Obituary: Msgr. James Haddad, mentor of many priests, dies at 74

Msgr. James J. Haddad Pilot file photo

He loved priests. He loved being a priest and he loved being with priests. Msgr. James J. Haddad who had been a priest of the archdiocese just six months shy of his golden jubilee of ordination died at St. Patrick Manor on Aug. 9 following a long and courageous battle with complications from kidney disease.

Msgr. Haddad was born in Boston’s South End, a point of which he was vocally proud, on Oct. 10, 1932, one of the three sons of John and Mary Haddad. His parents and both brothers predeceased him. He attended St. Rita School, Boston College High School, Boston College, and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and completed his seminary training at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton. Archbishop Richard Cushing ordained him to the priesthood Feb. 3, 1958 at the cathedral.

Between 1958 and 1965 he served in parish assignments. At St. John-St. Hugh Parish, Roxbury he was omnipresent to a changing population. He and the late Father Jim Publicover were legends in the parish for their extra priestly efforts. In 1962 he went to Maynard as an assistant at St. Bridget Parish and in 1964 to Quincy’s Sacred Heart Parish. His evident love for parish life was clear to seminarians whom he would regale with stories from some of the more interesting priests with whom he lived and served.

In 1965 he was sent to Ireland’s only pontifical university, St. Patrick College, Maynooth from which he obtained a doctorate in sacred theology. He told of himself that he freely translated his Lebanese name into its Irish equivalent and not infrequently introduced himself as “Father Seamus McGowan”, which caused the turns of not a few heads observing his swarthy Lebanese features.

On his return to the archdiocese he was named the founding Director of the Pastoral Institute of the archdiocese housed at St. William Hall on the then-seminary campus. It was here that he became a mentor and model, guide and spiritual director for literally hundreds of priests and seminarians, not only of the archdiocese but also beyond.

The institute thrived under his leadership with retreats, study weeks and days of recollection in constant demand and availability. He sought out the best spiritual directors, faculty and support staff for the institute. He was truly its heart.

At the same time he also taught theology classes at college and theology levels and brought his evident enthusiasm for the faith to local campuses teaching at Regis and Emmanuel Colleges.

In 1977 he was named pastor of St. Eulalia Parish in Winchester where he built a new spirit in the parish and development a sense of stewardship and ownership by the parishioners resulting in an immediate and overwhelming response to any financial requests he made, whether for parish needs or those beyond the Winchester-Arlington lines.

In 1985, Cardinal Law named him founding director of the archdiocesan Stewardship and Development Office where he brought his skills again to the archdiocesan level. In 1988 he was named pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Needham where he increased Mass attendance and parish support, expanded the parish school and added a middle school which bears his name and inspired a spirit of stewardship in the parishioners.

Pope John Paul II named him a prelate of honor on April 21, 1998 and his beloved Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle bestowed its highest honor, the Cardinal Cushing Medal, on him in October 2002.

He was granted senior priest status on Jan. 1, 2003 due to his declining health. In the past several years he has been on death’s door more than once but his indomitable spirit seemed to bring him back.

Longtime friend and confidant from Winchester, Kay McAvoy said “He was a great priest and good friend.”

Bishop Robert Hennessey was the principal celebrant and homilist of the funeral Mass at St. Joseph Church, Needham on Aug. 14. Joining him were Auxiliary Bishop John Dooher, former auxiliary Bishop John Boles, archdiocesan vicar general, Father Richard Erikson, Father Stephen Madden, Father Patrick Armano, and some 60 other brother priests. The 1,000-seat church was filled with mourners from Needham, Winchester, Quincy and Roxbury, and beyond.

Msgr. Haddad was buried in Mount Benedict Cemetery, West Roxbury with his parents.

Nation
Today is 'hour of the laity,' Archbishop Gomez tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Hispanic Catholic leaders are living an important moment in the history of the Catholic church in the U.S. and are called to ...

World
Stay close to the suffering, forgive one another, pope tells Latvians

AGLONA, Latvia (CNS) -- What would Mary do? was the question Pope Francis, in effect, asked Latvian Catholics gathered at their nation's popular Marian ...

Nation
Joy, hope contagious for Encuentro participants as they discern priorities

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Joy, hope, energy and a spirit of continued collaboration are contagious among the participants of the Fifth National Encuentro, ...

World
Update: Pope in Lithuania: Don't let anti-Semitism, hatred resurge

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Outside the former KGB headquarters in Vilnius, Pope Francis ended a day of paying homage to victims of totalitarianism and ...

World
God is patient, even with failures, pope tells young Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- Meeting young Lithuanians in Vilnius, Pope Francis said he wanted a relaxed conversation, like they were sitting in a pub ...

World
Update: Vatican signs provisional agreement with China on naming bishops

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- For the first time in decades, all of the Catholic bishops in China are in full communion with the pope, the Vatican announced. Pope ...

World
Find strength in tolerance, solidarity, pope tells Lithuanians

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- In Lithuania, a nation that experienced invasions, atrocities and persecution, Pope Francis began his visit with a plea to ...

Nation
Ospino: Encuentro reflects 'energy, maturity' of a church 'here to stay'

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- The thousands of Hispanic Catholic ministry leaders gathered in Texas for the Fifth National Encuentro shared views on the maturity ...

Nation
N.J. cardinal won't attend synod, asks to remain home at 'time of crisis'

NEWARK, N.J. (CNS) -- Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he ...

Nation
Detroit Archdiocese welcomes investigation into Michigan dioceses

DETROIT (CNS) -- Michigan's attorney general has opened an investigation into the handling of sexual abuse by clergy in all of Michigan's seven Catholic ...

Nation
Catholics believe in God but 'don't believe in us,' Miami archbishop says

MIAMI (CNS) -- The crisis the Catholic Church is facing is not "a crisis of faith" or "mainly about a crisis of sexual abuse by clergy," but is "a crisis ...

Nation
Update: Disney animator says grounding in Catholic schools led to success

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (CNS) -- Ron Clements is a renowned animator, screenwriter and producer-director of award-winning Disney films, including the blockbuster ...

Nation
#WhyImCatholic movement aims to share hope at difficult time for church

CHICAGO (CNS) -- Catholic Extension has launched a new social media campaign called #WhyImCatholic to offer "hope and unity" for Catholics by inviting ...

Nation
Continue to be an evangelizing church, nuncio tells Encuentro delegates

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- Quoting from Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation "The Joy of the Gospel," Archbishop Christophe Pierre encouraged Hispanic Catholic ...

Nation
Encuentro opens with procession, papal message, prayers for abuse victims

GRAPEVINE, Texas (CNS) -- A video message from Pope Francis and a procession of Encuentro crosses representing all of the participating episcopal regions ...

Nation
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

World
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 ...

Local
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 ...

Local
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 ...

Local
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, ...

Local
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 ...

Local
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 ...

Local
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

World
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 ...

World
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 ...

World
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, ...

Nation
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, ...

Nation
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 ...

World
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 ...

World
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 ...

World
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 ...

World
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 ...

World
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 ...

World
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 ...

Nation
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, ...

Nation
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 ...

World
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

Nation
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 ...

Nation
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 ...