Local

New pastor named in Lynn, and two named senior priests

byFather Robert M. O'Grady
3/31/2006

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. has named a new pastor for Sacred Heart Parish in Lynn, and has granted senior priest/retirement status to two archdiocesan priests.

Father Mark Derrane

A son of St. Ann Parish in Quincy’s Wollaston section, Father Mark Derrane was ordained at Holy Cross Cathedral by Cardinal Law on May 20, 1995. He had completed his seminary formation at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton.

Immediately following ordination he was assigned to St. Raphael Parish in Medford as parochial vicar where he served under the careful guidance of the energetic Father Kevin Toomey. The Medford parish is a busy parish and serves as an excellent one for a newly ordained to begin his priestly ministry. There is a great deal of pastoral activity and a variety of priestly duties.

Following his Medford assignment he went to another parish with similar characteristics, All Saints Parish in Haverhill. He moved in June of 2000 to Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Lynnfield. This parish and its school, under the gentle and fatherly care of Father John Farrell, enjoy an excellent reputation in the area.

Father Derrane is moving only to the next parish in terms of geography, but in terms of the fabric of the parish in Lynn he will be in a whole other set of surroundings. The more suburban, financially able, and relatively new parish in Lynnfield will yield to an urban, middle class and notably older parish in Lynn. There will still be many of the same activities and responsibilities from previous parishes including a parish school.

Surely with the fine example of his previous pastors, and his own gifts, Father Derrane can make a unique contribution to Lynn’s Sacred Heart Parish.

Father Allan L. Butler

A priest of the archdiocese of Boston since April 12, 1984, Father Allan Butler has been pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Abington since June 1994.

A Whitman native and a son of Holy Ghost Parish there — home parish also of the late Francis Cardinal Spellman. As a youngster Father Butler served the cardinal’s Masses when he visited his hometown, Father Butler attended Archbishop Williams High School, Stonehill College and the University of Notre Dame.

On June 2, 1967, Fall River’s late auxiliary Bishop James Gerard ordained him a priest as a ember of the Society of the Holy Cross at Stonehill College’s Chapel. He taught at St. Sebastian Country Day School and assisted in various archdiocesan parishes following ordination.

His desire to serve in parish ministry lead him to seek incardination into the archdiocese which occurred in 1984. Between 1980 and 1987 he served as an associate at Hingham’s Resurrection Parish and in 1987 was named parochial vicar at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Weymouth.

In an interesting historical note, when he was named pastor of St. Bridget Parish on June 21, 1994, he said: “This is the mother church of the area. Holy Ghost Parish where I grew up, was a mission of this church. And so I’ve made a complete circle — the journey of faith brings me back home."

After serving in Abington for almost a dozen years, Father Butler’s circle will truly be complete as he retires to his own residence, at home again in Whitman, when his retirement becomes effective on April 10, 2006.

Father James Darcy

A native of Framingham and one of the two sons of Michael and Margaret (Hastings) Darcy, Father James Darcy grew up in Framingham and attended the parish grammar school at St. Stephen’s and went on to St. Mary High School in nearby Milford. He then enrolled in the archdiocesan seminary beginning at Cardinal O’Connell Seminary in Jamaica Plain and then at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton.

A member of the Class of 1966, his class was ordained to the diaconate by Cardinal Cushing on St. Patrick’s Day 1965 at the cathedral and were among the first seminarians who served in parishes as deacons, in Father Darcy’s case at St. Mark Parish, Dorchester.

The following June Cardinal Cushing ordained him to the priesthood also at the Cathedral and his first assignment was to St. Mary of the Nativity in Scituate. Between 1967 and 1970 he served as an associate pastor at St. Dorothy, Wilmington and then at St. Ann, West Bridgewater.

In 1970 he was named an associate at Sacred Hearts Parish, Haverhill serving there until 1976 and then to St. Agatha, Milton where he served “with a fine priest and great gentleman,” Msgr. Ralph Gallagher. Following Msgr. Gallagher’s death on Easter Sunday of 1981, Father Darcy asked for and received permission to attended a program of pastoral and spiritual renewal at Regis College at the University of Toronto in Canada.

He said that “this was a great experience’’ and being with other priests and women and men religious from other parts of the world gave him a renewed commitment to priestly life and pastoral ministry.

Between 1982 and 1987 he was parochial vicar in three parishes: St. Augustine, South Boston; St. Francis of Assisi, Braintree and then at St. Ambrose in Dorchester. At St. Ambrose Parish he arrived to assist Father Paul Clougherty who was completing the rebuilding of the parish church, which had burned to the ground in January 1984. “It was a great parish. Changes were taking place as new people moved in and familiar faces migrated to other sections of city or further south.”

Cardinal Law permitted him to go on a period of lend-lease in 1987 when he served at St. Helen, in Vero Beach —a parish in the Palm Beach diocese where Boston’s own Bishop Thomas V. Daily was the bishop.

In Florida he also spent a period of time working in Hospice Care which “gave me a real insight into the importance of working on a team.” In the late ’70s Father Darcy along with a number of other priests had been able to take advantage of a program offered at Boston State College where they obtained masters degrees in education specializing in pastoral counseling. Father Darcy continued his ministry in the south moving to Palm Beach’s twin sister diocese, Venice in Florida, where he served for a few years at St. Ann Parish in Naples.

He had a couple of health problems including an angioplasty and this demanded his return to Boston. After a period of recuperation and assisting at St. George Parish in Framingham he was named to the archdiocese’s Emergency Response Team and assisted in a number of parishes across the archdiocese covering for parishes when priests were on vacation, or caring for their health or otherwise had a need of an extra priest.

Between 1999 and 2004 he was administrator of St. James Parish in Medford. The parish had suffered a decline of population and was one of those that closed during the reconfiguration process. In no small part the successful integration of the parishioners into other parishes and the spirit of cooperation the parish demonstrated in the obviously difficult, even wrenching time, was due to Father Darcy’s presence.

Since January 2005 Father Darcy has been on a health leave and even now he has some physical ailments including a knee problem with which he must deal and which is preventing him from assisting as much as he might wish to. On March 15 Cardinal O’Malley granted Father Darcy senior priest/retirement status and at the same time “he encouraged me to consult with physicians at Caritas St. Elizabeth Medical Center to see what might be done to help” and as Father Darcy says “get me back to being able to help in parishes at least occasionally.”

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