Father Vincent Maffei granted senior priest status

Father Vincent R. Maffei, up until now a parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish in Randolph has been granted senior priest retirement status by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley. The effective date of his status change was Nov. 1, 2008. He will remain at St. Mary Parish as a senior priest in residence.

Father Maffei was born in Winthrop and raised in East Boston. A graduate of the prestigious Boston Latin School he entered St. John’s Seminary and Cardinal Cushing ordained him to the priesthood on Feb. 6, 1964 at Holy Cross Cathedral.

Between 1964 and 1968 he served as an assistant in several archdiocesan parishes including St. Mary, Plymouth; Blessed Sacrament, Jamaica Plain; St. Colman of Cloyne, Brockton and St. Agnes, Middleton. From 1968-1969 he was chaplain at Mount St. Joseph Academy, Brighton residing at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

He was an assistant at St. John the Evangelist, Wellesley until 1972 when he was granted a health leave. He returned to parish life at St. Timothy, Norwood in October 1974. It was only a few months later that the pastor of the parish, Father Joseph Ruocco was named an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese and the following June Father Maffei moved to Lowell serving as Bishop Ruocco’s right hand man. He became well known across the archdiocese as the bishop’s able master of ceremonies and was noted for his easy style, kindly demeanor and ready boisterous laugh, especially among the priests of the archdiocese.

Bishop Ruocco died in 1980 and following the bishop’s death Father Maffei remained at St. Patrick in Lowell until 1983 when he began an almost decade long period of service as secretary at the Metropolitan Tribunal. During these years he lived in residence at St. Anthony of Padua, Allston and St. Ann, Neponset. His was a ready ear and he was a helpful advisor to laity and priests needing the assistance of the tribunal.

During his years a new Code of Canon Law was enacted requiring canonical degrees of certain tribunal personnel. Priests with experience, but no degrees, were “grandfathered” in. Apparently Father Maffei was not grandfathered -- his youth explaining -- but rather as he noted he was given “a field promotion”, giving rise to the moniker among certain of his friends of the title Field Marshal Maffei. He never protested and with good humor played the part.

Following his tribunal service he was granted a sabbatical and attended the priestly renewal program at Menlo Park, Calif.

In 1992 Cardinal Law named him pastor of St. Martha Parish in Plainville and just prior to the completion of his first term there the “field marshal” asked to be returned to the “front lines” and he was named an associate at St. Mary Parish in Randolph where he has served for the past decade.