Father José Manuel Abalon Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy
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BRIGHTON -- Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has announced the appointment of Father José Manuel Abalon as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Brockton. Father Abalon’s appointment was effective Aug. 15.
A native of the Philippines, Father Abalon was born in Manito, Labay on Jan. 1, 1965 the 10th and last child of Remedios Mangampo Abalon and the late José Abalon. Of his eight living siblings, seven live in the Philippines as does his 92-year-old mother, Remedios. One sibling, Amante is deceased. Father Abalon has a brother, Father José Amante Abalon, who is a priest of the archdiocese of Newark. He is presently stationed at Holy Cross Parish on Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean.
Father José Manuel Abalon attended local schools in Manito and Bicol University High School in Legaspi City, Philippines. He was awarded the bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Bicol University and taught in that same field for some time after his graduation.
When asked about his vocational choice, Father Abalon explained that his family’s daily praying of the rosary together and the good example of his own parish priest planted the initial seeds. After some wanderings, doubts and questions he began attending the Neo-Catechumenal Way Community at the cathedral in Legaspi City, Philippines. “So out of curiosity I also joined. I was 16 years old. Being a post-baptismal catechumenate, this charism in the Catholic Church helped me to rediscover the grace of baptism, the sacraments, the commandments, to love the Church as a mother and teacher, prayer, Scriptures, the Creed, the saints, the need to evangelize, etc. It slowly answered my questions and the vocation came back. It was a rediscovery of the unconditional love of Christ for me, my family and society,” said Father Abalon.
While living at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Kearney, N.J. he completed his seminary theological studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. Newark’s then-Archbishop Theodore McCarrick ordained him to the priesthood at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart on May 27, 2000.
His first assignment was as a parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish in Seacaucus, N.J., where he served until June 2005 when he was named parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in East Boston.
On Dec. 7, 2005 he was named administrator of St. Patrick Parish, Brockton and this past Aug. 15, he was appointed pastor. When asked about his hopes for his parish and his new assignment, Father Abalon cited three pressing goals: “1) to search for those who are not going to church, especially the youth and lead them to Christ; 2) to give continuing Catholic faith formation for those who are coming to church, both for parents/adults and children; and 3) to serve both English and non-English speaking parishioners.”