Father Mahoney named pastor in Topsfield

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. has announced the appointment of Father Mark A. Mahoney as pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Topsfield. Father Mahoney’s appointment to the parish will be effective on Sept. 1, 2007.

Father Mahoney, a native of Needham and one of Anne and the late Bradford Mahoney’s children. He graduated from Needham’s St. Joseph Grammar School before attending Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood. He is an alumnus of St. John’s Seminary College and completed his seminary studies at St. John, Brighton.

Cardinal Bernard Law or-dained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on June 7, 1986 and named him parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish, Wakefield. When he finished his first assignment in July 1991 he was appointed chaplain of his alma mater, Xaverian Brothers High School and during the time of that assignment he lived in residence at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish in Newton.

In 1992 he returned to parish ministry as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish, Holliston. For the next seven years he served at the busy suburban parish with a priest who was destined to be not only a mentor but a friend and guide, Father William Haley, now a senior priest of the archdiocese living in Hull.

In June 1999 he was named to the staff of the Metropolitan Tribunal, the archdiocesan court which handles Church legal cases, the greater part of which are marriage cases. At the same time, he became a priest in residence, this time at Holy Name Parish, West Roxbury.

In July 2001 he was assigned to graduate studies, pursuing a degree in canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. On the completion of his studies and the submission and approval of his thesis he was awarded a licentiate in canon law. Interestingly, Father Mahoney’s thesis concerned parishes and an individual’s parochial membership.

He returned to the archdiocese, once again as a member of the Tribunal staff. Bishop Richard Lennon, apostolic administrator of the archdiocese, named him as administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Lincoln in 2003 while he remained on the Tribunal staff.

On July 13, 2004, then-Archbishop O’Malley named him to head up the Metropolitan Tribunal when he appointed him as judicial vicar. At the same time he changed his residence to St. Peter Parish, Cambridge.

Father Mahoney is an affable, thoughtful and considerate man. He has excellent academic credentials, but as an excellent canonist he is able to take what seems remote and theoretical and apply it appropriately to a situation. One of his priest friends highlighted the importance of this particular gift reminding him that his theory in his thesis will now be out to the test as he becomes pastor in Topsfield.

Although always serious about his work, and attentive to details and determined to get the job done he is also able to laugh at himself, as well as with others. You always feel that he wants to be with you, enjoy your company and catch up on what’s happening in your life.

As he goes to Topsfield he brings enormous talent and great enthusiasm for his priestly ministry, and a genial and welcoming manner. Topsfield is blessed!