Remembering Jesuit Father Paul T. McCarty

May 31, 2016 - Fr. Paul T. McCarty, SJ, was called to eternal life on May 28, 2016 at Campion Center, Weston, Mass. Fr. McCarty was born on June 13, 1924 in Waltham, Mass., and entered the Society of Jesus on August 14, 1957 at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues, Wernersville, Pa., and was ordained on June 10, 1967, at St. Ignatius Church, Chestnut Hill, Mass. He pronounced Final Vows on June 29, 1989, at St. John’s Parish, Bangor, Maine.

Paul McCarty was born in Waltham, Mass., on June 13, 1924, the fourth of seven children, and grew up in what he described as “a house of music and fun” in Auburndale, a neighborhood of Newton. His father worked in the real-estate division of the New Haven Railroad and his mother taught piano and played the organ in the parish church. All the children became accomplished on musical instruments, Paul on the drums, which he thought counted for something socially when he got to Newton High School.

He entered Boston College in 1942, on an accelerated wartime program, but was drafted into the Army infantry the following May. He served in Normandy, Belgium (where he first saw action), and Holland (where a severe case of trench foot disqualified him from further fighting), and spent the rest of the war in administrative posts in Paris, becoming fluent in French. Discharged in 1946, he returned to Boston College, where the example of his diverse Jesuit teachers first gave him the idea that he might have a Jesuit vocation. After graduating in 1949, he spent eight years in various occupations—business studies at Babson, landscaping, traveling salesman, translating for Vietnamese being trained in counterespionage by the C.I.A. in Saipan—before the idea of a vocation crystallized when a Jesuit family friend asked him what he was going to do with his life. He had somewhere acquired the nickname “Lou” and this occasionally became “the late Lou,” perhaps because of a habit he joked about himself, of coming slowly to appointments and decisions. In 1957, he entered the novitiate at Wernersville (one of the houses New England novices were being sent after the 1956 Shadowbrook fire).

After first vows, in 1959, Paul went to Weston for philosophy studies. He taught for three years at Fairfield Prep (1961-64), then returned to Weston for theology studies. He was ordained at St. Ignatius Church, Chestnut Hill, Mass., in 1967, and did tertianship at Seattle, in 1968-69.

For ten years, Paul was primarily involved with high-school ministry, as teacher and student chaplain, first in the Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, N.J., (1970-75) and then at Cheverus High in Portland, Maine, in the course of which he earned a master’s degree in religious-education degree in summers at Fordham. In 1980, he sought a change and spent a year doing clinical-pastoral training at a well regarded program in Methuen, Mass. The rest of his active ministry was spent in more directly pastoral work, first, in New Mexico, where he worked in a parish in Gallup (1982-84) and then as pastor and prison chaplain in San Mateo (1984-85). The ministry he liked most though, in part because it was culturally challenging, was the eight years he spent at the Passamaquoddy Indian Reservation, at Pleasant Point, Maine (1985-93).

In 1993, feeling he had had enough of living by himself, he moved to Campion Center, where he served as assistant minister, worked in a number of parishes, helped the Marianists in nearby Framingham with their ministry to priests, continued to chaplain the association of his former infantry buddies, and for several years wrote the obituaries of deceased New England Jesuits. He kept active between bouts of illness even as he turned 90, playing the drums and doing stand-up comedy at Jesuit Community entertainments. His gentle, patient personality persisted to the end. As spring arrived in 2016, he weakened noticeably. He died peacefully in the early evening of May 28, 2016.


Wed., June 1, 2016  
3:00-5:00 p.m. (Prayer Service at 4:30 p.m.) 
Campion Center
319 Concord Road 
Weston, Mass.
Thurs., June 2, 2016  
10:00 a.m.                 
Campion Center
Campion Center Cemetery

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