Published in the August 20, 2015 edition

NORTH READING — Rev. Thomas Gillespie, pastor of St. Theresa Church who has been on administrative leave since last February, has officially resigned.

Father Gillespie was put on leave by the Archdiocese of Boston after the receipt of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor in the late 1970s that was recently reported to the archdiocese. Gillespie was put on administrative leave without any public ministry pending the outcome of an investigation by the archdiocese, which has not been resolved.

Gillespie, was pastor at St. Theresa for 23 years. Gillespie said he resigned as pastor so the church can move forward in finding a permanent pastor, given the length of the canonical process.

Last Sunday’s St. Theresa church bulletin included the following communication from Father Gillespie:

“Due to the length of the canonical process and the desire for the parish community to move forward with more permanent pastoral leadership, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for the great sharing of our faith in Our Lord, attempting to do his work as a faith community and basking in the glow of his freely given graces.

“The kindnesses and friendship in Christ that we have shared together for 23 years are my life long treasure.”

Recently parishioners held a reception for Father Gillespie in a private home and wished him well and help him establish a new home.