Cardinal announces changes for Marshfield parish

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has announced a change of pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Marshfield. Two archdiocesan priest are affected by the change. Father Thomas J. Reilly resigned for reasons of health in early September and has been granted senior priest status. Father Mark Ballard will take over as pastor on Nov. 29.

Father Thomas J. Reilly

A Boston native and a son of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Allston, Father Reilly attended local schools and on completing high school he entered the archdiocesan seminaries and Cardinal Cushing ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on June 7, 1967.

His first assignment was as an assistant at St. Margaret, Burlington where he served from ordination until 1972. He returned to Boston as an associate at Our Lady of Lourdes, Jamaica Plain for the following year and then went to the Catholic University of America for advanced studies in religious education.

On his return to the archdiocese he served part time in the Archdiocesan Religious Education Office while being a part time associate at Sacred Heart Parish, Quincy. He assumed that job full time in 1976 and remained there until 1985. In 1978 he was named a Chaplain of the Boston Police Department a position he retained for many years following.

Cardinal Law named him pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish, Charlestown in 1985 and of St. Monica Parish, South Boston in 1991. Both positions allowed him to continue his close contacts and pastoral care of the BPD.

In 1997 Cardinal Law appointed him as pastor of St. Mary Parish, Foxborough. Although far from Boston he still maintained regular contact with his many friends and collaborators in the city and in the “department.” At St. Mary he oversaw a rapidly growing parish with hundreds of children in the parish religious education program. After 11 years quarterbacking the Foxborough parish he wanted to hand off the responsibility to a younger man and he accepted the appointment to Marshfield.

Shortly after his arrival in the South Shore town earlier this year, he developed serious health problems which did not seem to be readily or easily managed. He requested senior priest status and Cardinal O’Malley granted that request and it was effective on Sept.1, 2008. Father Reilly will live in his own residence as he begins his retirement

Father Mark Ballard

Succeeding Father Reilly at Our Lady of the Assumption, Marshfield will be Father Mark E. Ballard.

Born in Stoneham and a son of St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish in Melrose, Father Ballard was born one year following the ordination of Father Reilly!

He attended local schools and archdiocesan seminaries and Cardinal Law ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 25, 2002. He and his classmates were the last deacons ordained to the priesthood for the archdiocese by Cardinal Law just prior to his move to Rome in early 2003.

He served a deacon internship at Sacred Heart Parish in Weymouth.

Father Ballard’s first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Bridget Parish, Framingham and since November 2003 he has been serving a similar position at All Saints Parish in Haverhill. His first two assignments found him in large and busy city parishes each with a parish school and all its attendant activity. Although not as large in that same sense, the Marshfield parish will welcome Father Ballard both because of his youth and because of the valuable pastoral experience gained at Framingham and Haverhill.