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Three granted senior priest status


Father Edward Geary, Father Paul Mulligan and Father Thomas F. Wyndham Pilot file photo

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Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. has announced that he has granted senior priest retirement status to three archdiocesan priests: Father Edward P. Geary, Father Paul F. Mulligan and Father Thomas F. Wyndham.

Father Edward Geary

A native of Boston’s Allston section and a son of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Father Geary attended the parish grammar school and after graduation from St. Columbkille High School, he attended Boston College and was granted a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

He entered St. John’s Seminary and on completion of his seminary studies Cardinal Richard Cushing ordained him to the priesthood on Feb. 6, 1964 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. His first assignment was as an assistant at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Quincy until 1970 when he was assigned at St. Joseph, Lynn. In both parishes he was an assistant.

In 1976 he was named to the newly formed team ministry at St. Theresa of Lisieux Parish, North Reading. He served as the moderator of the team until 1984. In 1984 he was assigned as parochial vicar at Our Lady Star of the Sea, Marblehead for a few months, until a team ministry was named to the parish, this time he was a member rather than moderator of the team. When the team completed its term in 1990 he remained again as parochial vicar.

From 1991 to 1995 he served in a number of parishes in various capacities: St. Patrick, Natick, parochial vicar (1992); St. Paul, Hingham, administrator (1992-1994); Immaculate Conception, Winchester, administrator (1994); Our Lady of the Assumption, Lynnfield, parochial vicar (1994-1995). Cardinal Bernard Law named him pastor of St. Anne Parish in Littleton in March 1995 and in December 1997 he named him parochial vicar at St. Mary Star of the Sea, Beverly. During his almost 10 years at the Beverly parish he also served as its administrator for two months in early 2004.

Father Geary has served in a variety of parishes and locations around the archdiocese and he was also the vicar forane in the Chelmsford vicariate in the Merrimack Region (1996-1997).

Father Paul Mulligan

A Medford native where he was born April 19, 1931, Father Paul Mulligan has been a priest of the archdiocese for more than 50 years. He completed his seminary formation at St. John’s, Brighton and Archbishop Richard Cushing ordained him at Holy Cross Cathedral on Feb. 2, 1957.

Following his ordination he served as an assistant at St. Catherine of Alexandria, Westford. In 1960 he answered Cardinal Cushing’s call to join the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, which the cardinal had recently founded to provide the churches in South America with missionary priests volunteering from dioceses in the United States and beyond.

He served in South America for seven years before being named the superior of the society in 1967 and living in residence at St. Stephen Parish in Boston’s North End. In addition to serving as the society’s director he was also the administrator of the parish.

The missionary spirit and zeal was still alive when he completed his term as director and he returned to South America serving from 1973 to 1978. On his return to the archdiocese he was named an associate at St. Mary of the Angels in Boston’s Roxbury section and two years later, Cardinal Humberto Medeiros named him pastor of St. Mary Parish, Lynn.

Seven years later he answered another missionary call, volunteering for service in Africa, serving in the Ugandan diocese of Fort Portal from 1987-1991.

He returned to the archdiocese in 1991 and was named as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Lourdes, Brockton until 1992 and at St. Cecilia in Ashland from May to September 1992.

Cardinal Law named him pastor of the Ashland parish on Sept. 29, 1992. Before assuming his new pastorate he had attended a priestly renewal program in Menlo Park, Calif. and in 2003 he served briefly as vicar of the Framingham vicariate in the archdiocese’s west region.

Father Mulligan’s retirement is effective June 5, 2007. A grateful parish at Ashland and his many friends, classmates and brother priests will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination at a special parish Mass on May 6 at 2 p.m. at St. Cecilia Church, Ashland. The date chosen is a few months after the actual anniversary, but as Father Jeremy St. Martin, St. Cecilia’s parochial vicar, noted, “We wanted to highlight the day with the celebration of priestly life.” The celebration will actually be a double jubilee, as Father Mulligan’s classmate, Father John Lizio will also celebrate his golden jubilee at the same Mass and reception following.

Father Thomas Wyndham

A native son of South Boston, Father Wyndham has served in five parish assignments since his ordination at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 21, 1969.

Hailing from “Southie” he might easily have been thought of wanting to spend his life in similar circumstances in which he had grown up. Yet all of his assignments have been south of Southie.

Following ordination, Cardinal Cushing assigned him as an assistant at St. Nicholas Parish in Abington. He moved northeast, slightly, to St. Clare, Braintree where he served for 10 years (1974-1984). He was very popular in the parish and even after leaving the parish returned frequently to celebrate baptisms, weddings and funerals for friends.

He moved due north this time to St. Elizabeth Parish in Milton serving until 1988, and then a bit west to Holy Name, West Roxbury where he was parochial vicar from 1988 to 1991.

Cardinal Bernard Law named him pastor of St. Jerome Parish in Weymouth on Jan. 8, 1991 where he will serve until his successor is named.

Father Wyndham always seems to have a smile and a warm word of welcome or encouragement. The rectory door has always been open to priests and more recently to a bishop, when Father Wyndham invited his classmate, Bishop John Dooher to live in Weymouth once he took up his new responsibilities as regional bishop in the south region.

Even though he is not of “retirement age,” Father Wyndham has been experiencing some physical limitations and it was strongly recommended that he seek senior priest retirement status which Cardinal O’Malley has granted.

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