By Dave Jolivet
SOUTH YARMOUTH — As Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands slip into mid-summer activities, five diocesan priests will soon embark on the next phase of their priestly careers, officially retiring on August 18. The five are: Father Paul A. Caron, pastor of St. Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth; Father Jay T. Maddock, pastor of Holy Name Parish in Fall River; Father Hugh J. McCullough, pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Provincetown and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Wellfleet; Father Michael R. Nagle, pastor of Good Shepherd Parish on Martha’s Vineyard; and Father John J. Oliveira, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in New Bedford.
Together, the men have amassed 219 years of priestly service and ministry to folks in the Diocese of Fall River.
On the cusp of retirement, Father Maddock told The Anchor, “The gift of celebrating Mass, hearing Confessions, preparing people to receive other Sacraments and being able to anoint them when they are sick and dying has been a great source of strength, faith and humility. The blessings are too many to recount.”
Father Paul A. Caron was born on Nov. 9, 1950 in Taunton to Albert and Marilyn (Lacroix) Caron. He attended St. Jacques School and Msgr. James Coyle High School, both in Taunton.
Father Caron attended college at UMass Dartmouth (then Southeastern Massachusetts University [SMU]), graduating in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He taught at Saints Peter and Paul School in Fall River and at Cohannet Middle School in Taunton.
He entered St. John’s Seminary in Brighton in September of 1978, earning a master’s degree in Divinity.
Father Caron was ordained to the priesthood on June 11, 1983 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, by Bishop Daniel A. Cronin.
His first parish assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Mark Parish in Attleboro Falls and as chaplain at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, from 1983 to 1988.
From there he was assigned as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish in North Easton from 1988 to 1996, then to St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet from 1996, where he later became pastor. He also served as pastor at St. Mary-Our Lady of the Isle Parish in Nantucket from 2000 to 2007, and later became pastor of St. Rita’s Parish in Marion in 2007, where he served for 10 years.
In 2017 he became pastor of St. Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth, from where he will retire later this month.
When he became pastor there, he shared in the parish newsletter, “Priesthood is central to my life, although I was never (in my mother’s words) a ‘Holy Roller.’ The call to priesthood can be obvious for some and also as subtle as a whisper, but it is one that can be persistent as well.”
Father Caron added, “I have been blessed in my assignments. I loved being chaplain at Bishop Feehan High School and to have that daily contact with the next generation. My parish assignments have been challenging at times, depending upon conditions and location, but were all wonderful in their own way.”
Father Caron wrote, “I have two things which are very important to me and perhaps define my journey. I love Liturgy that is well done. It must be so, for Liturgy is literally ‘the work of the people.’ It is OUR work of celebrating God’s love shown through His Son Jesus Christ. Our ‘Work’ is to receive the Lord in Word and Sacrament and then to bring Him and His Good News into our world. And we are not called to be dour and glum about it! It is not a sin to smile.
“The other thing that is truly important is that we be a welcoming community all year round. We meet folks where they are and are open to them on their journey. I subscribe to Pope Francis’ idea that we are not about whining but about bring and living the joy of the Gospel each day!” Father Caron told the people of South Yarmouth in 2017.
In addition to his parish duties, Father Caron has also served the diocese as Attleboro area director of Divorced and Separated Ministry and the Catholic Youth Organization(CYO) director in Attleboro and Taunton. He has served as a regional Catholic Charities Appeal assistant; served on the Spiritual Life of Priests Committee; and was chaplain of the Daughters of Isabella, Easton Circle.
Father Jay T. Maddockwas born to James W. and Madalaine Maddock on June 17, 1949 in Attleboro.
His early education was in the public schools system in Mansfield. In grades four through eight, he attended Dominican Academy in Plainville.
He attended Msgr. James Coyle High School in Taunton, graduating in 1967. From there Father Maddock entered St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Conn. Upon graduating from there, he entered St. John’s Seminary in Brighton in 1971.
He was assigned by Bishop Daniel A. Cronin to attend the North American College in Rome to study Theology
He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Fall River on Aug. 2, 1975 by Bishop Cronin at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River.
Father Maddock’s first assignment was as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in Taunton until September of 1977. Bishop Cronin had Father Maddock return to Rome to study canon law. He received a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Gregorian University in Rome and was assigned to work part-time at the Chancery, the Diocesan Tribunal and at Immaculate Conception Parish in Fall River.
In 1980, Father Maddock was assigned full-time at the Tribunal, becoming a member of the Canon Law Society of America that same year. While working at the Tribunal he was in residence at Immaculate Conception Parish and later at St. William’s Parish, both in Fall River.
He briefly held administrative duties at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Bedford, before returning to the Tribunal.
In 1989, Bishop Cronin appointed Father Maddock as Judicial Vicar of the diocese and as administrator of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Swansea.
In 1992, Bishop Sean P. O’Malley, OFM Cap., appointed Father Maddock as administrator of St. Mary’s Parish in Taunton, and in 1993 as pastor of St. William’s Parish in Fall River.
In 1997, he became pastor of Holy Family Parish in East Taunton. As the parish grew, Father Maddock stepped down as Judicial Vicar in 2001 after 21 years of full-time service to the Tribunal.
While in East Taunton, Father Maddock undertook the building of a new parish center.
Father Maddock was then appointed pastor of Holy Name Parish in Fall River by Bishop George W. Coleman in 2010, where he still ministers. In 2015 Father Maddock was appointed as administrator of the newly-created St. Bernadette Parish in Fall River.
In October of 2016, he was awarded the St. Thomas More Medal by the diocese in recognition for his more than two decades of dedicated service to the Tribunal.
Never one to shy away from responsibilities, Father Maddock has also served the diocese and its faithful as director of the diocesan CYO; several terms on the Priests Personnel Board; a member of the Presbyteral Council; serving on the diocesan Catholic Education Board; and Dean of the Taunton Deanery, and the Fall River Deanery.
After retirement Father Maddock will continue to serve on the diocesan Catholic School Board and as Dean of the Fall River Deanery; and assisting brother priests where the need arises.
“To live as a priest that many years and to have served in many wonderful parishes; in our Diocesan Tribunal; in the ministry of our Diocesan Catholic Youth Organization and many other ministries as well, is the blessing of my life,” Father Maddock told The Anchor.
“I am looking forward to a different type of schedule. Helping out brother priests in their parishes is something I hope to be able to do. I am grateful to the many priests who have helped me over the years. I hope to be able to take part in more of my family activities. My family has been a tremendous support to me over the years. The opportunity to ‘catch up’ with friends whom I haven’t seen or communicated with for some time is also on the agenda. Hopefully, if Covid allows, I can spend sometime in Florida in March scouting out the prospects for a new Red Sox season.
“Above all, I hope and pray this ‘new phase’ of my life will afford me all the more time to be prepared to one day ‘meet the Lord,’ when He calls. After all, in the long run, that is the role of a priest; to help himself and the people he encounters in life, to be ready to ‘meet the Lord.’”
Father Hugh J. McCullough was born in Yonkers, N.Y. on Oct. 27, 1950 to John and Margaret (Marns) McCullough. As a boy, he attended St. Eugene’s School and Salesian High School in Yonkers.
He graduated from Don Bosco College in Newton, N.J. in 1973 with a degree in philosophy.
Father McCullough entered Josephinum School of Theology in Worthington, Ohio in 1975, earning a master’s in Theology.
On May 26, 1979, he was ordained to the priesthood at Christ the King Church in Columbus, Ohio, by Bishop Edward Hermann.
Father McCullough served for 25 years as a Salesian of Don Bosco, during which time he held appointments in various regions of the country; Don Bosco High School in East Boston; Don Bosco Technical High School, Boston; Don Bosco Institute, Berkeley, Calif.; Don Bosco Retreat House, Ipswich, Mass.; and CPE-Hazelton Institute in Minnesota.
He was incardinated into the Diocese of Fall River in 1995, where he began ministry here at St. Pius X Parish in South Yarmouth until 1999. From there he served at St. Patrick’s Parish in Wareham; St. James Parish in New Bedford; St. Francis Xavier Parish in Hyannis and St. Joseph Parish in Fall River.
In July of 2011, Father McCullough was named pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Provincetown and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Wellfleet, where he has happily served the faithful of the outer Cape for the last decade.
Father McCullough has become a fixture on the Cape Cod waterfront each summer, joyfully blessing the fleet. In a letter to his parishioners in July, Father McCullough wrote, “When I arrived here in July, 2011, the welcoming feeling I received and warm personal support so many of you shared, began an exciting time of my life during the 10 years as your pastor. I shall always remember with fondness the wonderful experience I had working with so many dedicated Catholics of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Peter the Apostle parishes. All my hopes and prayers are with you and many, many good memories from St. Peter’s and Our Lady of Lourdes are coming along to Chatham with me.”
He will retire to join family members at their home in Chatham.
Father Michael R. Nagle was born to Robert J. and M. Rita (Flynn) Nagle on Feb. 16, 1946 in Dothan, Ala. The family moved to Southeastern Massachusetts and as a lad, Father Nagle attended St. Mary’s School in Fall River. His high school years were spent at De La Salle Academy in Newport, R.I. where he graduated in 1963.
He attended college at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Mo., earning a Classical bachelor’s degree, graduating from there in 1967.
Father Nagle also earned a Doctorate of Ministry from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Center, Mass.; and a bachelor’s in Sacred Theology from Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
He also entered Mater Christi Seminary in Albany, N.Y. and St. Joseph’s College in London, England.
He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Fall River on Feb. 4, 1972 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River by Bishop Cronin.
Father Nagle’s first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish in New Bedford until 1972.
After that, he served in the same capacity at St. Mary’s Parish in Taunton; St. Peter’s Parish in Provincetown; and St. Margaret’s Parish in Buzzards Bay. He became pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Taunton in 1990.
In 1994, Father Nagle was assigned as pastor at St. Augustine Parish in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard. In 1996 he was assigned as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Oak Bluffs and St. Elizabeth Parish in Edgartown, while remaining pastor of St. Augustine. In 2003, the three Martha’s Vineyard parishes merged to form the new Good Shepherd Parish, of which Father Nagle became pastor until his retirement.
Father Nagle once told The Anchor that he finds the Spirituality of the permanent residents steadfast and of the influx of hundreds of summer vacationers very strong. “They make an effort to find the churches and the schedule of Masses and to get there. We see moms and dads and lots of children and grandparents too, and it’s a neat thing to see them all come to Mass while on vacation.”
In addition to his parish ministries, Father Nagle also served the diocese as chaplain at Morton Hospital in Taunton and Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.
In a 2017 article in the MV Times with the title, “It’s a bird, it’s a plane… it’s a priest,” reporter Connie Berry wrote, “Father Nagle became interested in flying in the mid-1960s when a friend took him skydiving. He’s made 300 jumps since then, and all those jumps led to an interest in flying. In 1970, he spent the weeks between seminary studies getting his pilot’s license. ‘I’ve been flying ever since,’ he said.”
Father Nagle shared with Berry about his upbringing. “When he was being ordained in the 1970s, they asked him to describe his family. He said he had grown up in a ‘moderately religious family.’ ‘My mother was so insulted,’ Father Nagle chuckled.”
Speaking about the harvest of souls a priest is called to cultivate, Father Nagle told the MV Times, “My job is to plant the seed, help people make that connection with God. I like to see instant results, and the challenge is not seeing those results. All I can do is make connections in people’s lives, be there to support and encourage, and help people grow. If you’re result-oriented, you have to ask, ‘Have I made a difference?’ And sometimes you don’t know; it’s not external.”
Father John J. Oliveira was born to James P. and Alice P. (Simmons) Oliveira on Feb. 16, 1951 in Taunton.
As a boy, he attended St. Joseph School in Taunton, later moving on to Msgr. James Coyle High School, also in Taunton.
After high school, Father Oliveira attended St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Conn. where he earned a bachelor of arts degree, graduating from there in 1971. From there he went to St. John’s Seminary in Brighton where he earned a master’s of Divinity, graduating in 1973.
He was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Fall River on May 14, 1977 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River, by Bishop Cronin.
His first assignment was as at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in New Bedford, from where he is now retiring.
In between, Father Oliveira has faithfully served the diocese, it’s faithful and it’s Portuguese community in a number of parishes and capacities.
He has served at the parishes of Espirito Santo, St. Michael and St. Anthony of Padua, all in Fall River. In 1994 he was named pastor at St. John the Baptist in New Bedford, serving there for seven years. In 2001, he was named pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New Bedford, where he has been since.
Besides his pastoral duties, Father Oliveira has faithfully held many other diocesan appointments.
From 1991 through 1994, he was chaplain at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River; director of Campus Ministry at Bristol Community College in Fall River; and assistant to the Bishop’s Liaison of the Charismatic Renewal. He also twice served as a member of the Priests’ Personnel Board, from 1984-88 and 1995-98.
Father Oliveira has also served as Diocesan Coordinator of the Portuguese Marriage Preparatory Program. He was on the Presbyteral Council from 1984-2002 and from 2004 to the present.
Father Oliveira was director at St. John’s Cemetery in New Bedford. He currently serves on the College of Consultors (since 1999); coordinator of the Portuguese Apostolate (1992); coordinator of the Priest’s Mentoring Program (2000); and Vicar Forane, New Bedford Deanery (2004).
During his nearly 25 years as a priest, Father Oliveira has also held two positions with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops — in the Office of Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees as Portuguese Apostolate Representative for Massachusetts and Rhode Island from 1986 to 1996; and in the same USCCB office as Portuguese Apostolate National Consultant from 1996-2003 and 2005 to the present.
Father Oliveira’s homilies and observations were often quoted in local media over the years. In a particularly poignant quote, the Standard Times reported that he preached, “We should not cling to the things of our mortal world, but only to Jesus.”