Cardinal announces appointment and retirements

BRIGHTON -- Over the past few weeks, as Pilot readers are aware, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has announced a number of changes affecting priests and parishes across the archdiocese.

Father Joseph P. Robinson was named pastor of St. Margaret Parish, Burlington succeeding the late Father John Crispo. His appointment was effective on Dec. 11. Two other priests have been granted senior priest/retirement status: Father Arthur Flynn presently pastor of St. Agnes Parish, Reading and Father John G. Connolly, pastor of St. Mary Parish, Wrentham. Their retirements become effective June 1, 2007 and June 12, 2007, respectively.

Father Joseph Robinson

A priest of the archdiocese since his ordination on May 29, 1968 at Holy Cross Cathedral by Cardinal Richard Cushing, Father Joseph Robinson is a Somerville native. Prior to ordination he completed seminary studies at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton. His first assignment of more than five years was as an assistant at St. Colman Parish, Brockton. In 1973 he fulfilled a similar post at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Salem.

In 1975 he began 30 years of service as a hospital chaplain, it being interrupted by a one-year assignment at St. Joseph Parish in Somerville. From 1975 to 1988 he was chaplain at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Medford. He lived in residence at St. Joseph Parish during most of that time. From 1989-90 he was assigned to St. Joseph Parish, Somerville. He returned to hospital chaplaincy in 1990 and served for 15 years as chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Bedford. He was in residence at St. Michael rectory, Bedford.

Returning to full-time parish ministry after almost 30 years as a hospital chaplain will, in some sense, be something new. Yet, in another, the pastoral care of the hospital chaplain is simply a more intensified form of the service needed in a parish. St. Margaret Parish, Burlington is one of the larger and busier parishes of the west region, and having lived and served in neighboring Bedford, Father Robinson will be assuming his new duties in familiar territory.

Father Arthur Flynn

Father Arthur Flynn, the son of Peabody’s late fire chief and Mrs. Arthur Flynn, andlongtime pastor of Reading’s St. Agnes Parish will become a senior priest with retirement. On June 1, 2007, he will be just six months short of his 80th birthday when the change becomes effective.

A son of St. John the Baptist Parish in Peabody Father Flynn was graduated from the parish grammar school, St. Mary High School, Lynn and entered St. John’s Seminary. Archbishop Richard Cushing ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on Jan. 10, 1952.

Father Flynn’s entire priestly ministry has been in parishes of the archdiocese. His first assignment following ordination was as an assistant at St. Mary Parish, Quincy. Three years later he was assistant at St. Michael Parish, Bedford, in 1958 he was named assistant at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Woburn and in 1969 the assistant at St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish, Melrose.

During two years of graduate studies at Boston College (1972-1974), Father Flynn lived in residence at two archdiocesan parishes: Our Lady of the Assumption, East Boston and St. Jerome, Arlington.

In 1974 he was named an associate pastor at St. Agnes Parish, Reading and in 1976 he was named the parish’s pastor. He recently celebrated his 30th anniversary as pastor of the Reading parish on Dec. 1. There are probably two generations of parishioners who have never known another pastor other than Father Flynn. May his long service at Reading be rewarded with a long and healthful retirement.

Father John Connolly

Another archdiocesan priest whose priestly life has been lived in archdiocesan parishes is retiring on June 12, 2007. Father John Connolly, who completed seminary studies at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, was ordained by Cardinal Richard Cushing at Holy Cross Cathedral on Feb. 2, 1963.

His first assignment following his ordination was as an assistant at Immaculate Conception Parish, Stoughton. He left Stoughton after seven years and for the following 10 years he was an assistant at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Weymouth. After a year of selffunded study he returned to familiar surroundings, but to a changing parish, serving for more than 11 years as an associate at Immaculate Conception Parish, Stoughton.

He was named as temporary parochial vicar in two parishes, St. Mary Magdalen, Tyngsborough and St. Thomas Aquinas, Bridgewater, between 1992 and 1994. During this time he also served as the archdiocesan coordinator of the Portuguese Apostolate.

Cardinal Law named him administrator of St. Mary Parish, Wrentham on Oct. 1, 1994 and then pastor on Jan. 10, 1995. He has been serving the Wrentham parish since then.

Father Connolly will become a senior priest on June 12, 2007.