Msgr. Jim Moroney named rector of St. John’s Seminary in Boston

Cardinal Seán O’Malley, OFM Cap., announced today that he has appointed Msgr. James P. Moroney as 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 and as Executive Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for the Liturgy from 1996-2007. Pope John Paul II appointed him, and Pope Benedict XVI has reappointed him, as consultor to the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome. He pursued graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical Liturgy Institute at Saint Anselmo’s, and the Catholic University of America.

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.”





22 responses to “Msgr. Jim Moroney named rector of St. John’s Seminary in Boston”

  1. Karl Liam Saur Avatar
    Karl Liam Saur

    Interesting detour? Missed out on Manchester last September. For how long, one wonders. Has to wait a year for Springfield; a couple of more years for Fall River. Too long for Worcester unless there’s a providential transfer.

  2. Chris Grady Avatar
    Chris Grady

    Enough rope . . . but I smell a miter.

    Let’s just hope he doesn’t get to teach Latin . . .well translation of Latin to English . . .

  3. Jack Feehily Avatar
    Jack Feehily

    There is a long line of former St. John’s rectors elevated to the episcopacy including Richard Lennon, John McCormick, Alfred Hughes, Robert Banks, and Richard Cardinal Cushing. Looks like Moroney is being slotted in for his faithful service to the Holy See. With close ties in the Vatican he could become eligible for a host of sees across the US, not limited to New England. He’s only 53, plenty of time to bounce from bishop to archbishop and maybe even a red hat. He has the proper girth for a distinguished prelate, don’t you think?

    1. Mary Burke Avatar
      Mary Burke

      He must be older than 53 if he was ordained in 1980.

  4. Fr. Allan J. McDonald Avatar

    Congratulations to Msgr. Moroney, I hope he says hello for me to my former music director/organist at the Church of the Most Holy Trinity in Augusta,Georgia who became music director at St. John Seminary around 2006, Dr. Janet Hunt, FAGO. She loves Gregorian chant and as a former high Anglican, Anglican chant and all other worthy liturgical music. She also had a great Gospel Choir in Augusta too!

  5. Michael Burgo Avatar
    Michael Burgo

    The Boston seminary, the rector of he will be!

  6. Austin Fleming Avatar

    I’m not a historian but I don’t think that either Cardinal Richard Cushing or Bishop John McCormack ever served as rector of St. John Seminary.

    1. Jack Feehily Avatar
      Jack Feehily

      Both are listed as former rectors.

      1. Austin Fleming Avatar

        That’s interesting, Jack. Can you share with me where you found them listed as former rectors?

  7. Fr. Jim Blue Avatar
    Fr. Jim Blue

    Just as any cleric speaking the truth about the Vox Clara 2010 product will surely end his career, any who lie cleverly and effectively about it harvest a reward.

    Ours was one of the many dioceses/archdiocese where he made his presentation, which had nothing really to do with the product or the process, but more of an apologia for episcopal malfeasance and a reminder to priests that their duty is to suspend reason and suck it up and take one for the team.

    You can see his presentation on the ND “Web Catechesis.” It was really a campaign speech – he said all the right things to satisfy a small but influential audience.

  8. Fr Jim Blue Avatar
    Fr Jim Blue

    -comment deleted by author-

    1. Janet Darcy Avatar
      Janet Darcy

      Oh say—-deleted!

      Well, my boyfriend is an alum of this institution of sorta higher learning (at least it taught him to recognize a single malt over a blended scotch).

      The good Msgr joins a fine line of sycophants….in case you might have forgotten who they are….here are a few….

      1. Mary Burke Avatar
        Mary Burke

        Thank you, Janet. For the sake of us who don’t recognise them would you kindly identify the Famous Five. Many thanks! They look like quintuplets as it is. MB

    2. Chris Grady Avatar
      Chris Grady

      I’d pay VERY good money to know what you posted then removed!!!!

      1. Jeffrey Pinyan Avatar

        It was something like “It won’t happen because he wants it too much”, although I’m not sure if the “it” was referring to a future post or that of being rector (which sounds like a fait accompli).

        Cayman Islands bank account number to follow shortly.

    3. Chris Grady Avatar
      Chris Grady

      I’d pay LOTS to know what you wrote then had second thoughts about!!

  9. Janet Darcy Avatar
    Janet Darcy

    Ah, SJS, the memories…..

    Former professor of Liturgy. On this topic, one of the funniest stories has to be the time Bp Daniel Cronin, then of the backwater diocese of Fall River, although Hartford isn’t much of an improvement at the “end of the green line”…if you know what I mean, came to visit the boys, and of course, offer Mass. Well, you see, it took a long time to get to the Mass because Bp Cronin venerated the altar and just stood there, for a full 5 minutes until someone realized that he was waiting for someone to open the Sacramentary and turn the pages for him….ah, those were the days! Single malts and quality celebrants. The boys learned well!

    All things considered, this is EXACTLY where Moroney belongs while they figure out WHO will get stuck with this gold star genius as an auxiliary.

    Let’s face it, heifer house was never the same after they broke the piggy bank.

  10. Brigid Rauch Avatar
    Brigid Rauch

    I’m thinking most Catholics don’t encounter the higher clergy very often and aren’t really interested in what they say or do unless and until they interfere with parish life. By gratuitously changing the words of the Mass, the bishops have placed the spotlight on themselves. The repercussions won’t be immediate, but they will be major!

  11. Janet Darcy Avatar
    Janet Darcy

    @ Mary Burke

    Sadly Mary, the key to the players will have to wait as my first response was felt to be in poor taste. ;-(

  12. Bill deHaas Avatar

    These types of decisions have been made for centuries – do you promote a “company” man or do you look for someone who has vision, pastoral skills, formation and spiritual attributes.

    Unfortunately, we live in a time where positions such as “rector” are defined by those who have been educated in Rome; have Roman/hierarchy connections; can leverage bishops to send candidates to St. John’s (note – no questions here about the product that St. John’s produces; no questions about education, pastoral skills, etc.); can raise money by “wowing the monied donors and can lavish them with attention, promotion, etc.

    Contrast this with the significant need for skilled rectors, bishops, etc. who have served in actual parishes (dare we say – even rural parishes, mission lands) (sorry, cathedral rector doesn’t really count); the need for pastoral knowledge so that these “secular” priest candidates can learn about “real” pastoral life, people in the pews, etc.; the need for clerical examples that put gospel, mission, poor, immigrants first rather than inside knowledge of the larger institutional church?

    This trend continues and is sad – we, the pewsitters, do not benefit from this trend. We only get the result – over-institutionalized, over-clerical, and myopic men who do not serve but expect to be served.

  13. Janet Darcy Avatar
    Janet Darcy

    Brigid Rauch :

    I’m thinking most Catholics don’t encounter the higher clergy very often and aren’t really interested in what they say or do unless and until they interfere with parish life. By gratuitously changing the words of the Mass, the bishops have placed the spotlight on themselves. The repercussions won’t be immediate, but they will be major!

    You should visit Rhode Island for a Confirmation some time. They have taken to Confirmation Services sine Mass and have even eliminated the calling of the individual candidates. The ordinary has it down to about 25 minutes, as the candidates parade up to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, two by two after an inspiring sermon, such as the importance of calling the tree at Christmas a Christmas tree! Following the service he’s off without reception…lol. So much for interaction with the higher clergy of the diocese.

  14. Janet Maestranzi Avatar
    Janet Maestranzi

    I have seen Moroney’s show on Catholic TV many times. It is boring, poorly set with tacky props, and at times totally convoluted. There is no forum, of course, for anyone to ask a real question that might challenge the self-confident spin that pours out of him. For me, it simply reinforces the feeling that the whole new missal mess is a con job on the part of the higher-arks to regain absolute authority over an area where the principle of subsidiarity should have had full play (IF a new translation was even needed in the first place). Reverence is a matter of the heart and the intention; there is no inherently “reverent” language. Just ask the makers of a new beer called “Chalice.”. The new translation, in my view, incorporates some of the worst English I have ever heard spoken in public, along with some of the most egregious transgressions against developments in biblical theology. It is stiff, cold and remote.

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