Boston auxiliary bishop retires, two new auxiliary bishops named

BRIGHTON, MA - Pope Benedict XVI has informed Cardinal Seán O'Malley that Reverend John A. Dooher, Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Dedham and Reverend Robert Hennessey, Pastor of Most Holy Redeemer in East Boston, have been named Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Boston.

Cardinal Seán received this news with gratitude for the Holy Father's pastoral care of the Archdiocese and has announced that bishop-elect Dooher will be assigned to the South region and bishop-elect Hennessey will be assigned to the Central region of the Archdiocese.

Pope Benedict XVI has also granted Bishop John Boles' request for retirement - Bishop Boles currently serves as the Auxiliary for the Central region.

The Ordination of the two new Auxiliary Bishops will take place on December 12, 2006 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston; details will be forthcoming. Bishops-elect Dooher and Hennessey will also continue in their current roles at their parishes until replacements are appointed.

"We are very grateful to our Holy Father for granting our request for new Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Boston," stated Cardinal O'Malley. "Fr. Dooher and Fr. Hennessey are uniquely gifted, truly dedicated to the Church of Boston and have exemplified great leadership in their ministries, for the good of the Archdiocese and the greater glory of God. I look forward to working with them, as together, we continue to serve Catholics of Boston, rededicate our mission to ministry at the parish level and continue our efforts towards the rebuilding and strengthening of the Church in Boston.

On behalf of the entire Archdiocese, I also wish to express my gratitude to Bishop Boles for his many years of faithful service. We have been blessed with his leadership. I look forward to his continued contributions as Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese."

Reverend Robert Hennessey, 54, has been Pastor of Most Holy Redeemer in East Boston since 1994, serving a diverse parish, including a large Spanish-speaking congregation. After his ordination in May 1978, Fr. Hennessey served as Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph in Hanson (1978-81), St. Peter in Plymouth (1981-82) and St. Joseph in Needham (1983-86). He also pursued graduate studies at Moreau Seminary at Notre Dame, Indiana (1982-83) and served in the Society St. James (1986-94), a program founded by Cardinal Cushing for priests to serve the Church in Latin America. Additionally, Fr. Hennessey was selected to serve a four-year appointment on the Clergy Personnel Board in 2003 and is a member of both the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors. While serving as Pastor in his most recent assignment, Fr. Hennessey also served as Administrator at Our Lady of the Airways Chapel at Logan Airport (1995-98) and at Our Lady of the Assumption in East Boston (1998-2001). Fr. Hennessey was born in South Boston.

"I am grateful to Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Seán for my appointment as an Auxiliary Bishop of Boston," said Fr. Hennessey. "I am deeply humbled. I look forward to working closely with the Cardinal and with the other Auxiliary Bishops of Boston. I am also looking forward to working with the people of the Central Region, the religious and with my brother priests, with whom I feel a deep fraternal and united bond. May God bless all of us in the Church of Boston."

Fr. John Dooher, 63, was born in Dorchester, MA and was ordained at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in May 1969. He has served as Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Dedham since 1996, the home of one of the Archdiocese's most thriving LIFE TEEN programs for young Catholics. Following his ordination, Fr. Dooher served as Parochial Vicar at both St. Francis Xavier Cabrini in South Weymouth (1969-74) and St. Augustine Parish in South Boston (1974-1982). He also served as the Senate President for Archdiocesan Priests from 1982-1984 and was the Director of the Office of Spiritual Development for the Archdiocese from 1984-1991, a leadership position responsible for overseeing the spiritual renewal program and retreats for parishes and for priests and religious. Fr. Dooher is currently a member of both the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors. Prior to his appointment as Pastor at St. Mary, Fr. Dooher served as Administrator for Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, St. Vincent de Paul Parish and Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel in South Boston from 1991 to 1996.

"I wish to thank the Holy Father and Cardinal Seán," said Fr. Dooher. "I am humbled by the trust placed in me. As I begin this new role serving the Church of Boston, I look forward to working with priests, religious and lay men and women in the continued renewal and strengthening of our parishes. I will strive to serve with a generous heart."