Obituary: Father George A. Carrigg, longtime administrator at St. Christopher, Dorchester
A priest of the archdiocese since his ordination on Feb. 2, 1957, at Holy Name Church, West Roxbury, at the hands of the late Bishop Jeremiah F. Minihan, Father George A. Carrigg died on Dec. 16, 2022, in Harbor Point Apartments in Dorchester. In an amazing display of longevity, he spent over one half of his life, 47 of his 91 years; and all but 18 years, 47 of his 65, of his priestly ministry at one parish -- St. Christopher, Dorchester.
A Brockton native, he was born on Aug. 5, 1931, one of the six children of the late Thomas and Mora (Swift) Carrigg. He had three brothers, all of whom are deceased, and two younger sisters, Anne and Mary, both of Brockton. One of his deceased brothers was a priest of the archdiocese, Father William Carrigg. His late brother, John, was married to the late Catherine (Calter) Carrigg. Catherine was the sister to three priests of the archdiocese, all deceased, Fathers John, William, and Arthur Calter. Thus, Father Carrigg's nephews, Thomas, John, and William, and his niece Kathleen Butler had five uncles who all were priests of the archdiocese.
After attending Sacred Heart (French) School in Brockton, Father Carrigg went to Brockton High, where he was an outstanding student and athlete. He was an undergraduate at the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, for two years before entering St. John Seminary, following the footsteps of his older brother William, a member of the class of 1956.
Following ordination, he was assigned as an assistant to St. Anthony of Padua, Cohasset. He was assigned to graduate school at Boston College and was granted a master's degree in social work (MSW) and served for the next years as a staff member of the Catholic Family Counseling and Guidance Center, in regional and Boston offices.
He lived in various parishes during these years, including St. Jeremiah, Framingham; Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton; Sacred Heart, Weymouth; St. John, Roxbury; and St. Christopher, Dorchester. That later parish would be his home from 1971 until his retirement from active priestly ministry in 2018. He was named administrator of the parish in 1974.
In the course of his priestly life, he had a profound effect on many people, certainly the parishioners at St. Christopher; but also in his other assignments and on folks he met through his assignments.
Never forgetting his "urban" roots in Brockton and especially the sometimes difficult financial, familial, and material circumstances of his parishioners -- the great majority of whom were residents of the Columbia Point Housing Project, he worked tirelessly to keep a community together and to keep the parish available to the people, many newly arrived and Catholic, some not either.
Merrimack Regional Bishop Robert F. Hennessey was the principal celebrant of Father Carrigg's funeral Mass at St. Christopher Church on Dec. 21, 2022. The homilist was Father Sean McDonagh, Sts. Patrick and Raphael Parish, Williamstown, and concelebrants included friends and contemporaries of Father Carrigg.
Following the funeral Mass, Father Carrigg was buried in St. Mary Cemetery, Randolph.