For Immediate Release
Bishop Kennedy Named Episcopal Vicar For The New Evangelization
Monsignor Moroney Named Rector-Elect Of Saint John’s Seminary
Braintree, MA (January 19, 2012) -- Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., announced today that, effective July 1, 2012, Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy, S.T.L., Ph.D., Rector of St. John’s Seminary, will become Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization of the Archdiocese of Boston. In addition, the Cardinal has appointed Msgr. James P. Moroney, S.T.L. as Rector-elect of St. John’s effective July 1, 2012.
Cardinal Seán said, “Bishop Kennedy and Msgr. Moroney have been effective and committed leaders in the Church. We are blessed by their willingness to assume these new roles in their priestly ministry and for their dedication to helping the Church build a faith community of love and compassion for all of God’s people.”
Bishop Arthur Kennedy – Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization
Bishop Kennedy has served as Rector of St. John’s Seminary since July 2007. In those five years he has been instrumental in significantly increasing the number of seminarians enrolled, advancing the Cardinal’s goal of expanding the seminary to a regional presence, enhancing the seminary’s status of national prominence in its academic and faith formation programs while establishing new programs that prepare seminarians and lay leaders for the future. This past March 2011, the Cardinal and Bishop Kennedy announced the establishment of a new institute of faith formation at Saint John’s Seminary. Embracing and expanding the seminary's current offerings for the laity as well as for permanent deacons and professed religious, the new institute is called the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (TINE). The TINE program includes Master Arts in Ministry, Certificates in Catechisis, Scripture, and Apologetics, a new degree program (the Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization), and scholarship funding for these programs through the Promise for Tomorrow Fund.
In his new capacity, Bishop Kennedy will develop, oversee and promote programs for awakening and strengthening the Catholic Faith in the Archdiocese of Boston, including the Theological Initiative for the New Evangelization.
Such promotion of the New Evangelization is, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI “necessary for the Church: it cannot be overlooked; it is an expression of her very nature.” (Apostolic Letter Ubicumque et Semper)
“We look forward to the new and creative ways in which Bishop Kennedy will bring his vast experience in promoting the Catholic Faith in universities and seminaries to the service of evangelization in the Archdiocese of Boston,” Cardinal Seán said. “I am fully confident that his indispensable role in the revitalization of Saint John’s Seminary over the past five years will serve as a prelude to a revitalization of catechetical efforts and other forms of promotion of Catholic identity throughout the Archdiocese of Boston.”
Bishop Kennedy said, “I am grateful to Cardinal Seán for the opportunity to undertake this new office on his behalf and that of the Archdiocese of Boston. It has been a privilege to serve as Rector of St. John’s Seminary these past five years and to be part of the exciting rebirth of this wonderful institution, a rebirth made possible because of the Cardinal’s efforts and commitment to vocations and faith formation. We have a unique opportunity to continue to engage an aggressive and spiritual rebirth of our local Church and I hope to be of some assistance to the Cardinal in meeting this goal he has established for the Archdiocese.”
Bishop Kennedy was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1966 and spent the following eight years of service at parishes in Methuen and East Boston, in 1974 Cardinal Medeiros granted him permission him to accept a position as a member of the theology faculty at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. When the university later established a Catholic Studies program, Bishop Kennedy was named a faculty member in that department, and was also Director of Master of Arts in theology program at St. Paul Seminary. In recent years he has served as chair of the Theology Department at St. Thomas and Executive Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
In September 2010 he was ordained by Cardinal Seán as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston along with Auxiliary Bishop Peter Bishop Peter J. Uglietto, S.T.D. They were appointed Auxiliary Bishop’s in June 2010 by the Holy Father. Bishop Kennedy will have an office at the Pastoral Center.
Msgr. James Moroney – Rector-elect, St. John’s Seminary
The Cardinal also announced that Msgr. James P. Moroney will succeed Bishop Kennedy as the twentieth Rector of Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts on July 1, 2012. Cardinal Seán expressed his gratitude to Bishop Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, for his willingness to release Msgr. Moroney for this important work.
Msgr. Moroney, a Priest of the Diocese of Worcester for the past thirty-two years (ordained in 1980), is currently professor of Sacred Liturgy at Saint John’s Seminary and also serves as Executive Secretary of the Vox Clara Committee. Msgr. Moroney previously served as rector of the Cathedral Church of Saint Paul in Worcester, pastor of Mary Queen of the Rosary Parish in Spencer, Massachusetts, and as Executive Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for the Liturgy.
Having attended the North American College for Seminary, he pursued graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Liturgy Institute at Saint Anselmo’s, and the Catholic University of America.
A past chairman of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, Msgr. Moroney served as Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat for the Liturgy from 1996-2007. Pope John Paul II appointed him as the fourth American to serve as a consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments since the Second Vatican Council. Pope Benedict XVI has reappointed him as a consultor to that Congregation. Msgr. Moroney is a frequent lecturer on liturgical matters, having addressed close more than 20,000 priests and deacons in recent years at the invitation of more than a hundred bishops.
Msgr. Moroney said, “I am very grateful to Cardinal O’Malley for his confidence in me and particularly honored to succeed Bishop Kennedy, who has revitalized and strengthened Saint John’s Seminary in an extraordinary way over the past five years. I am filled with joy at being called to pastor these future shepherds of the Church. They are men filled with a burning desire to give their lives to Christ and his Church, and characterized by that hope which opens hearts to the will of God. In addition, I look forward to seeking the wise counsel of Bishop Kennedy, our wonderful Faculty, and the Priests of the Archdiocese in the coming months as we prepare to build on the great foundation established by the nineteen rectors who have gone before me.
Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester and a member of the Board of Trustees for St. John Seminary said, “In my own name and that of his brother priests in the Diocese of Worcester, I offer congratulations to Msgr. Moroney on his appointment as rector of St. John Seminary. He has been and continues to be a wonderful resource to our diocese in liturgical matters and also for his pastoral acumen. I am confident that he will bring a vision of the priesthood to his seminarians that will prove to be a great blessing for our all our dioceses which utilize this seminary for years to come.”
Msgr. Moroney is a frequent lecturer in liturgical matters, having addressed the presbyterates of 110 dioceses in recent years. He is author of the recently revised The Mass Explained: An Introduction to the New Roman Missal and host of The New and Eternal Word on the Catholic Television Network.
The Cardinal expressed his confidence that Msgr. Moroney would bring “his extensive experience in teaching priests and seminarians throughout the United States to the work of promoting the service of Saint John’s Seminary to the Bishops of New England and, indeed, the Catholic world. His longstanding work for the Holy See and the Bishops of our country has prepared him in a wonderful way for his new role as Rector of the Seminary community.”
Saint John’s Seminary was founded in 1884 and today prepares seminarians for twelve dioceses and five religious communities. As a result of unprecedented growth, the number of seminarians at Saint John’s has tripled in the past five years and it is presently full.
St. John’s Seminary History
Established by Archbishop John J. Williams in 1883 as the Boston Ecclesiastical Seminary, the school was chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to grant degrees in philosophy and divinity, with the first class being admitted in the fall of 1884. More than 3000 priests have received their formation and education at St. John’s Seminar and have served the Church in the Archdiocese of Boston and in more than fifty dioceses around the world, as well as in the Holy See and in the military.
Master of Arts in Ministry Program
In 2000, St. John’s Seminary began offering the Master of Arts in Ministry Program for laity seeking to serve the Church or to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the faith.
Almost 60 students have received their degrees in the first six years of the program and are now working as pastoral associates, religious educators, campus ministers, youth ministers, and hospital chaplains.
St. John’s Seminary is a fully accredited member of the regional accrediting agency, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and of the national professional accrediting agency, the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.
About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of nearly 2 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 291 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 42,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach. Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit
St. John’s Seminary Facts
1. St. John’s Seminary opened on September 22, 1884
2. First class: 32 seminarians (1884)
3. Current enrollment: 112 seminarians preparing for the priesthood (including 70 from Boston enrolled at St. John’s Seminary and Blessed John XXIII in Weston, MA)
4. Dioceses currently represented at St. John’s Seminary: Boston; Manchester, NH; Portland, ME; Burlington, VT; Fall River, MA; Springfield, MA; Archdiocese of Hartford, Diocese of Providence, Diocese of Worcester; Hanoi and Hung Hoa, Vietnam
5. Countries represented by seminarians enrolled in St. John’s Seminary: 14
1. Rev. John B. Hogan, S.S. (1884-1889/1894-1901)
2. Rev. Charles B. Rex, S.S. (1889-1894)
3. Rev. Daniel E. Maher, S.S. (1901-1906)
4. Rev. Francis P. Havey, S.S. (1906-1911 )
5. Rt. Rev. John B. Peterson (1911 -1926)
6. Rev. Charles A. Finn (1926-1933)
7. Rt. Rev. Joseph C. Walsh (1933-1938)
8. Rt. Rev. Edward G. Murray (1938-1951)
9. Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Riley (1951-1958)
10. Rt. Rev. Matthew P. Stapleton (1958-1965)
11 . Rt. Rev. Lawrence J. Riley (1965-1966)
12. Rev. Msgr. John A. Broderick (1966-1971)
13. Rev. Robert J. Banks (1971-1981)
14. Most. Rev. Alfred C. Hughes (1981-1986)
15. Rev. Thomas J. Daly (1986-1991)
16. Rev. Msgr. Timothy J. Moran (1991-1998)
17. Most. Rev. Richard G. Lennon (1999-2002)
18. Rev. John A. Farren, O.P. (2003-2007)
19. Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy, S.T.L., Ph.D. (2007-July 1, 2012)