Rev. Msgr. James E.'s Story

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Rev. Msgr. James E. Tierney, 92, passed away September 2, 2017, at his Regina Cleri residence. He was born on April 29, 1925, son of the late John A. and Ethel (Duffy) Tierney of Melrose. He grew up in the city attending Melrose Public Schools and graduated from High School in 1943. He was the brother of the late John A. Tierney, Jr. and his sister, Helen M. DeCoste, also of Melrose. He is survived by a niece, Marie Grazulis of Virginia and her son, Jeffrey Grazulis of New Hampshire.
He graduated from St. Clement’s Hall and St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass., and ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston on May 3, 1950, by Cardinal Richard J. Cushing. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Joseph’s Parish in Kingston, Mass. In September of 1951, he was appointed Secretary of the Tribunal in the Chancery Office of the Archdiocese. For 22 years he served in judicial offices in the Tribunal and later as a pro-synodal judge. During this period, he also assisted at Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Newton, Mass., and as a Chaplain to the Xavierian Brothers at Malden Catholic High School. In 1967, he was named a Monsignor by Pope Paul VI.
In September of 1973, Cardinal Humberto Medeiros appointed Msgr. Tierney pastor of Sacred Hearts Parish in Bradford, an assignment that was especially dear to him. During his 17-year pastorate, he re-organized the Religious Education Program and appointed its first Religious Education Coordinator. He also formed the first parent-teacher organization at Sacred Hearts School which was extremely instrumental in keeping the school from closing. While pastor of Sacred Hearts, he was very active in ecumenical programs in Haverhill and in civic activities including the Kiwanis Club. In October of 1990, Msgr. Tierney was appointed as Director of Regina Cleri and cared for the pastoral and material welfare of senior priests in residence at the retirement home for priests of the Archdiocese. For almost a decade he was Director of Senior Priests of the Archdiocese. He retired in 2009, at the age of 84 and remained at Regina Cleri as a resident in retirement until his death on Saturday, September 2, 2017.
In 2010, Cardinal Sean O’Malley honored Msgr. Tierney as a recipient of the Bishop Cheverus Award for a lifetime of service to the clergy and laity of the Archdioceses of Boston. He proudly served as a priest for 67 years.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend his calling hours on Tuesday, Sept. 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon at Regina Cleri, 60 William Cardinal O’Connell Way, Boston, and also later on Tuesday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Sacred Hearts Church, 165 South Main St. (Route 125), Bradford, MA. A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 11 a.m. at Sacred Hearts Church with Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley presiding. Interment will follow in the Elmwood Cemetery, Bradford. Arrangements are by the H.L. Farmer & Sons Funeral Homes, Bradford – Haverhill. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Sacred Hearts Parish, 48 So. Chestnut St., Bradford, MA 01835; or to Catholic Relief Services, 228 W. Lexington St., Baltimore, MD 21201-3443.
To share a memory or for more information, please visit www.farmerfuneralhomes.com.
Published on  September 5, 2017
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