Fr. Sean Connor was on the altar at St. Ann’s in Neponset on Sunday— a few weeks earlier than expected. The 46-year-old pastor had surgery on his neck earlier in June and, while it’s healing well enough, he was supposed to spend most of this month resting.
But Sunday was an important moment for the parish. Cardinal Sean O’Malley was on hand to celebrate the 10:30 Mass and Fr. Connor’s five-year tenure as the parish’s shepherd, a role that will come to an end next month. Connor has been asked to take over as pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Weymouth and — much to the chagrin of many parishioners in Dorchester— he’ll be moving on from Dorchester sooner than expected.
“Fr. Sean Connor has been a superb pastor for St. Ann Parish,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement to the Reporter last month. “He has brought a passionate commitment to evangelization, serving the parish and school community and being a strong presence in the neighborhood.”
Fr. Sean’s talents have been a marvelous fit in Neponset, where you still have to get to church on time to find a seat. There’s a vibrant schoolhouse next door— Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy– that remains in high demand. The youth choir and CYO basketball league is jammed with youngsters. It’s the kind of church community that folks long removed from Dorchester might recognize from their own childhoods.
Sean Connor, a Marshfield native who has roots in Neponset, deserves a lot of the credit for this parish’s ongoing success. A former cop who has an easy smile and a quick wit, Connor has made people want to come to church and be invested in the parish community. He has been a rock for families tested by loss and a guide for new couples beginning their married life. He has particularly been a trusted, comforting minister to the youngest people of the parish who this year faced the loss of a young friend, Martin Richard, in the Marathon bombings.
As evidenced by the large turnout last Sunday on a busy summer weekend, Sean Connor will be sorely missed in our community. We wish him well in the next part of his journey.