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Msgr. Moroney to lead St. John’s Seminary

Posted By January 23, 2012 | 2:02 pm | Lead Story #3, Local

BOSTON – Msgr. James Moroney, S.T.L., a priest of the Diocese of Worcester, has been named rector of St. John’s Seminary in the Brighton section of Boston, effective  July 1, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap. announced Thursday.
Msgr. Moroney most recently served in the diocese as rector of St. Paul Cathedral. He left in January 2011 to teach at St. John’s Seminary,
The cardinal also announced that the present rector, Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy, Ph.D., S.T.L., will become Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization of the Archdiocese of Boston.
Msgr. Moroney will be the 20th rector of the seminary, according to information provided by the archdiocese.
Cardinal O’Malley expressed his gratitude to Worcester’s Bishop McManus for his willingness to release Msgr. Moroney for this important work. The Cardinal expressed his confidence that Msgr. Moroney would bring “his extensive experience in teaching priests and seminarians throughout the United States to the work of promoting the service of Saint John’s Seminary to the bishops of New England and, indeed, the Catholic world.  His longstanding work for the Holy See and the bishops of our country has prepared him in a wonderful way for his new role as rector of the seminary community.”
“I am very grateful to Cardinal O’Malley for his confidence in me and particularly honored to succeed Bishop Kennedy, who has revitalized and strengthened Saint John’s Seminary in an extraordinary way over the past five years,” Msgr. Moroney said. “ I am filled with joy at being called to pastor these future shepherds of the Church. They are men filled with a burning desire to give their lives to Christ and his Church, and characterized by that hope which opens hearts to the will of God.
“In addition, I look forward to seeking the wise counsel of Bishop Kennedy, our wonderful faculty, and the priests of the Archdiocese in the coming months as we prepare to build on the great foundation established by the nineteen rectors who have gone before me.”
Bishop McManus, S.T.D., a member of the board of trustees for St. John Seminary said, “In my own name and that of his brother priests in the Diocese of Worcester, I offer congratulations to Msgr. Moroney on his appointment as rector of St. John Seminary.  He has been and continues to be a wonderful resource to our diocese in liturgical matters and also for his pastoral acumen. I am confident that he will bring a vision of the priesthood to his seminarians that will prove to be a great blessing for our all our dioceses which utilize this seminary for years to come.”
Msgr. Moroney is a frequent lecturer in liturgical matters, having addressed the presbyterates of 110 dioceses in recent years.  He is author of the recently revised “The Mass Explained: An Introduction to the New Roman Missal” and host of “The New and Eternal Word” on the Catholic Television Network from Boston.
Msgr. Moroney, a Worcester native born Jan. 5, 1953, is the son of James E and Marguerite Mary (O’Leary) Moroney.
He graduated from Millbury High School in 1971, attended St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore from 1971 to 1972 and graduated in 1976 from the College of the Holy Cross.
He studied for the priesthood at the North American College in Rome and received his bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology, cum laude, from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He also studied at St. Anselmo’s Pontifical Liturgy Institute  and was a weekend chaplain to the families of the U.S.S. Albany, a guided missile cruiser based in Gaeta, Italy.
He was ordained a priest on June 28, 1980, by Bishop Flanagan in St. Paul Cathedral.
He served as temporary associate pastor at St. Paul Cathedral and at Our Lady of Good Counsel, West Boylston. He served as associate pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Webster and at St. Leo Parish in Leominster.
He studied at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C, and received a licentiate in sacred studies in 1981.
He also served as associate pastor of St. Mary’s and Our Lady of the Rosary parishes in Spencer. In January 1993, he was assigned as temporary administrator of the parishes. On June 4, 1993, he was named pastor. When the parishes were merged on Jan. 1, 1994, he was named pastor of the new parish, Mary, Queen of the Rosary.
On Jan. 14, 1996, he was named to the Secretariat for the Liturgy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., and in September that year was appointed its executive director.
He said he had planned to return to the diocese after his first three-year term. Instead, he served there for nearly 12 years. Among his tasks during that time were the following: He was on the staff of the Hispanic Liturgy and Music Subcommittees, the ad-hoc Committee on Adaptation of the Marriage Rite, the ad-hoc Committee for the Revision of the Lectionary for Masses with Children and the ad-hoc Committee on Shrines.
He staffed the Task Group for the Final Revision of the Lectionary for Mass and was editor of the Lectionary. He was editor for the Book of the Gospels, Rites of Ordination of a Bishop, of Priests and of Deacons; the Lectionary for Masses with Children, Adaptations to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal and the Order of the Mass, the Cremation Appendix to the Order of Christian Funerals, the Guidelines for the Publication of Participation Aids, Guidelines for the Concelebration of the Eucharist, Sing to the Lord; Music in Divine Worship and several publications of the Conference and Secretariat.
Pope John Paul II appointed him in 1999 as a consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and reappointed him to a five-year term in 2005. He was the fourth American to hold that position since the Second Vatican Council. In 2001 the Congregation formed the Vox Clara Committee, a group of senior bishops from the English-speaking world which advises the Holy See on the translation of Latin liturgical texts into English. The pope appointed Msgr. Moroney executive secretary and an adviser to the committee, which advises the Holy See on English translations of liturgical texts. On July 19, that year he was named a Chaplain to his Holiness with the title of monsignor.
When he returned to the diocese from Rome in early 2008 he told The Catholic Free Press, “I’m leaving my temporary work to do the most important work. I’ve been promoted to parish priest.” In March he was named temporary administrator of St. Theresa Parish in Blackstone. He was named rector of St. Paul Cathedral on July 1, 2008.
Saint John’s Seminary was founded in 1884 and today prepares seminarians for 12 dioceses and five religious communities.  As a result of unprecedented growth, the number of seminarians at Saint John’s has tripled in the past five years and it is presently full.
Established by Archbishop John J. Williams in 1883 as the Boston Ecclesiastical Seminary, the school was chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to grant degrees in philosophy and divinity, with the first class being admitted in the fall of 1884.
More than 3,000 priests have received their formation and education at St. John’s Seminary and have served the Church in the Archdiocese of Boston and in more than 50 dioceses around the world, as well as in the Holy See and in the military.