Meet our priests: Father Brian Clary

Parish/assignment: Rector- St. Anselm Church, Sudbury; Director-Priests’ Recovery Program, Archdiocese of Boston

Place of birth: Boston

How many brothers and sisters do you have?: I have an older brother and an older sister.

High school: Archbishop Williams High School

College/University/ Seminary: Undergraduate - St. John’s Seminary College

Seminary (Theology) - St. John’s Seminary

Date of ordination: 1997

What assignments have you had since ordination?

Parochial Vicar St. Clare’s Braintree (1997-2002); Parochial Vicar St. Mary of the Assumption Brookline (2002-2007); Director Priests’ Recovery Program (2002-present); Rector-St. Anselm Church (2007-present).

What have been some of the greatest joys for you as a priest?

The greatest joys I’ve had have been to celebrate the sacraments with the people I’ve been ordained to serve. Also, working with my brother priests who are in recovery from alcoholism and addiction has been a grace-filled ministry.

Who influenced your vocation most to consider the priesthood?

My parents and certain members of my family by their prayers and good example have been a profound influence. St. Mary’s in West Quincy which is my home parish had many fine examples of priests who helped me in my discernment along with the Campus Ministry Team at Archbishop Williams and Fairfield University.

What events or practices in your life helped you to discover and discern your call to the priesthood?

By becoming active in my parish and campus ministry along with a healthy spiritual life were key components as I discerned my call.

What is one of your favorite scripture passages and why?

Psalm 139: verse 14 “I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works; my soul also you knew full well” The entire Psalm speaks of the intimacy that God has with each of us and our hearts are called into gratitude at this tremendous gift.

What are some of your hobbies?

I love the arts: film, literature, theatre and modern music. I also like to travel, exercise and spend time with family and friends.

What advice would you give to a young man who is considering the priesthood?

I would suggest that he get in contact with a priest that he looks up to and find out what life in ordained ministry is really like. Also, further develop his spiritual life with the aid of a director.

What are some of your favorite books/ spiritual reading/ magazines?

I read America, The Pilot, Magnificat and the National Catholic Reporter. Some of my favorite writers are Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Robert Barron and Walter Burghardt.

Through the Cardinal, God is calling each of us personally to help rebuild His Church. How must the priest respond to this mandate today?

The priest must work in collaboration with his ordinary, his brother priests and the people of the Church of Boston that he has been ordained to serve.

When Cardinal Seán came to Boston, he wrote a pastoral letter entitled: “Vocations: Everybody’s Business.” What are some ways that we can help all individuals and families understand their role in promoting and supporting vocations?

Through prayer, good example and a direct invitation to a person to consider a vocation to priesthood or religious life may be a crucial turning point in one’s journey.

Featured Website:

Upcoming Events for the Vocation Office

Jan. 30: Young Adult Gathering at St. Leonard’s in the North End

Jan. 31: Ordination to the Transitional Diaconate at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

Feb. 6: Cardinal’s Discernment Retreat at Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Weston

Feb. 6-8: Cardinal’s Discernment Retreat at Connors Retreat Center in Dover and St. John’s Seminary in Brighton

The content of Meet our Priests is provided by the Archdiocese of Boston’s Office for Vocations.