Father O’Connell named judicial vicar

Father Mark O’Connell Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

BRIGHTON -- The Boston Archdiocese’s metropolitan tribunal, the local Church court which deals with canonical issues, will have a new leader when Father Mark O’Connell assumes his new responsibilities as judicial vicar Sept. 1.

A native of Scarborough, Ontario, he is the youngest of the four children of Thomas and Margaret (Delaney) O’Connell, who live in Milton. His brother Thomas lives in Jamaica Plain; his sister Margaret Mary, in Allston and his brother John and his wife Joanne and their four children live in Medfield.

Father O’Connell’s uncle, Father David Delaney, a well-known and well-liked priest of the archdiocese died a few years ago. His aunt, Sister Jean Delaney, OP lives in North Reading.

Father O’Connell was born in Canada, where his father had accepted a job as a founding librarian at the then New York University. He attended St. Gabriel School in Willowdale, Ontario and when the family returned to the United States he attended Dover-Sherborn High School, graduating in 1982.

An alumnus of Boston College’s class of 1986 he was granted a bachelor’s degree in 1986 majoring in philosophy and English. He was accepted at St. John’s Seminary for theology studies and Cardinal Bernard Law ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on June 16, 1990.

His first assignment as a parochial vicar was at St. Barbara Parish, Woburn and in June 1995 he was named parochial vicar at St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish, Danvers with additional responsibilities for campus ministry at nearby Salem State College.

Just two years later he was assigned to graduate studies in the field of canon law at the University of the Holy Cross in Rome and in 2002 he was granted the doctorate in canon law (JCD) completing his course of studies with a dissertation about the history of priests changing dioceses and particular focus on a unique canonical issue called “automatic incardination.”

Asked about other interests Father O’Connell mentioned that in his spare time he likes to golf, read and spend time with his family and friends.

He points out that there have been notable influences on his life and vocation beginning with his greatest support -- his family. Not surprisingly, priests and religious figure into his list of mentors: his late uncle, Father Dave Delaney; the late Father Neil Heery; pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Newton, Father John Connelly; pastor or Norwood’s St. Catherine Parish, Msgr. Connie McRae and the two pastors with whom he served, Father Vin Mellone at St. Barbara Parish, Woburn and Father Gerard Dorgan, St. Mary Parish, Danvers.

He also noted that the has been especially blessed in the examples of women religious;the Kentucky Dominican Sisters, the religious community of his aunt, Sister Jean Delaney, OP; the Daughters of St. Paul, the Missionaries of Charity and the Carmelites.

In his new role Father O’Connell will assume the responsibility of running the day to day operation of the archdiocese’s chief court and dealing with canonical legal cases, especially those involving marriages submitted to the tribunal for study.

A capable canonical and support staff will ably assist him. All are presently housed at the tribunal’s offices in West Roxbury.

In addition to several archdiocesan boards and commissions to which he is assigned, Father O’Connell will also serve as a vice chancellor with responsibility for issuing dispensations and for notarizing ecclesiastical documents.

Regarding his appointment Father O’Connell said “I am grateful to the cardinal for his confidence that I can fulfill this task. I went to the chancery as a canon lawyer in very challenging times and I am proud to say that I have worked with others to help repair many problems. This new job brings new challenges but Father Mark Mahoney has left me with a very competent staff to work with -- I am eager to see what God has in store for me here.”

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...

Addicts and their loved ones talk about life with opioid addiction

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- It was a Saturday night, and Billy was eating pizza and watching a sporting event in the basement bedroom of his residence, a ...

Signers of letter hope Vatican meeting will bring needed steps on crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Signers of an open letter from Catholic women to Pope Francis urging "truth" and "transparency" on the growing sex abuse crisis expressed ...

Community 'overwhelmed and shell-shocked' after gas explosions, says pastor

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 ...

Down to earth: Vatican brings together world's meteorite curators

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Rocks, mineral debris and even dust from space are kept in special collections, museums and laboratories all over the ...

Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, ...

'Anything but a picnic' - Cardinal Dolan on the Church's summer of scandal

New York City, N.Y., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has spoken about how the extended sexual abuse scandals facing the Church have taken a ...

Restoring and reimagining: Transformation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

BOSTON -- Considered by many to be the heart of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England, ...

Archdiocese says Cardinal O'Malley will personally review all abuse letters

BRAINTREE (CAN) -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced changes to the way it will process and respond to letters addressed to Cardinal Séan P. ...

CM receives $2.5M grant from Yawkey Foundations

West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant ...

Father Christian Ohazulume removed from ministry

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese announced on Sept. 11 that it had removed a priest from ministry after receiving an allegation that he sexually abused a ...

From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week I am in transit to Rome in anticipation of the next meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals. So, I have asked Vivian Soper to share some reflections ...

Kavanaugh's birth control comments spur controversy -- What did he say?

Washington D.C. (CNA) -- Opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have suggested that a reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" during ...

Missouri to enforce abortion regulations in wake of appeals court ruling

Jefferson City, Mo. (CNA) -- Missouri's health department announced Monday that it will immediately being enforcing state laws regulating abortion clinics ...