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December 29, 2012

A look back at 2012, bittersweet for some area congregations

The year 2012 was bittersweet for area congregations, as some area churches celebrated the anniversary of their founding, while others bid farewells to long-time spiritual leaders.

The Rev. Jack Daniel retired after 35 years as pastor of Free Christian in Andover. Also losing its pastor was Christ Church when the Rev. Jeffrey Gill was called to serve in Seattle. He was pastor at the church for 10 years.

Here are other transitions during 2012:

The Rev. Kevin Deeley, a Navy commander, was named pastor at St. Michael Church in North Andover. Deeley, a priest since 1974, replaced the Rev. John W. Delaney, who was named pastor of Sacred Hearts Parish in Bradford and the Rev. Paul T. Keyes, who retired. The Rev. Jerry Hogan, who was ordained along with Deeley, moved to Florida for health reasons. St. Michael is the largest parish in the Archdiocese of Boston with 5,100 families.

Before coming to North Andover, he was temporary administrator at St. Raphael Parish in Medford for two months and before that, was filling in at St. Pius parish in Lynn. He has also served in Dorchester and Brookline and was a chaplain at his alma mater, Matignon High School.

Deeley also worked in the Personnel Office of the Archdiocese of Boston offering support to fellow priests dealing with personal issues.

In 1995, he joined the U.S. Navy and for the next 16 years served as a chaplain ministering to sailors, Marines and their families around the world. One of his assignments was in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2006 with the 5th Marine Regiment. Deeley served in Japan on three different assignments as well as Italy and aboard ships including the USS George Washington and USS Blue Ridge.

The Rev. Jonathan Paul had led worship services at Osgood Landing in North Andover, the satellite campus of Free Christian, before being named senior pastor of the church.

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