NORTH ANDOVER - When the Rev. William F. Waters was a senior at St. Anselm College, he said he did not get senioritis.
“I was not anxious to leave because I loved the school,” he said.
It was at St. Anselm where he found his calling to the priesthood.
“There was one priest whom I talked to a great deal and a very interesting thing happened one night. I asked the Lord what he wanted me to do with my life and it hit me, this is what makes sense,” Waters said referring to the priesthood. “It seemed to fit, and after that I felt a sense of peace.”
Waters graduated from St. Anselm in 1965 with a degree in business and philosophy,and then joined the Augustinian order.
On Oct. 12, Waters will return to his alma mater to receive the Catholic Leadersip Award, which recognizes an alum who actively served their church or the greater Catholic community as clergy or lay person. Recipients are chosen by the Alumni Council Executive Committee. Awards are presented
during the Fall Awards Dinner Homecoming weekend.
“I was very surprised about the award, but very pleased and proud because of the fondness I have for St. Anselm and the church. This award bring those things together,” said Waters, a campus minister at Merrimack College and weekend assistant at St. Michael Church in North Andover. He added, “I really love the school and still do... It gave me the opportunity to gain self-confidence, get involved and make life-long friends.” Waters and 15 of his college buddies still get together twice a year.
Waters received a master’s degree in education from Villanova University and a master’s degree in theology from Washington Theological Union. He was ordained as an Augustinian priest on Aug. 28, 1971.
A native of Philadelphia, Waters has served parishes in Greater Lawrence since 1971, when he was assigned to St. Augustine Parish in Lawrence until 1975. He returned to St. Augustine as pastor from 1984 to 1993. He was vicar for the Lawrence vicariate from 1991 to 1993 and pastor of St. Mary-Inmaculada Concepcion Parish, 1997-2004. While at St. Mary in 2001, the church was named one of the 300 excellent parishes in the country by the Parish Congregation Study team led by Paul Wilkes. In 2004, Waters was named pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel, a parish created after the merger of St. Augustine in Lawrence and St. Theresa in Methuen.
Waters is a member of Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Boston and a board member of Mary Immaculate Health Care Services. He is former chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernian, Division 8, and the Massachusetts State chaplain of the Hibernians, Lawrence Police Department. He is a former board member of St. Anne Home in Methuen and the board of trustees of Lawrence Public Library.
Waters was named Irishman of the Year in 2004 and was grand marshal of the St. Patrick day parade in Lawrence in 2006.
In addition to the Merrimack Valley, he has served in Jamaica, N.Y., was vocation director for the east students at Augustinian College, and director of students at Augustinian College in Washington, D.C. for the students preparing for solemn vows and ordination.
Churches host blessing of the animals
People with furry, scaly or feathered friends are invited to church for a blessing, in honor of the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Here’s a partial list: Christ Church, 25 Central St., Andover, tomorrow at 4 p.m.; St. Andrew Episcopal, 90 Broadway, Methuen, tomorrow, 9:30 a.m.; St. David Episcopal, 231 Main St., Salem, tomorrow, 8 a.m.; St. John the Baptist, 110 Lincoln Ave., Haverhill, tomorrow at 2 p.m.; St. Paul Episcopal, 360 Main St., North Andover, tomorrow, 10 a.m.; St. Peter Episcopal, 3 Peabody Row, Londonderry, tomorrow, 10 a.m.; St. Thomas Aquinas, 26 Crystal Ave., Derry, tomorrow at noon.
All Saints, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill: St. Anthony’s fall devotion, Tuesdays 11 at 6 p.m. beginning with the rosary at 6 p.m., followed by devotions at 6:20 p.m. Educational workshop on “Death with Dignity Act” Oct. 11 7- 9 p.m. The question will be on the ballot and if passed in the November election, will legalize physician-assisted suicides in Massachusetts.
Christ Church, 25 Central St., Andover: Book discussion on “Healing the Heart of Democracy” by Parker Palmer begins Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. and every Wednesday in October.
Corpus Christi parish at Holy Rosary, 35 Essex St., Lawrence: “Why Catholic” a six-week course based on the Catechism, the Catholic church and scripture meets Monday at 1 p.m. and Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
East Hampstead Union, 225 E. Main St., E. Hampstead: Local performers participate in a Christian music concert Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. Reception follows. Donations accepted for the church’s Operating Fund.
Faith Luteran, S. Main St., Andover: Tom’s Teen Time discussion series is tomorrow at 11 a.m. the group will watch film series on “The Hunger Games,” “The Avengers” and “The Way” and what Christian and social themes are reflected in them.
First Church Congregational, 26 Pleasant St., Methuen: Women’s spiritual book club meets Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Island Pond Baptist, 26 N. Salem Road, Hampstead: Women’s Bible study, a DVD series discussing the works of noted Christian writer and speaker, Elisabeth Elliot begins Oct. 11 from 9:15 to 11:30 and every Thursday.
Holy Cross, Derry: Public Rosary rally to pray for the nation Oct. 13 at noon. This is part of a movement of more than 8,000 rallies across the U.S. to ask the Virgin Mary for help in guiding the nation.
Our lady of Good Counsel, 22 Plymouth St., Methuen: M.C. Sullivan, director of ethics for Covenant Health Systems discusses Question 2, physician assisted suicide, Wednesday at 7 p.m. Sullivan is a nurse, lawyer and ethicist and will which will be on the Nov. 6 ballot. Bible study focusing on “Year of Faith” as proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening Vatican II and the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The group will meet Mondays Oct. 8 through Nov. 19; Wednesdays Oct. 10 to Nov. 28 and Thursdays Oct. 18 to Dec. 6 all from 7 to 8:30 p.m.,
North Parish, 190 Academy Road, North Andover: People interested in learning more about the Unitarian Universalist sources and history can join the Rev. Lee Bluemel for an introductory class, Exploring Unitarian Universalism on Sundays, Oct.14, 21 and 28 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. to register, contact MembershipCoordinator@northparish.org.
Sacred Hearts, South Main St., Bradford: The Rev. John Delaney leads a video enrichment series on key elements of the Catholic faith beginning Oct. 11, 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Oct. 18, 25, Nov. 8 and 15.
St. Anne, 26 Emerson Ave., Hampstead: Bible study and praying with the scriptures Fridays at 7 p.m. “Seeking Christ,” an introduction to Jesus and the Catholic Church is an eight-week program for non-Catholics but want to know more about the Catholic Church, Tuesdays through Nov. 6.
St. Augustine, 43 Essex St., Andover: An eight-week guided prayer experience based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius is Wednesdays 7-8:15 p.m., through Nov. 7.
St. Christopher Episcopal, 189 East Road, Hampstead: The church is hosting “Rhythms of Grace” a worship and faith formation program for children with autism-spectrum disorder and other special needs, today at 2 p.m. and the first Saturday of the month.
San Damiano House of Prayer, 333 Pawtucket St., Lowell: Spiritual retreat for parents who have the death of a child of any age and by any cause is Oct. 27, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
St. Lucy, 254 Merrimack St., Methuen: Rachel Voiland presents “Themes in Scripture” Wednesdays, 7-8 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Topics are, “Covenant and Fidelity,” Oct. 10 and 12; “Grace and the Spirit of Adoption,” Oct. 17 and 19; “True Conversion and Repentance” Oct. 24 and 26 and “The Poor, Faithful Remnant,” Oct. 31 and Nov. 2.
St. Luke the Evangelist, 8 Atkinson Depot Road, Plaistow: Women’s breakfast and faith sharing Oct. 13, 9 to 11 a.m. It includes a pot-luck breakfast and Bible study for women called, “Courageous Love.”
St. James, Winter Street, Haverhill: Bishop Emilio Allue celebrates Mass Oct. 14 at 11:30 a.m., honoring the 11 years members of the parish Hispanic community have been bringing the Virgin Mary to the homes of many families. Reception follows at St. James School where five Mexican families lead the Rosary and continues with Mariachi music by Estrellas de Boston (Boston’s Stars) Free admission and food will be for sale. A new course on “My Life with the Saints” by the Rev. James Martin begins Oct. 16 at 7:15 p.m. The parish’s third annual 5 kilometer fun run and Rosary walk is Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. at St. James School Pancake breakfast follows. proceeds benefit Emmaus House, the Pregnancy Care Center and parish programs.
St. John the Baptist, 120 Lincoln Ave., Haverhill: Members of the Marian Society devoted to Our Lady of Fatima pray the Rosary Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. The Rev. John Walsh leads a new course on “My Life with the Saints” by the Rev. James Martin, Oct. 17 at 9:45 a.m.
St. Jude, 435 Mammoth Road, Londonderry: The parish offers instruction to adults with special needs so they can receive the sacraments, Wednesdays 7-8:15 a.m.
Sts. Mary and Joseph Parish, 40 Main St., Salem: The program, “Exploring the Catholic Faith” where participants reflect on the Sunday gospel and discuss it, will be offered Sundays, 7-8:30 p.m. through Easter. Padre Donahue, the priests whom the Honduran misssions team in salem works with in Honduras visits Oct. 27 and 28.
St. Matthew, 2 Searles Road, Windham: Prayer group meets Tuesdays at 9:15 a.m. to pray the Rosary in French and share the gospel. A six-week preparation for a Marian consecration is Oct. 18-Nov. 21, 7-8:30 p.m. The group will use the book, “33 Days to Morning Glory” handouts and DVD lessons by the Rev. Michael Gaitley. Cost is $15. To register, call the office.
St. Michael, 196 Main St., North Andover: Mass of anointing is celebrated Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. to welcome those who have difficulty coming to church due to age, illness or living in nursing homes, assisted living communities.
St. Monica, 212 Lawrence St., Methuen: The Rev. Patrick Armano celebrates Mass in Latin Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Rev. Albert MacPherson leads healing Mass Thursday at 7 p.m. Women’s prayer group meets Oct. 15 7-8 p.m. in St. Monica School.
St. Patrick, 118 S. Broadway, Lawrence: A series of catechesis for teenagers and adults takes place Mondays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. Talks focus on deepening or re-igniting one’s Catholic faith. “Life and Faith” adult faith formation series focusing on the sacraments will be held Thursdays from 7-8:30, Oct. 11, Nov. 8, Dec. 13, Feb. 21, March 14 and April 11. Bible study for people in their 20s and 30s meets weekly to discuss the Passion and Resurrection narratives of Jesus, Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m.
St. Patrick, 12 Main St., Plaistow: St. Patrick Men’s Club meets Oct. 13, 7:30 to 9 a.m. for breakfast and fellowship.
St. Peter Episcopal, 3 Peabody Row, Londonderry: Centring prayer group meets Wednesdays at 7 p.m. for silent prayer and contemplation.
South Church, 40 Central St., Andover: Members will have a spiritual blessing for the solar panels recently installed tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. Monday night prayer group meets 7-8:30 p.m. to listen to each other and God through silence, centering prayer and compline. Bible study on the Book of Acts meets Tuesday 2-3:15 p.m.
Temple Emanuel, 7 Haggetts Pond Road, Andover: Religious school offers the program, “Holiday Happenings,” Sundays, 9:15 to10:15 a.m. or 11:15 to 12:15 p.m. Dates are: Nov. 18; Jan. 6, 27; Feb. 10; March 17, 31 and May 5. The eight-weekworkshop is for pre-kindergarten students and their parents or grandparents. It features hands on holiday activities, artsand crafts, stories, singing and cooking. Children will learn their first Hebrew blessings. Cost is $150 for the first child;$110 for the second child and $75 for the third child. To register, contact the temple’s religious school.
Trinitarian Congregational, 72 Elm St., North Andover: The Rev. Rich Knight speaks on “Bridges to the World’s Great Religions” covering the basic beliefs and what Christians can learn from them, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m.
Unitarian Universalist, 15 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill: The Rev. Frank Clarkson and Kimberly Cloutier Green lead “Tendeing the Sacred: Holy Longing, Holy Listening” using contemplative prayer and spiritual direction Oct. 24, Nov. 7, 28 and Dec. 5 9:30-11:30 a.m. and Oct. 16, 30, Nov. 13, 27 and Dec. 11, 7-9 p.m.
West Parish , 129 Reservation Road, Andover: Tai Chi instructor, retired school librarian and world traveler shares her hike on the Camino de Santiago Oct. 11 at 8 p.m. She will talk about training and preparing for the pilgrimage, show photographs she took and recite haiku poems she wrote. The camino was one of the three main pilgrimages Christians in the medieval ages aspired to make. Those interested in joining the church can meet Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. On Oct. 21 the sermon focuses on the Massachusetts Death with Dignity act which will be on the statewide ballot in November.