Hundreds turned out today in Springfield for a final farewell to a beloved spiritual leader in western Massachusetts.
The Catholic funeral mass filled with ancient rituals and symbols, hymns, and scripture readings was a moving tribute to the long life of the man known as the “people’s Bishop”—Joseph Maguire, who died last week at 95.
600 people filled Saint Michael’s Cathedral in downtown Springfield for the service, which lasted about 90 minutes. Philip Waystack, a nephew of Maguire’s, said nothing made his “uncle Joe” happier than being among people.
Catholics in western Massachusetts are mourning the death of a beloved spiritual leader. Bishop Emeritus Joseph Maguire, retired leader of the Springfield Diocese, died Sunday night. He was 95.
Parishioners at the 9 a.m. mass Monday at St. Catherine of Siena church in Springfield’s 16 Acres Neighborhood said they were saddened to hear of the death of Maguire, who was fondly referred to even years after his retirement as the “ people’s bishop.”
Mitchell Thomas Rozanski will be installed this afternoon as the 9th bishop of the Springfield Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church. The diocese encompasses the four counties of western Massachusetts with 82 parishes and 220,000 members. Rozanski, who is 56 years old, is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. He spoke with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill on the eve of the installation.
A new spiritual leader has been appointed for the 230,000 Roman Catholics in western Massachusetts. Bishop Mitchell Rozanski will replace Bishop Timothy McDonnell as head of the Springfield diocese. The new bishop left a good first impression, but will face many challenges.
A Roman Catholic church in Chicopee closed by the Springfield Diocese in 2009 is scheduled to start celebrating a weekly Mass again a year after the Vatican determined that local church officials could not sell the building.
The diocese announced Wednesday that a weekly Mass would be celebrated at St. Patrick starting Dec. 1.
The diocese stressed that the decision does not mean that St. Patrick would re-open as a distinct parish. St. Patrick remains a subsidiary of Holy Name of Jesus Parish.
The diocese closed St. Patrick in 2009 and merged it with Holy Name.