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Archbishop Seán O’Malley announced that he has granted Father Robert M. Browne senior priest retirement status effective June 1, 2005. Father Browne’s most recent assignment has been as parochial vicar at St. Patrick parish, Stoneham.
A Roxbury native, Father Browne attended archdiocesan seminaries and was ordained to the priesthood at Holy Name church, in Boston’s West Roxbury section by Auxiliary Bishop Jeremiah Minihan on Feb. 6, 1961.
Following ordination he began the first of his seven priestly assignments, all of which would eventually be in parishes across the archdiocese. His first three assignments were as an assistant, now called parochial vicar, Holy Family, Rockland (1961-1963); St. Anthony of Padua, Woburn (1963-1970); and St. Jerome, Weymouth (1970-1980).
He was named an associate pastor of St. Michael parish, North Andover, serving for 18 months before being named pastor of St. James parish, Groton in December 1982. Before he completed his first term as pastor in the northwestern Middlesex county town he was named pastor of the large and growing parish of St. Thomas of Villanova in Wilmington.
Overseeing the growth of the parish and recognizing the need for perhaps younger leadership Father Browne completed his second term at the Wilmington parish and “returned to the ranks” as a parochial vicar.
For the past six years he has been in the very busy, St. Patrick parish in Stoneham. St. Patrick’s is one of several parishes in the archdiocese that serves a very large population, has many activities, including a parish school and is the only parish in its town. There has also been an aggressive building program addressing the needs for a new and expanded worship space for the active suburban parish.
Father Browne will retire to his own residence after his June 1 retirement date.