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MARSHFIELD —Archbishop Seán O’Malley has announced that he has accepted the request offered by Father Francis Regan to retire as pastor of St. Christine Parish in Marshfield. The effective date of the retirement will be Jan. 1, 2005.
A Jamaica Plain native, Father Regan was educated at archdiocesan seminaries and was ordained by Archbishop Cushing at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Sept. 29, 1953.
His first assignment was to St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish, Beverly. The parish was extremely busy and he served under the long time pastor, Msgr. John Degan. Known as an excellent student, Father Regan was sent in 1956 to Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. to pursue graduate studies in theology. In 1959, he was awarded the STL degree with specialization in Patristics or the early Church fathers and theologians.
He returned briefly to the archdiocese, serving from 1959-1961 at St. Mary of the Hills, Milton. In the fall of 1961, he began a teaching career at the major seminary of the diocese of Buffalo, NY where he served until 1968. When he returned to the archdiocese that year, he served briefly in two parishes: St. Cecilia, Boston and St. Joseph, Ipswich.
He resumed his teaching responsibilities, this time much closer to home, at Pope John XXIII seminary from 1969 to 1976. During the following 18 months, he was an associate pastor at Immaculate Conception parish, Marlborough prior to being named pastor of St. Bridget parish, Maynard in January 1978.
Father Regan moved south to Marshfield in 1987 when he was named pastor of St. Christine parish. In the intervening years, he has overseen the growth both in population and programs of a rapidly expanding parish.
At the Marshfield parish, he promoted an increased participation of the laity in many programs and encouraged the parish composed of many young families to stretch their vision of Church in many social outreach initiatives.
Father Regan is known as a quiet man, yet he enables and encourages involvement and enthusiasm. He will surely be missed at Marshfield, but his successor and his parishioners can be sure that he has set a firm foundation on which they can continue to grow and serve.