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Two Catholic priests in Boston area die after coronavirus infection

Rev. Emilio S. Allué, retired Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, died April 26 after becoming seriously ill with COVID-19.Judith Sargent Photography/The Pilot)

Two Catholic priests have died after contracting the new coronavirus, according to reports from the Archdiocese of Boston.

The Rev. Emilio S. Allué, retired Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, passed away April 26 after becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, according to an article in The Boston Pilot. He was 85 years old.

The Rev. Francis J. McGann, 95, who was a longtime fixture at St. Joseph Parish in Needham, died after a "recent hospitalization due to the COVID-19 virus,” the Rev. Peter L. Stamm said in a e-mail message to St. Joseph parishioners on April 24.

“Monsignor McGann lived for decades in ‘retirement’ at St. Joseph Parish, although you would never know that he was retired at all,” Stamm said in the message. “He so thoroughly devoted himself to our parish — through the celebration of Mass, hearing confessions, visiting the sick, attending every school play and musical, and simply offering an ear to listen to anyone, at any time of the day or night. He was a mentor, friend, and shining example to so many of his fellow priests, who benefited from his wisdom and camaraderie.”

McGann grew up in Woburn and was ordained in 1949.


In a 2018 interview with the Globe, McGann recalled the day when he got his first assignment. He looked down at the paper and it said St. Brendan’s in North Bellingham. “Somebody started to snicker, and everybody else started to laugh,” he said.

“I had to get a road map to find out where it was,” he said.

McGann went on to serve at parishes in Walpole, Dorchester, and Cambridge, as well as St. Paul’s Parish in Hingham, St. Patrick’s in Lynn, and St. Eulalia’s in Winchester.

McGann was a monsignor and a well-known figure at St. Joseph’s, where he had held the title of senior priest in residence since 1995.


“I think they look upon me as a relic,” McGann joked in the 2018 Globe interview.

When asked what keeps him going, McGann said there’s “a need for me there, and I enjoy what I’m doing."

Allué was born in Huesca, Spain, on Feb. 18, 1935, and was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 22, 1966, according to the Pilot.

Between 1981 and his appointment in 1996 as auxiliary of the archdiocese, Allué served in various pastoral and educational assignments in New Jersey, Florida, and New York. He retired as auxiliary bishop in June 2010 and remained in residence at St. Theresa of Avila rectory in West Roxbury from 2008 to 2018, when he moved to Regina Cleri, a residence for senior priests of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.