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Cardinal names two senior priests and new team ministry member

By Father Robert M. O’Grady
Posted: 11/10/2006

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Father Emile R. Boutin, Father Thomas J. Buckley and Father John Keane. Pilot file photo


Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, OFM Cap. has announced three changes in assignments for priests of the archdiocese. Father Thomas J. Buckley, presently a member of the team ministry at Holy Family Parish in Amesbury, will become a senior priest of the archdiocese on Jan. 1, 2007. Father John F. Keane became a senior priest on Nov. 1; while Father Emile R. Boutin, presently parochial vicar at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Walpole, will become a member of the newly constituted team ministry at the Walpole parish effective Nov. 28.

Father Thomas Buckley

An alumnus of Matignon High School Cambridge and archdiocesan seminaries, Father Thomas Buckley was ordained at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross by Cardinal Cushing on Feb. 2, 1961.

His first assignment was as an assistant at St. Mary Parish, Chelmsford. Now a bustling and busty parish, it was when Father Buckley arrived, just experiencing “growth pains.” In 1965 he was named an assistant at St. Columbkille Parish, Brighton, serving with the widely respected, Msgr. Matthew Stapleton, who had been his Scripture professor in the seminary. In 1975 he was named associate pastor at St. Francis of Assisi in Medford and in 1981 he moved to neighboring St. Clement Parish in Somerville also as an associate, serving there with the much beloved Msgr. Peter Hart as his pastor.

Shrinking neither from work nor from undertaking initiatives in 1983 he was named to a newly formed team ministry at St. Pius Fifth Parish, Lynn. He remained in Lynn until 1995, when he moved to Amesbury in the Merrimack Valley as part of team ministry at Sacred Heart Parish and at St. Joseph Parish. After a long process of consultation and planning both parishes were suppressed, and a new parish, Holy Family was created. In no small part, thanks to the teamwork of Father Buckley and Father Robert Casey, the new parish began to move forward. In May 2000, when Father Casey was transferred, a new team was formed with Father Buckley and Father John Gentleman. Once again Father Buckley’s willingness to adapt and work collaboratively with others showed forth.

With an energy and enthusiasm that hide his years as well as a sincere desire to help younger priests learn to be pastors, Father Buckley has earned the reputation as an outstanding teacher and excellent mentor, as well as a caring and loving pastor. Although he’s retiring, expect to see him serving in different ways and new settings.

Father John Keane

A Newton native who was ordained by Cardinal Richard Cushing on Feb. 2, 1965 at Holy Cross Cathedral, Father Keane has served in a number of archdiocesan parishes and assignments.

Immediately following ordination he was named an assistant at St. Malachy, Burlington. Following that assignment he was named to a similar post at St. Clare, Braintree (1967); St. Albert the Great, Weymouth (1970) and Sacred Heart, Gloucester (1971).

For the next six years from 1971-1977 he served as chaplain at Cardinal Cushing School and Training Center in Hanover. The renowned school, now called St. Colletta, had been founded by Cardinal Cushing to provide for special needs children.

Between 1978 and 1993, Father Keane was a parochial vicar in several archdiocesan parishes: St. Mary, Wrentham (1978); St. Joseph, Kingston (1981); Sts. Martha and Mary, Lakeville (1982); St. Edward, Brockton (1984); St. Clare, Braintree (1986) and St. Ann, Gloucester (1988).

On completion of his assignment in Gloucester in 1993 Father Keane served for the next seven years as a member of the archdiocese’s Emergency Response Group. This team of priests is available to assist in archdiocesan parishes, between assignments of priests, especially pastors; and also to provide coverage for priests on retreat or vacation.

Poor health demanded that Father Keane seek health leave status in November 2000 and his health needs and his age demanded that he be named a senior priest.

Father Emile Boutin

A Lowell native, Father Emile, or as he prefers “Mike” Boutin was ordained at Holy Cross Cathedral by Cardinal Law on June 22, 1991. Father Boutin has been a parochial vicar in four archdiocesan parishes. His first assignment was to a town near his home, St. Mary Parish, Chelmsford. He was parochial vicar there from ordination until 1996.

His three other assignments as parochial vicar have all been in South region parishes: St. Catherine of Siena, Norwood (1996-1999); Immaculate Conception, Stoughton (1999-2004); and most recently at Blessed Sacrament, Walpole.

Father Boutin’s new appointment means he will remain at Blessed Sacrament but in a different capacity: he will be part of team ministry in the parish with Father Timothy Kelleher. Father Kelleher has been the pastor at the Walpole parish and he will be the moderator of the new team ministry when the appointments take effect on Nov. 28, 2006.