WASHINGTON, D.C. -Two Catholic priests who have served as chaplains in the United States Military were honored Thursday night, Sept. 22, at the annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner at the Seaport World Trade Center in the Archdiocese of Boston, Mass. Msgr. John Patrick McDonough, a retired Chief of Chaplains in the United States Air Force, and Father Sinisa Ubiparipovic, a chaplain in the Massachusetts National Guard, were among four Archdiocesan priests featured in a video tribute premiered at the dinner.
Msgr. McDonough, 88, served as a U.S. Air Force chaplain from 1963 to 1991. During the last three years of that time, he served as Chief of Chaplains, holding the rank of major general. After his retirement from the military, and following many years of pastoral and administrative service in the Archdiocese of Boston, Msgr. McDonough is now quietly living out his vocation among his brother priests at Regina Cleri, the senior priest residence.
Father Ubiparipovic, 29, a native of Bosnia-Herzegovina, has served in the Massachusetts National Guard for the past three years, first as a chaplain candidate, then as a chaplain. He recently went on inactive status to devote his full time and energies to pastoral work at St. Paul and Resurrection Parishes in Hingham, Mass., where, as parochial vicar, he leads a new youth ministry program that he himself established, rooted in the sacraments and mercy of Christ Jesus.
The Thursday night dinner, hosted by Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston, was attended by hundreds of faithful. Both Msgr. McDonough and Father Ubiparipovic responded to the recognition of their service with characteristic humility.
Msgr. McDonough said: “I suggested to Cardinal O’Malley that there are many priests in the Archdiocese more deserving of this honor than me. What we are doing is what we have been called to by Christ, and that is our reward–that we will meet Him, that He will reward us in heaven by his presence.” Commenting on his long military career, Msgr. McDonough added, “It was following the wishes of the Cardinal to meet the needs of those who were in the military service, and that was why I was allowed to stay in so long. The Archdiocese has always tried to meet the spiritual needs of those who serve.”
Father Sinisa Ubiparipovic with Mrs. Rita Gill, a supporter of the Archdiocese of Boston, at the Celebration of the Priesthood dinner in Boston, Mass., on Sept. 22, 2016.
Father Ubiparipovic said: “It’s not about me, it’s about the church. If what we are doing in Hingham contributes in some way to the vision of what evangelization ought to be, then I’m very happy to contribute to that vision.”
Born and raised in St. Peter’s Parish in Dorchester, Mass., Msgr. McDonough grew up in an Irish Catholic family and entered the seminary from Boston College High School at age 16. He was ordained a priest in 1952. During his 28 and a half years in the Air Force, Msgr. McDonough earned numerous military honors for outstanding service, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal. Following his 1991 retirement from the military, Msgr. McDonough returned to the Archdiocese of Boston, where he pursued his priestly vocation at both at the parish level and in central administration before moving to Regina Cleri.
Father Ubiparipovic was born in the former Yugoslavia, now Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was just six years old in 1992 when the Bosnian War broke out. He and his family moved to Germany, and eventually, they came to the U.S., settling in Lynn, Mass. In 2008, while studying at Bentley University, Father Ubiparipovic attended a youth rally in New York with Pope Benedict XVI that changed his life and opened his heart to the priesthood. A year later, he enrolled in St. John’s Seminary after graduating from Bentley University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting/Liberal Studies, and he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in May of 2015.
The tribute video, shown for the first time in public at the Celebration of the Priesthood dinner, builds on the theme of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, inspiring a deeper understanding of, and appreciation for, the priesthood among Catholics. The four priests are presented as living channels of God’s mercy through their vocations.
Besides Msgr. McDonough and Father Ubiparipovic, the video profiles Father John MacInnis, whose parish has opened a soup kitchen and keeps the Church doors open all day; and Father Adrian Milik, who visits prisons and provides spiritual healing and hope to inmates.
Watch the video at https://vimeo.com/184008998.