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Staff Report

HARVARD — Change is afoot at Holy Trinity Parish, duly located on Still River Road in Harvard and on Main Street in Bolton. The Rev. Dennis O’Brien notified the congregation in the latest monthly bulletin he’s leaving at the end of June after five years leading the parish.

O’Brien leaves to entering a cloistered monastery known as the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, which is home to a community of Trappist Monks. The monastery at Saint Joseph Abbey in Spencer is the oldest Trappist community in the country. O’Brien will join the over 60 monks there, several of whom are priests and many are brothers, he wrote to the local parishioners.

“Goodbyes have never been easy for me,” O’Brien said. On June 18, O’Brien celebrates the 33rd anniversary of his ordination.

“I can honestly say that during these 33 years I have had marvelous assignments. I am deeply grateful to God for calling me to the priesthood, for enriching my life with so many wonderful people, and now for inviting me to deepen my relationship with Him in the context of a monastic community,” he said.

O’Brien’s final Masses will be celebrated at the parish’s St. Theresa of the Little Flower Church in Harvard and St. Francis Xavier Church in Bolton on the weekend of June 19 and 20.

The leadership of the Holy Trinity Catholic Parish will now fall to the Rev. Terence Kilcoyne, a Clinton native, who was appointed by Worcester Archdiocese Bishop Robert McManus. Kilcoyne officially starts July 1.

Kilcoyne was also ordained 33 years ago in September 1976. He was an associate pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Worcester until February 1982 when he became associate pastor of St. Paul’s Cathedral and soon after named a pro-synodal judge of the Diocesan Tribunal.

In 1985 he became associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Gardner and, a year later, director of Pastoral Services and Chaplain of St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester. In 1989 he received a Doctor of Ministry degree from the Graduate Theological Foundation at Notre Dame. In 1997, he began sabbatical studies at Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem. He served as temporary administrator of Our Lady of Jasna Gora Parish in Clinton, then was appointed pastor of St. Edward the Confesssor Parish in Westminster.