Cardinal names pastors in Hull and Newton; rector in Sudbury

During the month of January three of Boston’s younger priests received new assignments from Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley. Father Charles Higgins was named pastor of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish, Newton and administrator of St. Philip Neri Parish, Newton effective Jan. 15; Father Timothy Kearney was named pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Hull effective Jan. 22; while Father Brian Clary was named rector of St. Anselm Church, Sudbury effective Jan. 29.

Father Charles Higgins

Cardinal Bernard Law ordained the Providence native to the priesthood for the archdiocese on June 25, 1988 at Holy Cross Cathedral. Father Higgins completed his seminary studies at St. John, Brighton having graduated with a B.A. in history from Brown University and previously from Needham High School. He celebrated his First Mass at St. Joseph, Needham.

Since ordination he has been parochial vicar in five parishes: St. Stephen, Framingham (1988-1993); Gate of Heaven, South Boston (1993-1994); St. Francis de Sales, Charlestown (1994-1995); St. James, Haverhill (1995-1999) and St. Theresa of Avila, West Roxbury (1996 to 2007).

A man with a keen sense of history and a deep appreciation of the Church’s tradition, Father Higgins goes to two Newton parishes who are at important stages of their own particular histories. Firm in his beliefs and convictions, he is nevertheless a gentleman and a man of kindness. The responsibilities and challenges at Newton will be well met by Father Higgins’s personal gifts and priestly virtues.

Father Timothy Kearney

A native of Boston who was raised in Franklin, Father Kearney was ordained at Holy Cross Cathedral following seminary studies at St. John, Brighton. Following his ordination by Cardinal Law, he was assigned as parochial vicar at St. Mary, Lynn. St. Mary is an excellent parish to begin priestly ministry. There is a large variety of ministries, it is a downtown parish in the middle of a changing city, there are new peoples and old time parishioners, its parish junior and senior high school are seeing growth in numbers and expansion of facilities, and the pastor, Msgr. Paul Garrity is an energetic dynamo serving as a great model for any young priest. Following Lynn, Father Kearney went to another dynamic parish and pastor, Sacred Heart, Roslindale with Msgr. Francis Kelley. Just as at Lynn he would have seen changes in many phases of parish life and ministry with expert pastoral guidance.

In his new parish Father Kearney will have a different pace and different demands, but the “on the job” training at Lynn and Roslindale and the example of two respected pastors signals great potential for Hull’s new pastor.

Father Brian M. Clary

Father Clary was born in Boston on the last day of December 1970. At a newly minted 36, he is the youngest of the appointments in this trio. Raised in Quincy he completed his seminary studies at St. John, Brighton and Cardinal Law ordained him to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on May 17, 1997.

Since then he has been parochial vicar in two parishes: St. Clare, Braintree (1997-2002) and St. Mary of the Assumption, Brookline (2002-2007). Although close in an alphabetical listing, the two parishes are quite diverse in their composition and demographic and so also in the variety of pastoral ministries.

Father Clary’s assignments have provided him not only with solid priestly examples but also with a sense of the suburban and urban life of the parish; a rectory life with usually two priests to one with a full house of four or five; the differences of parish without or with a parochial school; and a parish whose composition is largely third generation American and another which has an interesting mix of old and new peoples.

In Sudbury, Father Clary will be the rector of St. Anselm Church. In some ways he’ll be returning to a population much like that in his first assignment.

Since 2004, Father Clary has also been serving as Director of the Priests’ Recovery Program of the archdiocese. This is one of the more sensitive of the several offices which support, encourage and assist the priest of the archdiocese in their personal, spiritual, and “professional” lives.

Father Clary will remain as director of this important program while serving also a rector at Sudbury.

Good men will be serving good people in these new assignments. Prayers and best wishes to all.