By Yadira Betances
---- — METHUEN — In his 59 years as a priest, William J. McNaughton has had many prominent assignments such as the founding bishop of the Diocese of Inchon, Korea. Another memorable experience was attending the Second Vatican Council just a year after being named a bishop.
Pope Benedict XVI invited McNaughton for the opening celebrations of the Year of Faith commemorating the 50th anniversary of Vatican II.
On Monday, McNaughton, 85, will talk about both experiences at the luncheon speaker series at St. Theresa Church of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 22 Plymouth St. The event is free, but donations are welcome.
“It was a pleasant surprise when I received the invitation from his Holiness,” McNaughton said. In August, Pope Benedict XVI sent him a letter inviting McNaughton to the opening ceremonies of the anniversary. There are only 70 bishops still living out of the 2,600 who attended Vatican II and McNaughton was one 12 who attended. The Second Vatican Council met between Oct. 11, 1962 to Dec. 8, 1965 during four separate sessions all in St. Peter’s Basilica. McNaughton was a voting member during the council.
“That was unbelievable. I’ll never forget walking in the procession with more than 2,000 bishops, priests and others. It was a beautiful ceremony,” he said. McNaughton said the highlight of Vatican II was to examine the nature and mission of the Catholic Church. Among the changes brought about by the council includes major participation by the laity, celebrating Mass in the native language of the congregants instead of all Latin and having priests face the congregation instead of the altar.
”Vatican II wanted everyone to participate devoutly and knowingly,” he said. “The Mass is not simply what we look at, it’s the worship of God and when we go to Mass on Sundays, we’re there to offer ourselves to God,” he said.
Vatican II also allowed lay people to serve as readers and Eucharistic ministers, and to get involved in Charismatic renewal, marriage encounters and cursillos. There has also been some disadvantages such as less people going to confession and having less respect for the sanctity of life, he said.
“The Year of Faith is a way to concentrate on new evangelization reaching out to those who have lost their faith or whose faith is weak,” he said.
McNaughton said Pope Benedict is asking priests and religious education teachers to read the Vatican II documents and the Catechism. McNaughton was born in Lawrence one of five children. He grew up on Florence Avenue, Tower Hill and attended St. Augustine Grammar School. He graduated from Central Catholic High School. McNaughton was ordained a priest of the Catholic Foreign Missionary Society of America or Maryknolls in 1953. When he was named bishop of Inchon, Korea in 1961, he became one of the youngest bishops in the world. He served in Korea all of his priestly life until he retired in 2002. McNaughton lives in Methuen with his sister Ruth. For the past 10 years, he has offered Mass at the Monastery of St. Clare in Andover and is chaplain to the Knights of Columbus in Lawrence.
People of different faiths will gather to praise and thank God for all the blessings they have received this past year during ecumenical Thanksgiving services
Here is a partial list:
Andover: South Church, 41 Central St., Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. Clergy from Christian, Jewish and Muslim congregations will participate and the service includes the sharing of bread from each tradition. The Rev. Jon Paul, pastor at Free Christian Church preaches. Among other participating clergy are: Imam Telha Akkaya of Selimiye Mosque, Methuen; Rabbi Dr. Robert S. Goldstein, Temple Emanuel; Rev. M. Laura Hoke — Unitarian Universalist Congregation; Rev. Kit Lonergan, Christ Church; the Rev. John Zehring pastor of South Church; Sherry Tupper, Laura Weiss, Director of Music, and Linda Zimmerman all of South Church. Offering during the service benefits Neighbors in Need.
Hampstead Old Meeting House, 24 Emerson Ave., The Hampstead Historic District Commission hosts a Thanksgiving service Sunday at 4 p.m. The service features music, readings and prayers. Donations accepted for the Hampstead Area Ecumenical Food Pantry.
Londonderry: Londonderry United Methodist, 258 Mammoth Road: The Londonderry Clergy Association sponsors the service Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Participants are asked to bring canned goods for a local food pantry and donations will be taken for the Sonshine Soup Kitchen.
Georgetown: First Congregational, 7 Andover St., Ecumenical Thanksgiving prayer service with clergy from Georgetown and Haverhill area, Tuesday at 7 p.m.
North Andover: Trinitarian Congregational, 72 Elm St., members of the North Andover Clergy Association lead the services tomorrow at 7 p.m., with the Rev. Karekin Bedourian of St. Gregory Armenian Church preaching. A chorus made up of clergy will sing as well as musicians and singers from area churches.
North Parish Unitarian Universalist, 190 Academy Road, Rev. Lee Bluemel leads an intergenerational Thanksgiving service with the adult vocal and children’s choirs performing Sunday at 9 and 11 a.m.
Pelham: New England Pentecostal Church, 327 Gage Hill Road, the church hosts an ecumenical Thanksgiving service with members of St. Patrick Catholic and Pelham Congregational, Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Windham, Sisters of Mercy, Searles Road, Members of St. Matthew parish celebrate Mass with the Sisters at Ward Center.
Forest Street Church hosts recital
METHUEN — John Skelton performs an organ recital on the newly renovated 1898 organ at Forest Street Union Church, 15 Forest St., tomorrow at 4 p.m. The organ was repaired after a leather nut had broken and all others were deteriorating and needed to be fixed. The Festival of Trees Preservation grant gave Forest Street Union a $19,950 for the renovations. Skelton received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the New England Conservatory of Music. He also studied in Vienna. He was director of music at Maple Street Congregational Church in Danvers for 25 years before he retired. He taught organ at the University of New Hampshire and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Skelton is a trustee of the Methuen Memorial Music Hall .
A capella groups featured at Hannukah celebration
ANDOVER — A “Glee”-ful afternoon of a capella artists is the theme of this year’s community Hanukkah celebration, Dec. 2 at Temple Emanuel, 7 Haggetts Pond Road.
Concert at First Light 5773 begins at 3:30 p.m. featuring Gann Academy’s Shenaniganns of Waltham; Aleph Beats of Brown University and Honorable Menschen-an adult ensemble. There will be a complimentary latke bar and Hanukkah treats.
Cost is $9 to 18 or $40 for a family plan. For information, contact Michelle Soll at Merrimack Valley Jewish Federation at email@example.com.
Atkinson Congregational, 101 Main St., Atkinson: On Nov. 25, the church celebrates its 240th anniversary during the 10 a.m. worship service.
Corpus Christi parish at Holy Rosary, 35 Essex St., Lawrence: “Why Catholic” a course based on the Catechism, the Catholic church and scripture meets Mondays at 1 p.m. and Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Mass in Portuguese is celebrated tonight at 5:30 p.m. Polish Mass is Nov. 24 at 6:15 p.m.,
Chabad Lubavitch, 310 N. Main St., Andover: ”Kabbalah of You” A Guide to Unlocking Your Hidden Potential” Thursdays through Dec. 6, 7-8:30 p.m.
Church of the Transfiguration, 1 Hood Road, Derry: Members of the church and Etz Hayim Synagogue lead an interfaith discussion on the book, “Have a Little Faith,” Dec. 19 and Jan.16 at noon.
Christ Church, 25 Central St., Andover: The Rev. Jeff Gil leads his last worship service at the church tomorrow at 10 a.m.
Congregation Beth Israel, 501 S. Main St., Andover: School wide family and community shabbat service is Nov. 30 beginning with dinner at 6:30 p.m. The service includes blessings, songs with students helping lead Kabbalat sabbath services. Cost is $18 per family.
Faith Lutheran, 360 S. Main St., Andover: The Rev. John Heydenreich leads a “Walk through the Bible” study focusing on key stories and what do they mean, tomorrow and Nov. 24; Dec. 2 and 9, 5-6:30 p.m. Youth director Tom Schauer hosts “Tom’s Teen Time” for high school students to talk about topics and issues related to teens. The group is watch a film series on “The Hunter Games,” “The Avengers” and “The Way” for discussion and reflection on its Christian and social themes.
First Presbyterian, 346 Broadway, Haverhill: Book study is reading Rob Bell’s “Velvet Elvis” Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 9 a..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 every Thursday from 9:15 to 11:30 a.m.
Londonderry United Methodist, 258 Mammoth Road, Londonderry: Adult Sunday School class titled, “What Does it mean to be United Methodist” is Sundays at 10 a.m. The video series focuses on the roots of the United Methodist church and the Wesleyan heritage.
New Creation Healing Center, 80 Route 125, Kingston: Service focusing on the healing of the Father image is Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. There will also be prayers for people with physical and emotional needs.
North Parish Unitarian Universalist, 190 Academy Road, North Andover: The parish is sponsoring a study group on immigration as a moral issue Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Contact Deb Olander at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our lady of Good Counsel, 22 Plymouth St., Methuen: 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 meets Mondays through Nov. 19; Wednesdays to Nov. 28 and Thursdays to Dec. 6 all from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
St. Augustine, 43 Essex St., Andover: Catholicism series explores “Amazed and Afraid, the Revelation of God Become Man, Part 1,” beginning the week of Nov. 25, the series will be offered Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings.
St. Basil Salvatorian Center, East St., Methuen: Men’s evening of renewal is held on Monday 6 - 7:15 p.m. featuring supper, a time of sharing, prayer and song. Speaker will be Larry Giordano, who served on the October team. Monday liturgy follows at 7:30 p.m.
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, Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. An informal study of the Bible for mothers is held Tuesdays from 10-11 a.m
St. James, Winter Street, Haverhill: The Rev. John Walsh leads a Course on “My Life with the Saints” Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. City-wide youth Mass is Nov. 25 at 5 p.m.
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 Course on “My Life with the Saints” by the Rev. James Martin, Wednesdays at 9:45 a.m.
St. Jude, Mammoth Road, Londonderry: The book club discusses Mitch Albom’s “Five People You Meet in Heaven” Nov. 28 at 7 p.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. A six week preparation for a Marian consecration is held through 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. Matthew, 2 Searles Road, Windham: The Rev. Steve Marcoux leads the children Mass tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. He will have a homily and make a presenting a special sacramental to them. Also tomorrow at 1 p.m., Marcoux leads service of anointing with prayers, music of consolation and anointing with holy oil. Eyes on Jesus prayer group meets tonight, 5-6 p.m. to pray for families, local and global communities, the clergy and children with special needs.
St. Michael, 196 Main St., North Andover: The parish is hosting an opening celebration in the Merrimack Valley for the Year of the Faith. “Lord, Teach Us How to Pray” will be held today, 2-4 p.m. with Sister Marie Cooper. The session includes prayers Lectio Divina, examination of consciousness and prayer of petitions. For details or to sign up, contact Mary Ann McLaughlin or Ann Cussen at 1-617-779-3640.
St. Monica, 212 Lawrence St., Methuen: The Women’s prayer group meets Monday at 7 p.m. in the school’s music room. The Rev. Patrick Armano celebrates Mass in Latin Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. The newly formed Padre Pio Prayer group meets Wednesday beginning with Mass at 7 p.m., followed by rosary, chaplet of the divine mercy and benediction. Since Wednesday is the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, there will be a talk about Padre Pio and his love for Mary.
St. Patrick, 118 S. Broadway, Lawrence: Mass with the anointing of the sick is today at 4 p.m. “Life and Faith” adult faith formation series focusing on the sacraments will be held Thursdays from 7-8:30, through April. 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, 11 Main St., Pelham: The Teen Ministry presents a teaching Mass Nov. 18 at 10:30 a.m.
St. Peter Episcopal, 3 Peabody Row, Londonderry: Centering prayer group meets Wednesdays at 7 p.m. for silent prayer and contemplation.
St. Theresa of Our Lady of Good Counsel, 22 Plymouth St., Methuen: Mass in memory of those who have died in the past year is Nov. 27 at 7 p.m.
St. Thomas Aquinas, 26 Crystal Ave., Derry: Charismatic prayer group meets for praise, thanksgiving and love through the Holy Spirit, Mondays 7-8:30 p.m.
South Church, 40 Central St., Andover: 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 Emanu-El, 514 Main St., Haverhill: Bible study class discussing issues concerning Israel and the Middle East, Nov. 17 at noon. Adult education studies “Blessings and Gratitude” Nov. 18 at 9: 30 a.m. as part of the Global day of Jewish Learning. Topics includes Blessing the Bad: How do We Relate to Bad Things?, How can we possibly bless the Bad?” “Why do bad things happen to good people and should we be grateful for that?” as well as a topic exploring prayer.
Unitarian Universalist, 15 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill: The Rev. Frank Clarkson and Kimberly Cloutier Green lead “Tending the Sacred: Holy Longing, Holy Listening” using contemplative prayer and spiritual direction Nov. 28 and Dec. 5 9:30-11:30 a.m.; Nov. 27 and Dec. 11, 7-9 p.m.