Father John Farrell Courtesy photo
"My mother told me that, the day of my First Communion, I told her I wanted to be a priest," recounted Father John Farrell, recently retired pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Lyvnnfield.
Father Farrell, known to many simply as "Father Jack," was granted senior priest/ retirement status on Aug. 1, after 50 years ministering to the people of the archdiocese.
Born in Somerville in 1936, he attended the parish grammar school at St. Ann's, the parish he and his family called home. During the summers, he and his five siblings often visited his grandparents' farm in Nova Scotia, a place he still holds dear.
"My family was active in our parish," he said. "And in Nova Scotia, the church is always at the center of everything. In fact, it is hard to divide the church and the wider community."
So, in a family that had fostered several vocations to the priesthood and religious life, it was perhaps not surprising that Father Farrell also felt called to serve the Church.
Immediately after graduating from Boston College High School, Father Farrell enrolled at St. John's Seminary, and was ordained by Cardinal Richard Cushing at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Feb. 2, 1962.
His first assignment was at St. Joseph Parish in Wakefield, where he remained for 18 months.