He wasn't raised in a religious home, but next week longtime Sacred Heart Parish and St. Brigid Parish pastor, Rev. Arnold Colletti, will celebrate his 50th anniversary as a priest.
On Thursday, Feb. 2, he will mark his 50th anniversary as a priest and on Sunday, Feb. 5, he will celebrate a Mass held in his honor at 1 p.m. in St. Brigid Church.
A reception will be held afterwards in Keilty Hall featuring sacred music sung by the joint choirs of the St. Brigid and Sacred Heart parishes and a slide show depicting the highlights of Colletti's 50 years as a priest.
Colletti was born in Braintree into a nonreligious home, but was baptized at the age of 7 after a babysitter suggested it, according to a press release by the Lexington Catholic community announcing his priesthood anniversary.
His parents were split on his desire to become a priest, but by the time he was ordained in 1962 his mother and father had converted to Catholicism and attended Mass the rest of their lives, Colletti said in the press release.
Colletti earned a master's of religious education degree from Loyola University in 1970 and a doctorate in education from Boston University in 1980.
By then, Colletti had already served at both Sacred Heart and St. Brigid parishes from 1972 to 1976. He served at St. Brigid from 1976 to 1984 before serving as pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Malden from 1984 to 1994. He returned to Sacred Heart as pastor in 1994 and has remained there ever since. In 2005, he also became pastor at St. Brigid.
Colletti said he has many memories and friends in Lexington, and his faith has been bolstered by the privilege of sharing in the faith of parishioners.
"We have a mission, and with the grace of God and his spirit we will find these times are filled with grace," Colletti said.