Priests appointed for pastoral care of clergy

BRIGHTON -- In a recently announced set of appointments, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has added new responsibilities to two archdiocesan priests. Father Edwin Condon will become the new vicar of pastoral care of clergy and Father James Flavin will become the director of pastoral care of priests.

Each priest will assume these duties in addition to his present assignment: in Father Condon’s case, he finishes service as interim regional vicar of the south region with the appointment of newly ordained Bishop John Dooher as south regional bishop. Father Flavin’s new office is in addition to his remaining as pastor of St. Edith Stein Parish in Brockton. Both appointments are effective on Dec. 29, 2006.

Fathers Condon and Flavin join an already notable team of priests who are responsible in assisting the cardinal in his paternal and fraternal care of his priests. Msgr. James Tierney is director of Regina Cleri, the downtown Boston home for many of Boston’s senior priests. Father James McCune is the director of the Office for Senior Priests and serves as a liaison to all senior priests. Father William Kelly directs the Office of Clergy Support and Ongoing Formation, primarily serving the spiritual and ongoing educational needs of priests. Father Robert Deehan is archdiocesan director of clergy personnel and Father Brian Clary is director of the Priest Recovery Program. Father Arthur Coyle archdiocesan secretary for pastoral and ministerial services oversees all of these offices.

A number of other priests assist the cardinal in various roles of priestly support. For instance, Father Mark O’Connell oversees and facilitates the clergy fund, the primary source of funding for the health care and retirement of archdiocesan priests. This is in addition to Father O’Connell’s other duties, many of them unseen and often unnoticed, as assistant to the vicar general for canonical affairs, instructor in canon law at St. John’s Seminary as well as a member of various archdiocesan boards and committees.

Regarding Father Condon’s new job description Cardinal O’Malley stated, “Father Edwin Condon will assume a new position as vicar for pastoral care of clergy. In this role, Father Condon will collaborate closely with me, the regional bishops and Father Erikson, as well as with Father Coyle, in serving as my personal representative to all priests and deacons who are experiencing any kind of difficulty in their personal lives or in their ministry. During his present tenure as interim regional vicar of the south region, in addition to sharing his keen pastoral sensitivity, Father Condon has been most solicitous toward the priests and deacons in that region. He has generously agreed to extend that pastoral care, by way of this new, special outreach, to the priests and deacons in all five regions. Father Condon will also work closely with Msgr. Tierney and Father McCune in developing programs that can bring all of the senior priests of the archdiocese together for prayer, sharing and fraternity.

Father Condon had “retired” as pastor of St. Denis Parish in Westwood following years of service as a chaplain in the United States Navy. Well respected among the priests, his “reactivation” will be a help not only to the priests but also to Cardinal O’Malley and the auxiliary bishops.

Father Flavin who has been a parish priest since his ordination, serving at St. William Parish, Dorchester and since 1992 in parishes in Brockton, is also a licensed mental health counselor.

Cardinal O’Malley praised Father Flavin’s willingness to accept this additional service to his brother priests. “In addition to his love for the priesthood, and strong pastoral experience, Father Flavin is also a licensed mental health counselor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He will reach out to individual priests in times of crisis and need, but will also undertake the important work of developing programs on emotional and personal development, backed by sound clinical practices, for all of the priests of the archdiocese,” stated the cardinal.