byFather Robert M. O'Grady
Cardinal Séan P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. has named new pastors for two Central Region parishes. Msgr. William P. Fay will be the new pastor of St. Columbkille, Brighton effective July 1, 2006 and Father Robert J. Carr will be the new pastor of St. Benedict, Somerville effective June 30.
Msgr. William Fay
A native of Boston, Msgr. Fay’s family lived for his first years in Holy Name Parish, West members of St. James the Great Parish in Wellesley.
He attended local schools and graduated from Marian High School in Framingham before he entered archdiocesan seminaries. He completed his preparation for ordination at the Gregorian University in Rome while at the Pontifical North American College in the Eternal City.
He returned to the United States for his ordination, which was at St. James Church, Wellesley on July 13, 1974. Cardinal Medeiros was the ordaining bishop.
Father Fay’s first assignment was as an associate at St. Rita Parish in Haverhill. He was assigned with a pastor he came to admire, Father James Radochia. Father Fay’s familiarity with the Italian language helped with the many Italian speakers in the Haverhill parish and his appreciation of Italian cuisine endeared him more to Father Radochia whose culinary talents were well known among his contemporaries.
Three years later Father Fay found himself back in the classroom again as a student, this time at the Catholic University of America where he was sent to study philosophy. He was awarded a doctorate in 1981 and assigned to the faculty of the college’s seminary where he served for 14 years. In the later years he served as chairman of the philosophy department and a dean of the seminary college.
In June 1995 Father Fay was released from archdiocesan service and named associate general secretary of the U.S. bishops’ conference. Six years later he was named general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C.
As general secretary he was responsible for the day to day operation of the conference staff in the nation’s capital as well as keeping communications among and between bishops and their various committees open and moving.
It was during his term as general secretary that the clergy sexual abuse crisis rocked the Church in the United States and in his parting reflections at the November 2005 bishops’ meeting, Msgr. Fay’s last as general secretary, he spoke of the honor it had been for him to serve the bishops as well as to see the strength and resilience of the Church, even under the most difficult circumstances.
In 1996, Pope John Paul II named Father Fay a prelate of honor with the title of reverend monsignor. During the past few months since Msgr. Fay left the bishops’ conference he has been studying Spanish in the Dominican Republic.
When he assumes the leadership of the venerable Brighton parish, his talents for administration will be evident; but even more will be his priestly zeal. There is a large Spanish speaking population in the Brighton area and their new pastor’s willingness to speak their language will be another building block for the Brighton parish.
Father Robert Carr
A Boston native and an alumnus of archdiocesan seminaries, Father Carr was ordained at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 22 1993 by Cardinal Law.
Father Carr is the nephew of the late Father John Carr who was also a pastor in a Somerville parish – St. Catherine of Genoa.
Since ordination he has served in four parishes as parochial vicar: St. Ann, in Boston’s Neponset section (1993-1996); St. Rose of Lima, Chelsea (1996-2001); Cathedral (2001-2005) and St. Benedict, Somerville (2005-2006).
Father Carr is a tireless promoter of Catholic causes. He is at the forefront on many public issues especially as they affect the members of the Church.
As with so many of the older parishes of the archdiocese, so also St. Benedict’s has seen a demographic shift over the past decades. Old and established families have moved to newer and larger areas and new people, many of them from Spanish speaking nations has taken their places. Father Carr is passionate about the new people and has taken care to perfect his use of Spanish to be more available for service. His commitment and compassion will be needed and appreciated in east Somerville.
Father Leo Lynch
A native of Dorchester and the sole son of the late Daniel and Catherine (Devine) Lynch’s three children, Father Leo Lynch graduated from Boston College High School in 1948 and entered St. John’s Seminary. Auxiliary Bishop Eric MacKenzie ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Name Church on Feb. 2, 1956.
Father Lynch, known among priests as “Lou” was an assistant or an associate at four parishes: St. Joseph Chrysostom, West Roxbury (1956-1960); St. John the Baptist, Quincy (1960-1965); St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Beverly (1965-1976) and St. Mary, Winchester (1976-1977).
Father Lynch is a priest known to have a personality and laugh that match his size — large and encompassing! In interviews about his 50th anniversary the word that came through was joy — even in trials he’s a happy priest.
Since 1977 he has been at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Woburn. In 1977 he started off in a team ministry with Father John Barry and in 1988 he was named pastor of the parish.
During his years in Woburn he has seen the parish grow. New homes have sprung up and the commercial development visible along Routes 128 and Interstate 93 are further evidence of demand for property. This usually signals new people, often younger with families who need and want a parish.
Father Lynch and the priests and lay staff have kept pace with these calls.
Father Lynch becomes a senior priest of the archdiocese on July 1, 2006.