Obituary: Father Hubert E. Desmond served in several archdiocesan parishes
When he was granted senior priest/retirement status in 2001, Father Desmond told The Pilot that "my life until now has been framed by two parishes named for St. Anthony of Padua." The first was his place of baptism in his native Cohasset; the last was his last parish assignment in the archdiocese in Woburn. Father Hubert E. Desmond died at Regina Cleri Residence, Boston, on July 27, 2022.
The Cohasset native was one of the four children of the late Denis and Catherine (Gillen) Desmond. He was predeceased by siblings Joseph and Mary, and his brother Denis survives. Born on Nov. 16, 1931, he attended local public elementary schools and was educated by the Sisters of St. Joseph at Sacred Heart High School, Weymouth. Father Desmond was always careful to remind you that those Sisters and the priests in his home parish played a crucial role in his vocational discernment.
He went to Boston College for one year and then entered the archdiocesan seminaries at the then very recently opened Cardinal O'Connell in Jamaica Plain; and then to philosophy and theology studies at St. John, Brighton.
Boston's Archbishop Richard Cushing ordained him and his 1958 classmates to the priesthood on Feb. 2 of that year. By the end of that year, Boston's colorful archbishop had more color added when Pope St. John XXIII named him to the College of Cardinals.
During the next 43 years of priestly ministry prior to retirement, Father Desmond would serve in 10 archdiocesan parish assignments: St. Thomas the Apostle, Millis (1958-1963); Holy Family, Rockland (1963); Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted (1963-1968); St. John the Evangelist, Cambridge (1968); St. Luke, Belmont (1968-1985); Immaculate Conception, Cambridge (1985); St. Mary, Dedham (1985-1988); St. Irene, Carlisle (1988); St. Ann (University), Boston, 1988; and St. Anthony of Padua, Woburn, (1988-2001).
During retirement, he initially lived in his own private residence in Weymouth, assisting in area parishes. Friends and former parishioners complimented him on his well-crafted, easily understood, and well timed homilies; as well as his kindness, especially towards the sick and elderly.
South regional Vicar Father Robert L. Connors was the principal celebrant of Father Desmond's funeral Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Cohasset. The homilist was a friend of Father Desmond, Msgr. John A. Ecker, the vicar general of the Diocese of Yakima and rector of St. Paul Cathedral there. Father Scott Euvrard, present pastor at Cohasset, also concelebrated the funeral Mass on Aug. 3, 2022.
Following the funeral Mass, Father Desmond was buried in Woodside Cemetery, Cohasset.