Rev. Kilmartin, at 50; revived St. Joseph-St. Lazarus Church

April 21, 2010
By

Reverend John Kilmartin, F.D.P., a man credited with awaking a parish that was sleepily heading into extinction, has died. Rev. Kilmartin, pastor of St. Joseph-St. Lazarus Church in East Boston passed away on Saturday, April 17 following a brief illness. He was 50 years old.

Ten years ago Rev. Kilmartin came to St. Joseph-St. Lazarus Church and found a parish in need of life. His youth and passion for the parish was unmatched and he was the man many say began a rebirth at the parish that had seen its school close, convent vacated and mass participation dwindle dramatically.

Rev. Kilmartin’s dedication to the church and his parishioners was evident in an increase of church activities and participation by decades end.

So it was no surprise that when he suffered a major heart attack last month, parishioners came out by the hundreds to hold a vigil for their beloved and compassionate Parish Priest.

Bishop Robert Hennessey oversaw that vigil Mass that included songs, readings, stories and a touching homily from Bishop Hennessey about his friend and fellow clergyman.

For many, words cannot describe the loss of one of East Boston’s most beloved Parish Priests.

Rev. Kilmartin was born in Scotland on February 1,1960. He studied in England, Ireland and Rome and was ordained a Don Orione Father in June 1986 in his native parish in England.

In 1987 he was assigned to be a Rector of the Madonna Queen of the Universe National Shrine in East Boston.

Then, in November 2000, Rev. Kilmartin was installed as pastor of St. Joseph-St. Lazarus Church where he served with dedication and devotion.

He has also served as a Consulate of Missionary Delegation Mother of the Church and for many years as the Chaplain for the House of Correction in Sharon and Middleton.

Rev. Kilmartin was the son of Hannah “Ann” (Smillie) Kilmartin and the late William Kilmartin of England; Brother of Clive Kilmartin of England and the late Michael Kilmartin and his wife, Tracey, and their daughter Lisa of England.

A Funeral Mass with his Excellency Bishop Robert F Hennessey will be celebrated on Saturday, April 24 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Joseph-St. Lazarus Church.

Visiting Hours will be held in the Church on Friday April 23 from 3-8 p.m.

Memorial Donation may be made to his adored St. Joseph- St. Lazarus Parish.

  • Teresa McCann-Tumidajski

    Father John Kilmartin was a man of many gifts which he shared lavishly. I will always remember him as a man of great wit and great piety. I am certain the Our Lord is delighting fully in the magnificence of
    Fr. John.

    My condolences to his family.

    Teresa McCann-Tumidajski
    Cape Elizabeth, Maine

  • Sistermccann

    I will always love my dear brother in Christ, Father John Kilmartin. We studied theology of the religious life together in Rome and he used to say: “My dear Margaret, you are the sister I never had and I rejoice to have found you. Never change, my dear, unless it's for the better.” He was a brilliant priest with a love for everyone he ever met. How he could laugh, until his eyes filled with tears! He had a streak of mischief yet was one of the most compassionate young priests I ever knew. This world is not the same without him. My prayers go out to all of his dear family.

    Best Wishes,
    Sister Margaret (“Meg”) McCann

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