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Meet our priests: Father Paul Aveni


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Parish/assignment: Pastor, St. Mary of the Assumption, Revere

Place of birth: Weymouth, MA

How many brothers and sisters do you have? 2 sisters, 1 brother

High school: Plymouth-Carver High School

College/University/ Seminary: Undergraduate -- St. Anselm College

Graduate 1 -- St. John’s Seminary

Seminary (Theology) -- St. John’s Seminary

Date of ordination: May 16, 1998

What assignments have you had since ordination?

Immaculate Conception, Revere 1998-2003, Parocial Vicar; St. John the Evangelist, N. Chelmsford, 2003-2005, Parochial Vicar; St. Joseph Holbrook, Pastor, 2005-2007; St. Mary of the Assumption, Pastor, 2007-Present

What have been some of the greatest joys for you as a priest?

All that encompasses parish ministry, I find it especially fulfilling to comfort those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. I enjoy celebrating the Eucharist with my parish community, and I enjoy interacting with the youth.

Who influenced your vocation most to consider the priesthood?

The Benedictine Monks of St. Anselm Abbey, Father Robert Reed

What events or practices in your life helped you to discover and discern your call to the priesthood?

Growing up in a Catholic family, campus ministry at St. Anselm College and parish involvement at Immaculate Conception in Malden

What is one of your favorite scripture passages and why?

The Prologue in the Gospel of St. John, for the way it announces the incarnation, especially, “And the Word became flesh, and made his dwelling among us.”

What are some of your hobbies?

Spending time with family and friends, traveling, cooking

What advice would you give to a young man who is considering the priesthood?

To be attentive to God’s calling, especially when it is experienced though other people. Be open to people when they tell you that they think you would make a good priest. God communicates to us through people around us.

What are some of your favorite books/ spiritual reading/magazines?

Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia, Father Elijah

Through the cardinal, God is calling each of us personally to help rebuild his Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?

One of the best ways to rebuild, as in any building project, is update the materials you use. In the Church this is done by being in sync with what is going on the archdiocesan level for instance collaboration between parishes and working together as opposed to being competitive. If we rebuild, we need to use the best building materials available to us now in 2008.

When Cardinal Seán came to Boston, he wrote a pastoral letter entitled: “Vocations: Everybody’s Business.” What are some ways that we can help all individuals and families understand their role in promoting and supporting vocations?

It is imperative that we talk about vocations at the parish. I often recount my vocation story in homilies. I try to offer Masses, at least a couple times a month, for vocations while using the Mass for vocations in the Sacramentary, and praying for vocation in the intentions at Sunday Masses. I also keep my antenna tuned into young men and women who seem to have an interest in service in the Church.

Featured Website:

www.VocationsBoston.org

Upcoming Events for the Vocation Office

Feb. 11: Christ Speaks in the City at the Old State House in Downtown Boston

Feb. 12: Discernment Retreat Followup: “The Priest” Lectures (Understanding the Priesthood) at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton

Feb. 26: Discernment Retreat Followup: “The Priest” Lectures (Understanding the Priesthood) at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton

‘Meet our Priests’ is produced by the Office for Vocations of the Archdiocese of Boston.

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