Obituary: Msgr. Charles Anadore, former Woburn pastor

Msgr. Charles E. Anadore Pilot file photo

One of the most genial, well-liked and respected priests of the archdiocese, Msgr. Charles Anadore died at Regina Cleri, the archdiocesan residence for senior priests in Boston on March 12. He was 94 years old.

He was the last survivor of the five children of the late John and Sarah (McDevitt) Anadore and a proud son of the St. Mary Parish in Charlestown. He was equally proud of both his attendance and alumni status as a member of the class of 1934 from Boston College graduating with a bachelor’s degree.

There was no war or draft at the time, but even so after graduation the newly hatched Eagle entered the United States Army. Ten years later he entered the archdiocesan seminary at Brighton and after completing his theological studies at St. John’s Seminary, Archbishop Richard Cushing ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 3, 1950.

He received one of six assignments that would follow all to archdiocesan parishes and all within about a 10-mile radius of Charlestown! From 1950-1960 he was an assistant at St. Mary, Winchester, from 1960 to 1967 he was an assistant at St. Columbkille, Brighton; from 1967 to 1972 he was an assistant at Holy Name, West Roxbury. In those 22 years he served at very large, active and vibrant parishes and he served with and under legendary priests and pastors. Msgr. Matthew Stapleton at St. Columbkille and Msgr. Aloysius Finn at Holy Name, West Roxbury were two of the names that priests would recall.

He served for a few months as administrator of Corpus Christi Parish in Newton’s Aburndale section in 1972 before serving as an associate at South Boston’s Gate of Heaven Parish between 1972 and 1975.

Father Anadore’s life seemed to be a series of circles starting and ending as it were in nearly the same places. So when he was named pastor at St. Barbara Parish in Woburn in November 1975 he was almost back where he started at neighboring Winchester a quarter century before.

In the next 14 years as pastor he built up the faith and action of the community at St. Barbara with a quiet, measured and determined plan marked by a gregarious, kind and “priestly” manner. In short, his rectory associates, staff and especially the people at St. Barbara’s genuinely loved him.

Just about a year after the official retirement age, Cardinal Bernard Law granted Father Anadore senior priest/retirement status. So, a bit past 76 and he was back at another large parish, St. Agatha, Milton, brining his priestly zeal with continued commitment. A familiar sight in the parish, he and Father Bill Kenneally, another senior priest of the archdiocese, together with other priests were spotted at area restaurants enjoying each others company and the occasional interruption from present or former parishioners who spotted either or both of them.

Pope John Paul II named him a member of the papal household as a prelate of honor with the title of Rev. Msgr. on April 21, 1998.

From St. Agatha’s he entered Regina Cleri in 2001. Even until near his death there on March 12 he was an active member of the community, ready with a willing ear -- even if a bit diminished by age; and perhaps story from his life with a few legends. Again, the circle image, he died just about a mile from his native Charlestown.

The circle of his life was completed with Msgr. Anadore’s funeral. The Mass, at St. Barbara Church on March 17 was celebrated by Central Regional Bishop Robert Hennessey with Father Peter Casey, pastor of St. Agatha, Milton as the homilist. Among the concelebrants scheduled to join them were Msgr. James Tierney, Regina Cleri, Boston; Father Richard Erikson, vicar general of the archdiocese; Father Denis Nason, All Saints, Haverhill; Father John Connelly, Sacred Heart, Newton; Father Vincent Mellone, St. Barbara, Woburn; Father Gerald Brennan and Father Frederick O’Brien, Regina Cleri; Father James McCune of the Office for Senior Priests and Msgr. Anadore’s longtime friend, Father William Kenneally.

Following the funeral Mass, Msgr. Anadore was buried in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Among his survivors is a niece Kathleen Pomerleau, Billerica.

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