byFather Robert M. O'Grady Pilot Staff
Father William Palardy Pilot photo
He's returned to his home town, but not to his home parish. Father William B. Palardy was named pastor of St. Agatha Parish in Milton effective Sept. 1, 2016. He returned to familiar ground -- he was raised in the town of Milton, though his home parish was "on the other side of town," St. Mary of the Hills.
The only child of the late Francis and Mary (Schwendeman) Palardy was born in Boston on Jan. 14, 1960. He went to grammar school at St. Mary of the Hills; one of Boston's legendary and most well beloved priests was pastor -- the late Msgr. John Dillon Day. He went across town to Milton Academy and then to Cambridge where he was a student at Harvard University from where he graduated in 1981.
He entered St. John Seminary following graduation and fellow Harvard alumnus Bernard Cardinal Law ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on June 8, 1985.
His first, and until now, only parish assignment was as parochial vicar at Holy Family, Rockland. He served the town parish for three years before returning to the classroom, where for the next 22 years he would be on one side or the other of the desk.
From 1988 to 1992 he was a student at The Catholic University of America in the Nation's Capital studying patristics the Fathers of the Early Church. Awarded a Ph. D., he returned to Boston and was assigned to the faculty of St. John Seminary in Brighton. For the next 13 years he taught patristics, but also, as faculty members do, contributed to the human, spiritual and pastoral formation of new generations of priests.
In 2005 he moved up Route 30 from St. John Seminary to Blessed (now Pope St.) John XXIII Seminary in Weston, first as faculty member from 2005 to 2010; most recently as rector (2010-2016). During his tenure in addition to an increased enrollment he oversaw the expansion of physical plant with the addition of the new learning center; new faculty suites and student rooms.
Although he has been "away" from parish life for almost 30 years, he has not been far away. Integral to the formation of new priests is knowing what's happening in the trenches, i.e. the parishes. Father Palardy has been a regular weekend assistant at archdiocesan parishes as well as presenter at workshops and study days not only for priests but also for lay ministers and parishioners.
As he leaves seminary, after the more than usual four or five years of most priests, he returns to "the other side of town" in Milton "well formed" and eager for the challenges of parish life.