, Worcester, and St. Luke the Evangelist, Westborough, before being named pastor of St. Joseph Parish, North Brookfield on Nov. 5, 1984.
On June 30,1989, he was named pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Worcester and, on June 6, 2002, pastor of St. Stephen Parish. He was named diocesan minister to priests on July 1, 2010.

Father Edward D. Niccolls

Father Edward D. Niccolls, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Auburn, has been named pastor of St. George Parish, Worcester, effective July 1.
He was born on May 18, 1948, in Worcester, son of  George E. and Stephanie B. (Kalinowski) Niccolls. He is the stepson of Ruth E. (Parker) Niccolls.
He graduated in 1966 from St. John’s High School and in 1970 from the College of the Holy Cross. He studied for the priesthood from 1970 to 1974 at St. Bernard’s Seminary, Rochester, N.Y.
He was ordained a priest on May 11, 1974, by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan in St. Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury.
He was assigned as associate pastor of North American Martyrs Parish, Auburn. In 1978 he joined the faculty of St. Bernard’s High School, Fitchburg. He was appointed associate pastor of St. George Parish, Worcester, in 1980 and later, associate at Our Lady of the Lake in Leominster, where he became temporary administrator.
On June 1, 1988, he was named pastor of Holy Family of Nazareth Parish, Leominster.  He was appointed pastor of St. Boniface Parish, Lunenburg, on July 1, 1994 and named pastor of St. Christopher Parish in Worcester on Aug. 1, 2005. He was named pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Auburn on July 1, 2011.
He has been chaplain of St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury since 1986. He also serves as treasurer of the diocesan priests’ health insurance program, the Clergy Benefit Plan, a position he has held since 2005.

Father Ryszard W. Polek

Father Ryszard W. Polek, associate pastor at Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish, Worcester, has been named pastor of that parish, effective July 1.
He was born April 9, 1968, in Krakow, Poland, the son of Michal and Maria (Gil) Polek. He graduated from Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace, Buchnia in 1987 and studied for the priesthood from 1987 to 1993 in the Diocesan Seminary in Tarnow, Poland.
He served as associate pastor in several parishes  in Poland before coming to SS Cyril & Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Mich., where he served from July 23, 2003, to June 30, 2004, as formation adviser.
On July 1, 2004 he was named associate pastor at St. Joseph Basilica, Webster, where he served until July 1, 2009. He was incarnated into the Diocese of Worcester on July 25, 2005.
On July 1, 2009, he was named associate pastor at Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish.

Father Nelson Rivera

Father Nelson J. Rivera, associate pastor of St. John Paul II Parish, Southbridge, has been named pastor at St. Joan of Arc Parish, Worcester, effective July 1.
He was born on Aug. 29, 1978, in Medellin, Colombia, the son of Gabriel Martha Inez (Ossa) Rivera. He graduated in 1995 from Instituto Tecnoligico Pascual Bravo, Medellin. He earned a licentiate in philosophy and pedagogy in 2007 from the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana in Medellin, came to Worcester, completed a course in English as a second language at Clark University and completed studies for the priesthood at St. John Seminary, Boston, in 2011 earning a master’s of divinity degree.
He was ordained June 4, 2011, by Bishop McManus at St. Paul Cathedral. He was named associate pastor at St. John Paul II Parish on July 1, 2011.