Welcoming Reverend Francis J. Cloherty
The Guild family is delighted to welcome Fr. Frank Cloherty as our new Chaplain. As an accomplished priest and pastor, battle-tested community organizer and honored interfaith leader, he’s been a force for progress and social justice in every community he’s served.
Since April, Fr. Frank’s been quietly meeting the Guild’s stakeholders and getting to know our programs and mission. “I feel very welcomed making the rounds,” Fr. Frank said, “and I’m looking forward to meeting more Guilders in the months to come.”
Priest and pastor After 19 years as a very busy pastor, regional vicar and community leader in Brockton, he retired last summer and his home base is now St. Ann’s Rectory in North Quincy. He’d previously served parishes in Marblehead, Duxbury, Lowell, Revere and Jamaica Plain.
Educated at Boston Catholic schools, Boston College and St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Fr. Cloherty was ordained in 1962. He has enjoyed sabbaticals at Harvard Divinity School (1975), Weston School of Theology (1984) and Tantur Ecumenical Institute on the West Bank-Jerusalem border (2000).
Interfaith leader Fr. Frank has been an active and effective player in local and national interfaith organizations and community action groups for many decades. At its January celebration at Temple Beth Emunah, the dynamic Brockton Interfaith Council (BIC) lauded its Martin Luther King Day honoree in this way. “Fr. Cloherty is a recognized leader in Ecumenical and Interfaith dialog, (and) efforts to create a society that respects and lives out the values of truth, love, justice and peace. Wherever he has served, he led his congregation to make a difference in the city and (acted as) a servant (of) God.”
Making a difference. Father Cloherty has championed projects affecting thousands of lives, including:
- In the face of Brockton’s shortage of local primary health care in the community surrounding his parish, he directly supported the at-risk infancy of the now flourishing Brockton Neighborhood Health Center (BNHC). In 1994, he invited BNHC to locate its offices in his parish basement and a medical van into his parish parking lot. That year-long sanctuary proved an crucial tipping point for the BNHC’s survival.
- Fighting local home foreclosures (Brockton had the highest foreclosure rate in MA in 2010.)
- Targeting predatory bank lending practices and excessive fees, resulting in the Brockton School System recently moving its regular payroll from Bank of America to a local community bank.
- Building and renovating affordable housing for the working poor (Nehemiah Project)
- Being a major force in creating the Brockton’s Family Life Center, providing transitional housing and support services on behalf of families (most with young children) experiencing homelessness.
Fr. Frank continues his active service on numerous boards, and the Guild is pleased to join his busy roster.