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New pastors named for Peabody and West Roxbury parishes


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Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley has announced the appointment of pastors for two parishes in the archdiocese. Effective Oct. 4, Father Richard T. Burton was appointed pastor of St. Thomas Parish in Peabody and effective Dec. 15 Father David C. Michael will be the next pastor of St. John Chrysostom Parish in Boston’s West Roxbury section.

Father Richard Burton

A Haverhill native and son of All Saints Parish, Father Burton was ordained just over two years ago, May 24, 2003, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross by Bishop Richard Lennon, who was at the time apostolic administrator of the archdiocese. He is an alumnus of Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Weston. He served a diaconate assignment in his final year of seminary formation at St. Bridget Parish in South Boston.

Father Burton’s first assignment was as parochial vicar at Holy Rosary Parish in Lawrence. He served there with Father James Ronan, and together they helped in the merger of parishes that resulted in the creation of a new parish, Corpus Christi in Lawrence in November, 2004. In August 2005 Father Burton was named as part-time parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Wakefield and as chaplain (part time) at Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody.

Very shortly after assuming those duties he was named pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Peabody. The parish plant is located on the border of Salem and Peabody and is just a block away from Bishop Fenwick High School, where Father Burton will continue to serve as chaplain.

Father David Michael

Father David Michael will be the fifth pastor of St. John Chrysostom Parish in Boston’s West Roxbury section when his appointment becomes effective on Dec. 15.

A Gloucester native and a son of St. Ann Parish, Father Michael attended the parish grammar school and Bishop Fenwick High School. He completed his seminary formation at St. John Seminary College and the School of Theology, both in Brighton.

Prior to his ordination on June 7, 1986 by Cardinal Bernard Law at Holy Cross Cathedral, Father Michael served a deacon internship at St. Joseph Parish in Wakefield.

His first priestly assignment as parochial vicar was to Sacred Hearts Parish in Haverhill’s Bradford section (1986-1992), followed by an appointment to St. John the Evangelist in Swampscott also as parochial vicar (1992-1997).

In July 1997 he began service in campus ministry and was named as Catholic Chaplain at Brandeis University in Waltham. In August of that same year he was named liaison of the archdiocese with the Jewish Community.

Since that appointment, Father Michael has been especially helpful in promoting the ongoing dialogue between Catholics and Jews inaugurated by the Second Vatican Council’s historic declaration, ‘‘Nostra Aetate.’’More recently he has been involved in dialogue with local Islamic leaders representing the archdiocese at interreligious celebrations, seminars and colloquia.

Father Michael’s enthusiasm and zeal will be welcomed at his new assignment, acknowledged as one of Boston’s youngest and more active parishes.

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