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Archbishop names pastors in Holbrook, Methuen and Somerville

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Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley has appointed pastors for three parishes in the archdiocese. They are Father Paul Aveni to St. Joseph Parish, Holbrook; Father David Doucet to St. Benedict Parish, Somerville and Father John McLaughlin to St. Monica Parish, Methuen.

Father Paul Aveni

Born in Weymouth and a resident of Plymouth, Father Aveni completed his seminary formation at archdiocesan seminaries and was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Law at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 16, 1998.

Following ordination he was assigned as parochial vicar to Immaculate Conception Parish in Revere. The Revere parish is very much an urban one and has a busy sacramental life as well as a parish school. So Father Aveni’s first assignment gave him a sense of the church in the city. In June 2003 he was assigned as parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Chelmsford. This is one of the very busy and rapidly growing towns of the Commonwealth and both of its parishes — St. John and St. Mary have expanding populations. His second assignment was one served in a more suburban setting with many parish programs and activities.

St. Joseph in Holbrook is a parish that is a combination of many of the aspects of an urban and suburban parish. Thus, Father Aveni’s relatively different experiences in his two assignments as parochial vicar will give him the solid basis upon which to build the parish in Holbrook. A parishioner from Chelmsford noted, “He’s only been here for short time, but we’ll miss him. He’ll do very well in Holbrook and they’re lucky to be getting him as their pastor.” Father Aveni’s appointment was effective Aug. 8, 2005.

Father David Doucet

Raised in Brighton and born in Boston, Father Doucet completed his preparation for the priesthood at archdiocesan seminaries and was ordained to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 21, 1969. In his 35 years of priestly service to the archdiocese he has served in three parish assignments.

Immediately following ordination he was appointed as an assistant at St. Thecla Parish in Pembroke. During his years he saw the town begin its growth into one of Boston’s choice South Shore municipalities and the parish begin to grow to meet changing needs.

In the bicentennial year, 1976 he moved to St. Bridget Parish, Abington, also south of Boston and not far from Pembroke. Though the distance of the move was short the change in parish size, responsibility and activity was greater. With a parish school and many more parishioners the duties were multiplied. For more than 10 years Father Doucet served St. Bridget with quiet priestly zeal.

In July 1986 Cardinal Law named him as parochial vicar at St. Benedict Parish in Somerville. He had been at the east Somerville parish for almost 19 years, a record in recent times when terms of office usually meant regular changes in assignments every five or 10 years.

In January 2005 Archbishop O’Malley named Father Doucet as administrator of St. Benedict and on July 1, 2005 he named him pastor. The parish has undergone dramatic demographic changes during the years that Father Doucet has served, most notably has been the great influx of new people — predominantly Spanish speaking individuals and families. The flavor of the neighborhood is changing from Italian and Irish-American to a much more Latin or Hispanic one.

Father Doucet has been present through the changes and has seen the needs of the parish shift as well. His thorough familiarity with his people gives him and them great reason for hope for the future of an historic parish in a vibrant and changing city.

Father John McLaughlin

A son of St. Anthony Parish and a native of Woburn, Father McLaughlin was ordained by Cardinal Law at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on May 20, 1995 after completing seminary formation at St. John Seminary, Brighton.

His first assignment following ordination was to St. Clement Parish in Somerville where he served with Father Dennis Dever. This is an excellent parish with an excellent pastor for a newly ordained priest to serve and to “learn” about being a priest.

With a parish grammar and high school, many programs and activities, the challenge of serving parts of two cities: Medford and Somerville, a seasonal injection of college students from neighboring Tufts University and a long list of communion calls and extensive sacramental life, Father McLaughlin had the opportunity to see and experience every aspect of parish life in his five years at St. Clement.

In June 2000 he moved southwest from Somerville to Foxborough’s St. Mary Parish. There he was equally busy minus the schools and had another fine priestly mentor and example in Father Thomas Reilly.

At Methuen, Father Mc-Laughlin returns to a parish with a school, and a much more urban setting than suburban Foxborough — more similar to his first assignment than his second. And he leaves with the example of two great priests, each of whom spoke highly of their parochial vicar. Father McLaughlin was named pastor at St. Monica Parish on July 11, 2005.

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