BRIGHTON — Bishop-designate John A. Dooher, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Dedham and Bishop-designate Robert F. Hennessey, pastor of Most Holy Redeemer Parish in East Boston, received two of the symbols of the office — the pectoral cross and zucchetto — from Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley at an Oct. 12 press conference announcing their appointments.
The two parish priests from the Archdiocese of Boston were appointed auxiliary bishops by Pope Benedict XVI earlier in the day.
“As we prepare to welcome the relics of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of parish priests, we rejoice that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has blessed the Archdiocese of Boston by naming two of our most distinguished parish priests Father Dooher and Father Hennessey as auxiliary bishops,” Cardinal O’Malley said.
Bishop-designate Dooher will serve as South Regional Bishop and Bishop-designate Hennessey will serve as Central Regional Bishop.
The archdiocese also announced that the pope has granted Central Regional Bishop John P. Boles’ request for retirement. Ordained to the episcopate in 1992, Bishop Boles turned 75 in January 2005. Canon Law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the pope at age 75.
“I want to publicly thank and acknowledge the wonderful work and service of Bishop John Boles,” Cardinal O’Malley said. “I look forward to his ministry as bishop emeritus.”
The cardinal said the bishop has been an “intelligent, compassionate and deeply spiritual guide for the Catholics of Boston."
The south region has been headed by Interim Regional Vicar Msgr. Edwin D. Condon since Bishop Richard J. Malone was appointed as bishop of the Diocese of Portland, Maine on 2004.
Bishops Emilio S. Allué, Walter J. Edyvean and Francis X. Irwin from the Merrimack, west and north regions respectively were present at the conference.
As priests of the archdiocese, Bishops-designate Dooher and Hennessey have overseen tremendous growth and vitality at their parishes and both have encouraged young people to participate more fully in the life of the Church, Cardinal O’Malley said.
“Both have consistently placed the needs of the Church and the people of God ahead of their own needs and desires, and in doing so have been living witnesses to what Christ told us — to love one another as He loved us,” he said.
The cardinal added that he hopes the bishops-designate will continue to revitalize parishes and reach out to inactive Catholics as auxiliary bishops. As the archdiocese moves forward with renewal and rebuilding, it is important for parishioners and pastors to share their faith, hopes and concerns with their regional bishops, he said.
“Here in the Archdiocese of Boston auxiliaries are essential to my ministry as archbishop,” he said. “As you know the archdiocese is very large with a population of over 2 million Catholics and I have been asked to assume new responsibilities in connection with my call as cardinal.”
Speaking at the press conference, Bishop-designate Dooher said he was “profoundly and deeply grateful” for his appointment and found the news “overwhelming.”