Father Sean Connor named pastor in Neponset

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. has announced the appointment of Father Sean M. Connor as pastor of St. Ann Parish in Boston’s Neponset section. The date of Father Connor’s new assignment is June 3, 2008. Until now he has been serving as Delegate of the Archbishop.

Father Connor was born in Brockton and baptized at St. Nicholas Church in Abington. His family has roots in Boston but they moved to Marshfield and Father Connor attended public elementary school and was graduated from Marshfield High School. He subsequently attended Northeastern University and received his B.S. in Criminal Justice in 1995. He entered St. John Seminary for his theological studies.

Before entering the seminary, he served as a police officer in Marshfield. And worked also at Cardinal Cushing School and Training Center.

Father Connor cites his family and priests in his Marshfield home parish as influencing his vocation to the priesthood. He relates the importance of family and priests, “First, I believe my parents. Their love and formation in the faith continue to be an example to me. My first clear desire for priestly vocation was found at the late Holy Father’s Mass at the Boston Common. Pope John Paul II’s personal invitation to hear the Lord’s call and to find my identity in Him remains clear and present.

At my home parish: the late Father Patrick J. Gilmore and his assistant Father Leo Cormier were great influences in my youth. They brought great individual examples of priestly life, presence and care to me, my family and our parish.

Later on others mentored my vocation while at seminary and directed me to draw close to the Lord and His Holy People, among them the late Msgr. William C. Francis and the late Sister Rita Brereton from St. Paul, now Holy Family, Dorchester, the late Father John Sutton and Father Arthur Calter who was at Sacred Heart, Weymouth when I was a deacon, there.”

In some ways going to Neponset will be going home as his parents once lived in the parish. He will be going with the hope of brining the Lord closer to his people and the people closer to their Lord, especially by celebrating the sacraments. He urges a young man considering the vocation to the priesthood to “ find comfort, understanding and direction in prayer and the sacraments...and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

During the past six years Father Connor has been the Delegate for the Archbishop. This position that placed him on the forefront of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. He has seen the situation up close and personal. To say the least, it has been an enormous challenge. His own words say it best. “We all have different experiences of the revelations of the sexual abuse crisis. It is a time of great darkness and pain and I pray a time of great grace and healing. I like all who have particular office in the Church, need to continue to ask for and seek forgiveness and healing for all our faults, especially for those most hurt by the horror of this scandal.

I am honored to have been able to serve these past six years with a team of lay, religious and clergy seeking to be present, to give aid and to make change. I hope I have been able to help in this regard. The good people of Saint Ann parish know well the pains of this crisis. I know that my shared experiences, especially those with the families and individuals who have personally suffered hurt, will remain a revelation and share of Christ’s own passion and suffering. My hope remains that Christ will continue to teach us how to change, may we learn from those who have been hurt and victimized and together may we grow and find His healing and His peace. We must never forget the past and we must always turn to the Lord seeking His forgiveness. May Christ carry us home to the fullness of His Kingdom.