Running a Catholic parish in Dorchester is no easy task, even for an experienced manager and priest. Now try running three city parishes at the same time.
That’s what Fr. Jack Ahern, 63, has done masterfully since he took charge at Dorchester’s “Tri-Parish” in 2009. Ahern is moving on to a new assignment in Randolph later this summer and his departure must not go without comment from an appreciative community.
Fr. Jack – as he prefers to be called – is an Arlington native who has settled into our community as seamlessly as any OFDer. In taking charge of Holy Family, St. Peter, and Blessed Mother Teresa Parish, he was charged with a very difficult mission and one that many of his fellow priests, increasingly, now have to follow. In fact, Ahern is considered a pioneer in a restructuring that brings multiple parishes under the management of a single pastor in a “collaborative” model.
Ahern did not have to come to Dorchester. He chose to take the tough assignment after 16 years at the helm of St. Mary’s of the Assumption parish in Brookline.
In his seven years here, Fr. Jack has become a fixture in civic life in Dorchester. He’s a calming figure at community meetings, walks the streets with his friend and colleague, Fr. Doc Conway, in Bowdoin-Geneva, and he has shown strong leadership in helping St. John Paul II Catholic Academy navigate a very difficult time in 2015 when its Columbia campus was shuttered for months following a broken pipe and devastating flood.
Throughout, Ahern has brought a humble, cheerful presence to a challenging post. We are grateful to him for his service, not only to the city’s Catholic parishioners, but also to Dorchester as a whole.
The news of Fr. Ahern’s re-assignment to St. Mary’s in Randolph was made at Masses over Memorial Day weekend. His replacement will be Fr. John Currie, 50, a native of Dorchester who is highly respected among his peers. He is a graduate of St. Mark’s Elementary School, Class of ’84, and Boston Latin Academy ‘88. He will come home to Dorchester from his most recent posting as pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Weymouth.
– Bill Forry
This weekend’s Dorchester House Tour offers a unique opportunity to walk-though some of our neighborhood’s most distinctive and beautiful homes in the Ashmont Hill section. Sunday’s self-guided tours start from All Saints Church, where you can buy a ticket and pick up a map starting at 11:30 a.m. The tour is also a great way to support the work of the Dorchester Historical Society, which provides year-round support for preservation efforts across the neighborhood. The Reporter is pleased to serve as media sponsor of this event. We invite you to watch a preview video online at DotNews.com.- B.F.