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.