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Bishop Francis Irwin retires as auxiliary bishop

By Father Robert M. O’Grady
Posted: 10/23/2009

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Bishop Francis X. Irwin Pilot photo


Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the request of Bishop Francis X. Irwin to retire from his position as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese effective Oct. 20. Concurrent with that announcement Cardinal O’Malley has granted Bishop Irwin Senior Bishop/Retirement status and has ended his appointment as Regional Bishop of the North Region of the archdiocese.

A Medford native, Bishop Irwin was ordained a priest by Richard Cardinal Cushing on Feb. 2, 1960 and a bishop by Bernard Cardinal Law on Sept. 17, 1996. After several parish assignments he spent the next 25 years in many and varied assignments related to Catholic Charities and Social Services -- in further studies, in area and archdiocesan Catholic Charities offices, as a professor, and as a cabinet secretary.

Following his episcopal ordination he was named to several archdiocesan boards, committees, and commissions where his wise counsel and keen insights and his quick wit served many constituencies.

During those same 25 years he lived in several archdiocesan parishes and even after having moved from them he still maintains ties with friends and parishioners.

He has served as vicar general and North Regional Bishop for Cardinal Law, for Bishop Lennon while he was the apostolic administrator, and most recently for Cardinal O’Malley.

He served as pastor of two parishes, St. Susanna in Dedham and St. Agnes in Arlington. An alumnus of Boston College High School and of Boston College he maintains close ties to both and returns frequently for alumni events.

Cardinal O’Malley has named Father John Mulloy to serve as Interim Regional Vicar of the North Region.

Editor’s Note. We will have full coverage of Bishop Irwin’s retirement and Father Mulloy’s appointment in the Oct. 30 issue of The Pilot.