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Archbishop O’Malley has announced that Father Law-rence J. Rondeau most recently pastor of St. Joseph (French) Parish in Salem will become a senior priest of the archdiocese. The Aug. 15 suppression of St. Joseph Parish in Salem lead to Father Rondeau’s being named a senior priest.
A native son of Sacred Heart (French) Parish in Brockton, Father Rondeau attended archdiocesan seminaries and Archbishop Cushing ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on Feb. 3, 1958.
His first assignment immediately following ordination was to Sacred Heart Parish, Middleborough. In February 1962 he was appointed to the first of four assignments as an assistant, all of which would be in various French national parishes of the archdiocese: St. Jean Baptiste, Lynn (1962-67); St. Anne, Salem (1967-70); St. Jean Baptiste, Lynn (1970-72); and St. Louis de France, Lowell (1972-1983).
He returned to familiar territory, when in June 1983, Cardinal Medeiros named him pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Salem. The Salem parish originally founded and built for the pastoral care of the large number of French-Canadians who immigrated to Salem for jobs in its mills and factories underwent a dramatic change in Father Rondeau’s time. The influx of migrant workers was now from Spanish speaking areas, rather than French. The parish adapted and services liturgical and pastoral for the growing Hispanic community developed.
With the reconfiguration plan of the archdiocese proceeding and the announced decision of the suppression of St. Joseph Parish, Father Rondeau was granted senior priest status. Many of the ministries of St. Joseph Parish will be moving to St. James Parish. In an interesting turn of events and personnel, Father Ron-deau will live at St. James where his former parochial vicar, Father John Sheridan was named recently as pastor. The resumed collaboration of these two good priests will help make the difficult process of the closing of St. Joseph Parish and the welcoming of many of its ministries to St. James Parish an easier and smoother process for priests and people.