Father McDermott and Father Owens granted senior priest status

Father Joseph P. McDermott and Father Leroy Owens Courtesy photos

Father McDermott

A Hudson native, where he was born on May 28, 1935, Father Joseph P. McDermott, a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Nathan McDermott, was granted senior priest/retirement status on June 1, 2014.

After completion of seminary studies at St. John, Brighton, Father McDermott was ordained to the priesthood at St. Stephen Church, Framingham on Feb. 2, 1962 by Boston Auxiliary Bishop Eric F. MacKenzie.

Following ordination he was named an assistant at St. Michael Parish in Avon, six years later he moved just a bit northeast to St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Norwood, serving as an assistant there also. In 1975 he was granted permission to further theological studies at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. He returned to parish life the next year and was temporarily and briefly an associate at St. Isidore, Stow and then at St. Joseph, Amesbury.

In June 1976 he was appointed prison chaplain at MCI-Norfolk where he served until 1992; during these years he lived in residence first at St. Patrick, Roxbury and then at St. Timothy, Norwood. Speaking of those 16 years he told The Pilot, it was being pastor to a parish "behind the walls."

In September 1992, he was named pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, Stoughton returning, almost, to where he had started out in parish life 30 years before. The Stoughton parish is a large and active one, and has an increasingly large Portuguese speaking contingent. Father McDermott learned Portuguese and so endeared himself to that "newer" portion of his flock at Stoughton. Two score and two years ago he went with much and varied experience under his belt to Stoughton.

In retirement, as so many of our "retired" senior priests do, he will be assisting in parishes. He will be living in residence, again not far from either Avon or Stoughton, at Blessed Sacrament Rectory, Walpole assisting in the three parish collaborative of Blessed Sacrament and St. Mary in Walpole and Our Lady of Sorrows in Sharon.

Father Owens

The oldest of the five children of the late Leroy and Mary (Smith) Owens, Father Leroy Owens was born Oct. 30, 1935 and raised in Holy Ghost Parish, Whitman. Just as another famous son of Whitman, Francis J. Spellman had, Father Owens attended local schools, though in his senior year he went to Msgr. Coyle High School in nearby Taunton.

Following completion of seminary studies at St. John, Brighton, he was ordained at Holy Cross Cathedral by Cardinal Cushing on Feb. 6, 1964.

His first priestly assignment was as an assistant at St. Joseph Parish in Kingston. In 1969 he was named an assistant Our Lady Help of Christians where his particular ability of relating to and working with young people took off. The parish had a high school and he was faculty member, chaplain and also athletic director. The 14 year assignment at Newton made him a kind of legend at the parish and years later he was still returning for weddings and baptisms of former students and their children.

After Newton he was for one year a parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Malden. At an age when most priests would have at least started to lose some of the energy and stamina needed to keep up with high school students, Father Owens began and eight year appointment as chaplain at Marian High School in Framingham, during these years he lived in residence at St. Bridget Parish and was reunited with Msgr. Francis Strahan who had been a weekend assistant at Newton for many of the years he was on the seminary faculty at Brighton.

His appointment at Marian High ended in 1993 but he remained as parochial vicar in Framingham until 1996 when he was named pastor at St. Edward the Confessor Parish in Medfield.

On arrival he found a large active parish, a new church and rectory, a religious education program which had some 1,200 students in it. As usual, he jumped right in and became an immediate "hit" in the parish. Both by need and desire, the parish has many ministries and the lay involvement both in leadership and participation is extensive, something which Father Owens built upon in his nearly 18 years as pastor.

In 2012 Father Owens made his annual retreat with other Boston priests at the retreat sponsored and arranged by Bishop Robert Hennessey. The retreat master that year was Father Timothy Radcliffe, OP who bore an amazing resemblance to Leroy. In deference to this "separated at birth" incident, Bishop Hennessey will call Leroy "Tim" when he sees him; Leroy will laugh knowingly, while everyone is trying to figure out why the bishop doesn't "know" Leroy's name.

Although designated a senior priest, Father Owens is not likely to "retire" any time soon. He will be living in residence at St. Linus Rectory in Natick; that parish is in the Natick Collaborative with abutting St. Patrick Parish. Father Owens' previous parish in Medfield is in a collaborative with St. Jude Parish in Norfolk.

Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...

Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Advocates decry historically low cap for refugee entry in 2019

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Advocates for refugee admissions into the United States decried what one statement called a historically low cap of 30,000 for fiscal ...

Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

Catholic workers say U.S. aid cuts to Palestinians could be disastrous

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said ...