Father Kearns named pastor in Plymouth
By Father Robert M. O’Grady
BRIGHTON -- Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. has named a new pastor at St. Mary Parish effective June 30. Father John P. Kearns, until now temporary parochial vicar at Holy Ghost Parish in Whitman, will move east to the Plymouth parish.
Father Kearns was born in Brockton to Leo and Mary Kearns. He is a son of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Weymouth. He attended the parish grammar school and local public schools. Upon graduation from Weymouth South High School he entered St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. from which he graduated.
Brighton’s St. John’s Seminary was the place of his theological and pastoral formation for priestly ministry and he served his diaconal internship at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Beverly.
Cardinal Bernard Law ordained him to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on May 25, 1988 and gave him his first priestly assignment as parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish, Rockland, just a few miles away from his home town of Weymouth.
After his assignment in Rockland he served from 1993-1997 as campus minister at Bridgewater State College.During that assignment he was a priest in residence in three different parishes: St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater; St. Bonaventure, Plymouth; and St. Mary of the Sacred Heart, Hanover.
From 1997-2003 he was on leave of absence from active priestly ministry, returning in June of 2003 as parochial vicar at St. Luke Parish in Belmont. Two years later he was named to a similar position at Sacred Heart Parish in Lynn and in 2006 as a parochial vicar at Holy Ghost Parish in Whitman.