Wishing Monsignor William Cuddy ‘Fair Winds, and Following Seas’

Courtesy image (c) St. MIchael Parish, all rights reserved 2019

By Julie McCay Turner

Monsignor William Cuddy, in full military regalia – Courtesy image (c) all rights reserved

The faithful at St. Michael Parish bid a fond adieu to Monsignor William Cuddy last week. After a five-year assignment as Administrator and Pastor in Bedford, Msgr. Cuddy will be posted to Hanscom Air Force Base.

Msgr. Cuddy’s strong leadership brought the Parish to a sound footing, through commitment and hard work to resolve fiduciary and infrastructure goals. During the farewell celebration, there were references to his hands-on approach to problem solving, including shoveling snow from the church roof.

Courtesy image (c) St Michael Parish, 2019 all rights reserved

A few days after the party an image of Msgr. Cuddy on a ladder outside the church to fix a low-hanging cable circulated on the Parish’s social media.

The party drew a cross-section of parishioners, from parents with infant twins to long-time members, and the guests filled the Parish Hall. Guests were treated to a delicious dinner (Dianne Boebel’s steak tip secrets are thought to include Ken’s Zesty Italian Dressing and skilled hands at the grill!) along with heartfelt speeches.

G.J. Baratta thanked Msgr. Cuddy for his infrastructure improvements: a new roof, the floor in the parish hall, painting the rectory, and shoveling snow from the roof after serious storms. “He’s not afraid to pitch in,” said Baratta, “but is also an excellent dancer, a perfectionist who is a softie inside, and [a pastor] truly dedicated to those he serves.”

O.C. O’Connor spoke to Msgr. Cuddy’s service to his country, “He enlisted in 1967, long before his ordination as a priest in 1979.” With service in both the US Navy and the Marines, Captain Cuddy was the 8th Chaplain of the US Coast Guard, serving from 2006 until 2010.

Presenting a small gift on behalf of the Knights of Columbus, Mike O’Shaughnessy said, “Monsignor has been a friend and guiding light to us all.”

Drawing the evening’s loudest round of applause, Msgr. Cuddy spoke of change — how it comes more naturally to members of the Armed Forces, noting that in 20 years, he filled 12 assignments. He also spoke of his training, “To observe, evaluate, and then decide [on a course of action,]” and thanked the community for its response to capital campaigns to resurface the driveway and parking lot and provide other infrastructure improvements.

There was a touch of teasing about the chains that block access from Concord Road to Liljegren Way, but Msgr. Cuddy explained that on a single day nearly 300 cars took the shortcut, and not all were driving carefully. “It’s a matter of safety to me,” said the Msgr., “I don’t want to have to make the call if some knucklehead plows into a car in our parking lot.”

In a final message delivered in the June 2 Sunday Bulletin, Msgr. Cuddy wrote, “You are one of the richest blessings God has provided to me and I pray that our Father will continue to enrich your hearts. I only ask that you continue to pray for me and I will do the same too.”

Beginning on Saturday, June 1, Fr. Kevin Toomey will take the reins at St. Michael Parish. According to the Bulletin, “Fr. Kevin will officially join us beginning Saturday, June 1, and will celebrate all Masses that weekend. So that we may all have the opportunity to meet our new Pastor, we will have a coffee reception after the 10 AM Family Mass on Sunday, June 2, as well as after the daily Mass on Monday, June 3. Please join us!”

Faces in the Crowd


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