Father Walter F. Keymont retires from Archbishop Williams, Braintree

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A native of Brockton and one of the two sons of Alice (Pritchard) Keymont and the late Walter, he was born June 19, 1952, in Dorchester. He has a younger brother, John, who lives in Woburn.

He is an alumnus of the archdiocesan seminaries at Brighton; and Humberto Cardinal Medeiros ordained him and his fellow classmates of the Class of 1980 at Holy Cross Cathedral on June 14, 1980.

During the years between ordination and his being granted senior priest status on Sept. 1, 2022, he served in parish and high school chaplaincy assignments.

His first parish assignment was as an associate at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Wellesley. He had the great good fortune to be assigned to a parish with one of the more highly respected and admired priests of the archdiocese, Father John Philbin. Much admired in his previous parish assignments and esteemed by fellow priests, Father Philbin was a great exemplar and model for the young Father Keymont.

After six happy years in Wellesley, Father Keymont was named as chaplain of Braintree's Archbishop Williams High School by Bernard Cardinal Law. While serving at "Archie's," he lived for several years in residence at St. Peter Rectory, Norwood.

He returned to parish ministry, heading ever southward, as parochial vicar at St. Christine, Marshfield (1991-1996).

His first of several appointments as a pastor was to St. Ann in Boston's Neponset section, again appointed by Cardinal Law. He served there for almost nine years and started to see a shift in the parish's population. It remains one of the last sections of the city still populated by active or recently retired firefighters, police, and teachers and their families.

Archbishop Seán P. O'Malley named him pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in East Bridgewater, placing him in a neighboring town to his home in younger years in the Boxer City -- Brockton. He served there for almost nine years, as well.

Cardinal O'Malley named him as administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Kingston in 2013, where he served for five years. It was at this time that the initial plans for creating collaboratives of parishes was introduced in the archdiocese.

Father Keymont assumed the leadership of one such collaborative, which consisted of Sacred Heart, Middleborough, and Sts. Martha and Mary, Lakeville. This would be one of the largest, geographically, of the collaboratives in the new plan, with the two parishes and two towns covering over 100 square miles.

In February 2020, Father Keymont was granted a six-month sabbatical/renewal program. He returned from that assignment in mid-2020 to find himself back at his second assignment, though a very much changed one, again serving as chaplain of Archbishop Williams High School in Braintree.

Father Keymont requested senior priest/retirement status and Cardinal O'Malley granted that request effective Sept. 1, 2022. In retirement, Father Keymont will live in his own residence.