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DIOCESE OF FALL RIVER

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

  ________________________________________________________________

887 Highland Ave. ∑ P.O. Box 7 ∑ Fall River, MA 02722 ∑ Tel. 508-675-0211 ∑ FAX 508-675-5204

                                                                              www.fallriverdiocese.org

 

News Release

 

June 6, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE

RELEASE 

 

NEW APPOINTMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR SIX PRIESTS

      

FALL RIVER ó Six priests in the Fall River Diocese have received new assignments by Bishop George W. Coleman in appointments announced in todayís issue (June 6, 2008) of the diocesan weekly, The Anchor.  All will become effective June 25.

 

Named a pastor for the first time is Rev. Msgr. Gerard P. OíConnor, who is currently parochial vicar at Our Lady of Victory Parish, Centerville. He will become pastor of St. Francis of Xavier Parish in Acushnet.

 

Pastors receiving new assignments are as follows:

 

Rev. Thomas A. Frechette, from pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Hyannis, to pastor of St. Mark Parish, Attleboro Falls;

 

Rev. Jon-Paul Gallant, from pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish, Chatham, to pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish, North Easton;

 

Rev. Daniel W. Lacroix, from pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Acushnet, to pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Hyannis;

 

Rev. Thomas L. Rita, from pastor of St. Mark Parish, Attleboro Falls, to pastor of St. Mary Parish, Seekonk;

 

Rev. George B. Scales, from pastor of St. Mary Parish, Seekonk, to pastor of Holy Redeemer Parish, Chatham.

 

Bishop Coleman has also announced the appointment of Rev. Hugo Cardenas, I.V.E., as pastor of St. Kilian Parish in New Bedford. Father Cardenas is a member of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, a religious congregation that has for several years now staffed that parish. His nomination to serve as pastor was made by the congregationís provincial superior, Rev. Gustavo Nieto, I.V.E., and approved by Bishop Coleman.

 

Msgr. OíConnor is a native of Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire, England.  After earning a bachelor of science degree and masterís degree from Kingston University in London, he came to Boston to work for a computer services and software firm in 1992.

 

He entered Holy Apostles Seminary in Connecticut in 1995 and one year later began studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.  He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Sean OíMalley, OFM Cap., in July 2000 in St. Maryís Cathedral, Fall River, and then returned to Rome to complete studies for a licentiate degree in liturgy.  At the same time he was given a five-year assignment in the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.  While serving in that post, he was also able to continue advanced studies, earning a doctorate in liturgy in 2004 from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute within St. Anselmís University.

 

In March 2005, Father OíConnor was named a chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II with the rank of monsignor.

 

He returned to the Fall River diocese in March 2007 for his first full-time parish assignment as parochial administrator for four months at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in New Bedford. In late June 2007 he became parochial vicar at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville.

 

Father Lacroix is a New Bedford native and a graduate of Bishop Stang High School in Dartmouth. After graduation from Bridgewater State College, he taught at the middle school level for two years before entering St. Johnís Seminary in Brighton to study for the priesthood. He was ordained in June 1988 by Bishop Daniel A. Cronin.  He served as a parochial vicar at Holy Redeemer Parish, Chatham, St. Patrickís, Wareham, and St. Maryís, Mansfield, and became pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet in April 2001. He has also been chaplain to police, an area director for the Catholic Charities Appeal, a member of the Diocesan Personnel Board, and an auditor in the Diocesan Tribunal.

 

Father Frechette, a native Cape Codder, grew up in Osterville and graduated from Barnstable High School.  He prepared for the priesthood at St. Johnís Seminary in Brighton. He was ordained a priest in May 1986 by Bishop Cronin and assigned to serve as parochial vicar, first, at Holy Name Parish in Fall River then Holy Trinity, West Harwich, and St. Markís, Attleboro Falls.  He also served as temporary parochial administrator at St. Patrick Parish, Wareham, Saints Peter and Paul and Notre Dame parishes, both in Fall River, and at St. Peter Parish in Dighton, where he was named pastor in 2001. He began his pastorate at St. Francis Xavier in Hyannis in 2002.  His priestly ministry has also included work as chaplain at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro and as director of the diocesan Family Ministry Office.

 

Father Gallant is a native of Fall River and a graduate of the former Msgr. Prevost High School in that city.  He attended St. Johnís Seminary College in Brighton and the Pontifical North American College and Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained to the priesthood in July 1978 by Bishop Cronin.  He was a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Grace Parish, Westport, and at St. Maryís Cathedral Parish, Fall River, before returning to Rome in 1985 to study for a licentiate degree in liturgy at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at San Anselmo University.  After completion of his degree work in 1988, he was parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception, Fall River; Holy Name, New Bedford; and Sacred Heart, Taunton. He was also temporary administrator at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Seekonk and Holy Name Parish in New Bedford.  He became pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Taunton in 1996 and then pastor of Holy Redeemer in Chatham in 2001.

 

In addition to parish ministry, he has also served as director of the Divine Worship Office and chairman of the Divine Worship Commission, director of the RCIA, assistant chancellor, auditor in the Diocesan Tribunal, member of the Priestsí Council, and instructor in the Permanent Diaconate Program.

 

Father Rita was born and raised in New Bedford and graduated from the former Holy Family High School.  He studied for the priesthood at St. Johnís Seminary in Brighton. Bishop James L. Connolly ordained him a priest in May 1970.  He was a parochial vicar at St. Maryís, Mansfield; St. Anthonyís, East Falmouth; St. Maryís, South Dartmouth; and St. Maryís, Taunton.  In 1987, he was named pastor of St. Mary Parish in Seekonk; in 1993, pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption in Osterville; in 2000, pastor of Holy Trinity in West Harwich; and in 2006 to his present post at St. Markís in Attleboro Falls.

 

Father Rita also served as director of St. Vincentís Home in Fall River and the former St. Maryís Home in New Bedford.  For many years, he was director of the diocesan Pro-Life Apostolate, assistant director of Catholic Social Services, a judge in the Diocesan Tribunal, and an area leader for the Catholic Charities Appeal and CYO activities.

 

Father Scales, born in Worcester, moved with his family as a child to Osterville. He graduated from Barnstable High School.  He earned a bachelorís degree from Holy Cross College, Worcester, before entering St. Johnís Seminary in Brighton to prepare for the priesthood. He was ordained by Bishop Cronin in June 1988. He has been a parochial vicar at St. Maryís, Mansfield, St. Patrickís, Falmouth, St. Pius X, South Yarmouth, and Holy Redeemer, Chatham, where he was made a parochial administrator in 2001.  One year later, he became pastor of St. Mary Parish in Seekonk.  While serving in Falmouth, he was also chaplain at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

 

Father Cardenas was born in the Yucatan Peninsula in South Mexico.  Ordained in June 2004, he has served as a parochial vicar at parishes in Washington, D.C., and Toronto, Canada.  His assignment to St. Kilianís, New Bedford, will be his first as a pastor.

 

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