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Obituary: Father Maurice Meade, longtime hospital chaplain

By Father Robert M. O'Grady
Posted: 1/8/2016

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Father Maurice P. Meade Pilot file photo

Father Maurice P. Meade, who had served as a hospital chaplain for more than 30 years died at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge on Christmas Day; he was 91 years old.

A Brookline native, he was born June 6, 1924, a son of the late Maurice and Anne (Mullen) Meade. He was a graduate of St. Mary of the Assumption elementary and high schools, and attended the College of the Holy Cross before entering St. John's Seminary as a member of the class of 1948. His father was a well-known architect and designed a number of churches of the archdiocese including: Sacred Heart, Quincy; St. Brigid, South Boston; and Our Lady Star of the Sea, Marblehead.

Between his ordination on May 6, 1928 by Archbishop Richard Cushing at Holy Cross Cathedral and his appointment as a hospital chaplain in 1965, he served as an assistant at four parishes: Our Lady of the Lake, Halifax; Sacred Heart, Lynn; St. Joseph, Medway; and St. Peter, Cambridge.

In 1965, he was named to lead a team of four priests who would be responsible for all the hospitals in the city of Cambridge. Included in their ministry were Mount Auburn Hospital; Holy Ghost (now Youville); Cambridge City Hospital; and Sancta Maria. For the next 30 years he was hospital chaplain in Cambridge serving with as many as three other priests and sometimes alone. As hospital configurations -- closures, mergers, etc. -- changed so did the service required; either Father Meade or a member of his team was there to offer pastoral care regardless of the situation or location.

During his hospital chaplaincy he resided first at Holy Ghost Hospital (1965-1976), and then at St. Peter Rectory, Cambridge (1976-1996).

Cardinal Bernard Law granted him senior priest retirement status on March 1, 1996. He lived in his own Cambridge residence or until a few years ago at his ski chalet in Franconia, N.H. He spent time on Cape Cod where he was an avid golfer and popular member of the Wianno Country Club. He was also a regular fixture at the Cambridge YMCA exercising and swimming whether on the links or not.

South Regional Bishop John A. Dooher was the principal celebrant of Father Meade's funeral Mass at St. Peter Church, Cambridge on Dec. 30, 2015. Father Meade's seminary contemporary, Msgr. Francis J. McCann was the homilist. Among the concelebrants were Father Robert Kickham, secretary to Cardinal O'Malley; and the present pastor of the parish, Father Leonard O'Malley.

Following the funeral, Father Meade was buried in Holyhood Cemetery, Brookline.