Father MacDonald retires from Scituate parish

Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley has announced that he has granted Father Paul V. Mac-Donald Senior Priest/Retirement status, effective Oct. 29, 2004. Father MacDonald had most recently served as pastor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Scituate. The parish was one of those closed in the ongoing reconfiguration of the archdiocese.

Father MacDonald is a Boston native who grew up in West Roxbury. He attended archdiocesan seminaries and was ordained in Holy Name Church, West Roxbury on Feb. 2, 1959. During his 45 years of priestly ministry, he has served in several parishes, most of them in the southern part of the archdiocese.

Immediately following ordination, he served for five years at Holy Rosary Parish, Stoughton. Then, he returned to Boston, this time as an assistant at St. William Parish, in the city’s Dorchester section.

In 1974, he was appointed as administrator of St. Colman of Cloyne Parish in Brockton, a position he held until 1982 when he was named pastor of the parish. He remained there until 1987, when he was transferred to Sacred Heart, Wey-mouth. Father MacDonald was called upon to guide the busy parish through times of change, including the closure of the parish high school. During his tenure, he was able to strengthen the thriving grammar school and to construct a much-needed new residence for the priests of the parish. During those busy years, he assumed the additional responsibilities of vicar for the Weymouth vicariate of the South Region from 1989 to 1995.

Since 1997, he has served as pastor of the north Scituate parish of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. An ardent supporter of Catholic schools, Father MacDonald had hoped that there might be a Catholic school built at St. Frances, a hope that received an unexpected boost near Christmas, 1998. He won $20,000 on a scratch ticket in the state lottery and financed a feasibility study for such a school. The project was not to be.

Having served well in several parishes that underwent shifts of population and other sociological changes, Father MacDonald also met the challenge of leading parishioners in the painful processing of a parish closing resulting from the reconfiguration plan of the archdiocese.