.- Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, has offered his thanks to Pope Benedict XVI this morning, after the Holy Father granted his request for two new auxiliary bishops. Pope Benedict announced today the appointment of Bishops-elect John Dooher and Robert Hennessey, both priests of the Archdiocese of Boston.
The cardinal-archbishop, who had just returned from a trip to Rome, said in a press-release, “We are very grateful to our Holy Father for granting our request for new Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Boston.”
The appointments came as another auxiliary, Bishop John Boles, retired after having reached the retirement age of 75 last January.
Cardinal O’Malley thanked Bishop Boles for his many years of service to the archdiocese. “We have been blessed with his leadership. I look forward to his continued contributions as Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese," O’Malley said.
The two new bishops have over 65 years of combined pastoral experience in the archdiocese.
Bishop-elect Robert Hennessey, 54, was born in South Boston and was ordained for the archdiocese in 1978. Hennessey served in numerous parishes around Boston following his ordination until 1986, when he joined the Society of St. James in order to do pastoral work in Latin America.
In 1994 he returned to Boston and has continued his parish ministry since then. He was also selected to serve a four-year appointment on the Clergy Personnel Board in 2003 and is a member of both the Presbyteral Council and the College of Consultors.
"I am grateful to Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Seán for my appointment as an Auxiliary Bishop of Boston," said Fr. Hennessey. "I am deeply humbled. I look forward to working closely with the Cardinal and with the other Auxiliary Bishops of Boston. I am also looking forward to working with the people of the Central Region, the religious and with my brother priests, with whom I feel a deep fraternal and united bond. May God bless all of us in the Church of Boston."
Bishop-elect John Dooher, 63, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts and was ordained a priest for Boston in 1969. Immediately prior to his episcopal appointment, Dooher had served as Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Dedham since 1996. The archdiocese press release noted that St. Mary’s has “one of the Archdiocese's most thriving Life Teen programs for young Catholics.”
Dooher has served in several parishes around the archdiocese as well serving as Director of the Office of Spiritual Development (1984-1991), President of the Senate of Priests (1982-1984), and as a member of the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors for the archdiocese (presently).
"I wish to thank the Holy Father and Cardinal Seán," Fr. Dooher said in the archdiocesan press release. "I am humbled by the trust placed in me. As I begin this new role serving the Church of Boston, I look forward to working with priests, religious and lay men and women in the continued renewal and strengthening of our parishes. I will strive to serve with a generous heart."
Cardinal O’Malley praised the two newly appointed bishops this morning. "Fr. Dooher and Fr. Hennessey are uniquely gifted, truly dedicated to the Church of Boston and have exemplified great leadership in their ministries, for the good of the Archdiocese and the greater glory of God. I look forward to working with them, as together, we continue to serve Catholics of Boston, rededicate our mission to ministry at the parish level and continue our efforts towards the rebuilding and strengthening of the Church in Boston,” he said.
The two are scheduled to be ordained bishops on December 12, 2006 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.