Father William T. Schmidt leaves Winthrop for retirement residence in Nahant
Born in Boston on April 12, 1950, Father William T. Schmidt was granted senior priest/retirement status by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley with an effective date of July 1, 2022.
Father Schmidt's family initially lived in Newton before moving in 1956 to Boston's Hyde Park section. In addition to his father William and his mother Rita (Cullen) Schmidt, Father Schmidt's brothers, Thomas and Richard and newly arrived Karen moved into the recently created St. Joseph parish. His sister Marianne would arrive a few years later.
The Schmidt children attended local schools, with young William eventually wending his way to Cathedral High School in Boston's South End, from which he was graduated in 1968. For two years, he studied at Boston College, then still primarily a commuter school but edging towards an overwhelmingly resident one within the next several years.
He entered the archdiocesan seminaries at St. Clement Hall, Brighton, to complete college years and then across the Brighton campus to the theologate to finish theological studies in preparation for ordination as a member of the Class of 1976. He had been ordained a deacon on May 3, 1975, at Immaculate Conception Church, Malden, by then-Auxiliary Bishop John M. D'Arcy. The following year, Humberto Cardinal Medeiros ordained him and his classmates at Holy Cross Cathedral, familiar territory for Father Schmidt, on May 15, 1976.
In the following years, Father Schmidt would serve in assignments in archdiocesan parishes, save for a seven-year term as secretary for pastoral services in the cabinet of Bernard Cardinal Law (1988-1995). In those years, he became familiar with the wide variety of ministries already present and still developing in the archdiocese. In addition, there was a flurry of programs proposed for parishes that fell under his office, both to implement and guide along the way. During these years, he lived in residence in two different parishes, St. Gregory, Dorchester, and Sacred Heart, Roslindale.
His parish assignments have been Immaculate Conception, Everett (1976-1982), where he focused on the development of youth programs and the expansion of the CYO already there. In 1982, he went further northeast to his mentor Msgr. John P. Carroll then-pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Swampscott (1982-1988). As an active CYO member in his own youth, he had come to know and admire the then-archdiocesan director of CYO.
In 1995, he returned to parish ministry where he would serve for the years until his being granted senior priest status in 2022.
Bernard Cardinal Law named him pastor of the town wide parish, St. Patrick, Stoneham. He continued the work of his predecessors there, building the spiritual life of the parish, again with an emphasis on young people. The parish, then as now is large, still maintains a parish school and a wide variety of programs and services.
During his almost 18-year tenure in Stoneham, he oversaw the much-needed expansion of the church and additional parish offices and meeting spaces.
In 2012, he was named by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley as the pastor of two parishes in the southwest corner of the archdiocese: St. Martha, Plainville, and St. Mary, Wrentham. There, he served for almost three years until, in 2015, he "switched positions," yielding his quarterbacking of the two parishes to his parochial vicar, Father Joseph Mozer, who became pastor of the parishes while Father Schmidt served at his parochial for the next four years.
In December 2019, he was named as parochial vicar at St. Michael Parish, Hudson, and six months later, to the same position but this time at the two parishes in Winthrop, St. John the Evangelist and Holy Rosary, now merged to St. Michael the Archangel.
Father Schmidt's residence during retirement is currently at St. Thomas Aquinas Rectory, Nahant. It adjoins one of his previous assignments, St. John the Evangelist, Swampscott, so he'll be returning to relatively familiar territory.