Differing paths led to similar blessings for retired priests

By Dave Jolivet
Anchor Editor

MASHPEE, Mass. — In his homily at a farewell Mass at Christ the King Parish, the pastor, Msgr. Daniel F. Hoye said, quoting a Boston newspaper columnist, “Retired priests are like retired Marines — there are none.” He continued, saying, “When diocesan priests retire, we don’t stop celebrating the Sacraments,” as long as they’re physically able.

Msgr. Hoye retired as a diocesan priest on June 30, joining his brother priest, Father Michael M. Camara, a parochial vicar at Santo Christo Parish in Fall River, whose retirement was effective the same day.

Both men were born in 1946, Msgr. Hoye on January 18 in Taunton, Father Camara on August 12 in Fall River.

While both are Catholic priests and share a birth year and retirement day, their paths to and since ordination are very different.

Msgr. Hoye attended a Catholic high school and, following his ordination, held various national positions before truly settling into parish life more than 15 years later.

Father Camara was the product of a public high school, spent time in the United States Air Force, was a religious member of the Franciscan community for 27 years, and was ordained to the priesthood at age 42, 27 years after Msgr. Hoye.

And, while their roads to the priesthood and ensuing responsibilities varied, the greatest joy of their priesthood is quite the same.

“I have to admit,” Msgr. Hoye told The Anchor, “that I loved the 27 years I have served as pastor in two different parishes. Highlights of my ministry include watching people grow Spiritually, and it is a blessing to celebrate Mass and the Sacraments for a community that is a parish.”

Father Camara told The Anchor, “My biggest blessing during these 27 years is all the good people that I have met in my various assignments, but especially my being able to administer the Sacraments to them, and most importantly to be able to celebrate the Liturgy for them. Just being present for people has been an important part of my priesthood.”

With regards to his retirement, Msgr. Hoye said, “People have asked me if I am excited to retire. I tell them that ‘excited’ is not the correct emotion, but rather, ‘peaceful.’ It certainly is a new phase and I look forward to helping out in parishes, but won’t miss the administrative aspects of being a pastor.”

“As I now enter into a new phase in my priestly vocation, and enter into my retirement, I have had some time to reflect and to even step back and try to envision what retirement will be like,” said Father Camara. “Yes, I have had some mixed feelings, but feel that it is the time, and with God’s grace, my priestly vocation isn’t going to be going away at all.”

Msgr. Hoye is a graduate of Msgr. James Coyle High School in Taunton. He went on to St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Conn., achieving an associate of arts degree there.

He then went to St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, earning a bachelor of arts degrees in Divinity and arts, and a master’s in theology.

Msgr. Hoye was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Fall River on May 13, 1972, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River by Bishop Daniel A. Cronin.

His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Attleboro, and then assumed the same position at St. Mary’s Parish in Norton until 1973.

In 1973 he attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., until 1975, receiving a licentiate in canon law.

From 1975 through 1997, Msgr. Hoye served in various assignments, including: vice officialis at the diocesan Tribunal Office; associate general secretary for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, United States Catholic Conference in Washington, D.C. (now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops); as general secretary of the NCCB/USCC; a tribunal judge and defender of the bond for the Diocese of Fall River; and as episcopal vicar for the Taunton and Attleboro deaneries.

On May 3, 1982 he received the title of Prelate of Honor from Pope John Paul II, naming him a monsignor.

In June of 1989, Msgr. Hoye was named pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Attleboro until June of 2006, when he became pastor of Christ the King Parish in Mashpee, from where he retired on June 30.

In the diocese, Msgr. Hoye also served on the Priests Council; was chairman of the Priests Council; on the Personnel Board; the College of Consultors; chaplain of the Attleboro area Serra Club; and as moderator for the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women District IV.

He has served on the board of directors for Catholic Relief Services; Catholic Telecommunications Network of America; and St. Francis Preparatory School in Spring Grove, Pa.

Msgr. Hoye served on the Board of Governors for the Canon Law Society of America, and was vice president and president of the society.

He is also a member of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

Father Camara attended B.M.C. Durfee High School in Fall River. 

Father Camara entered the Franciscan Friars, Province of the Immaculate Conception, New York, in 1973.

He was a religious Brother with the community for 15 years, involved with high school ministry at Serra Catholic High School in McKeesport, Pa., where he taught, was Dean of Students, an administrator, and assistant headmaster.

He was also chaplain at St. Francis Hospital in upstate New York, and a teacher at Christopher Columbus High School in Boston.

He was received into the order in August of 1975 and made his solemn profession on Dec. 28, 1982.

He later went on to attend St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., earning a bachelor of arts in Religious Education in 1984.

Father Camara earned his master’s of Divinity from St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe and was ordained into the priesthood on May 27, 1989 at St. Michael’s Church in Fall River, by Bishop Virgilio Lopez, OFM, of Trujillo, Honduras.

Father Camara was incardinated into the Diocese of Fall River on Feb. 17, 1998 by Bishop Sean P. O’Malley, OFM, Cap.

His parish assignments in the Diocese of Fall River included: St. Kilian Parish, St. John the Baptist Parish, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Parish, all in New Bedford; Holy Family Parish in East Taunton; St. Michael’s Parish, Our Lady of Health Parish and Santo Christo Parish, all in Fall River.

He has also served as chaplain at Saint Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, and was on the faculty at Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River.

Msgr. Hoye told The Anchor that in his 47 years as a priest, “I have had the blessing to spend 12 years working for the bishops’ conference in Washington, D.C. It was a great experience meeting so many people and getting involved in so many different issues. My expectations never included canon law graduate school and my time in D.C.”

Father Camara told The Anchor, “Really, I can say nothing has been a big surprise for me over the years.” Recalling his time in the Air Force, in the Franciscan community and eventually as a diocesan priest, “I think my past experiences have made me realize that nothing will come as a complete surprise.

“Being a priest was something that I had in my mind since I was a very young person. But over the years, the good Lord has sent me on many detours to get there. No regrets, because each of them has made me a better person, and a better priest. I thank God for the years, and wouldn’t trade any of them. I indeed love being a priest.”

Both enter retirement with warm memories of the faithful whom they served through the years. “My parishioners have helped me appreciate the challenges of family life, the difficult journey of the adolescent, and the aging process,” said Msgr. Hoye.

“The parishioners over the years have indeed been a big help to me by their presence. By their comments, whether good or bad, all this has helped me grow over the years,” said Father Camara.

Msgr. Hoye plans on taking the summer off, traveling, and “wintering” in Florida. Father Camara will take some “quality time to relax and unwind,” while residing at the Cardinal Medeiros Residence in Fall River.

“In September I will begin to help out at St. Mary’s Parish in South Dartmouth,” said Msgr. Hoye. “I will be available to help wherever needed,” added Father Camara.

Just like a Marine — or a priest.

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