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Obituary: Father Joseph T. Rothwell Jr. dies at age 87


Father Joseph T. Rothwell Jr. Pilot file photo

Father Joseph T. Rothwell Jr. passed to the Lord Oct. 20 at Marian Manor in South Boston. He was 87 years old.

Born June 25, 1925 in Dorchester, he was one of four children of Joseph T. and Nora (Allen) Rothwell. He was the brother of Mary Jensen and the late Margaret Kelliher and Charles Rothwell.

Father Rothwell studied for the priesthood at St. Mary College Seminary in Maryland and St. John's Seminary in Brighton, and was ordained on Jan. 10, 1952 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross by Cardinal Richard J. Cushing.

Father Rothwell held numerous assignments in his more than 47 years of priestly ministry including: assistant pastor St. Christine Church, Marshfield (January 1952); assistant pastor St. Mary Church, Billerica (October 1952); assistant pastor St. Michael Church, Lowell (February 1957); assistant pastor St. Jude Church, Waltham (April 1957); assistant pastor St. Joseph Church, Lincoln (February 1959); chaplain of the Dominican Convent in Plainville (September 1959); assistant pastor St. Paul Church, Hingham (February 1961); assistant pastor St. Joseph Church, Hyde Park (June 1961); assistant pastor St. Philip Church, Boston (July 1962); resident St. Michael Church, Hudson (October 1963); assistant pastor St. Michael Church, Hudson (May 1965); assistant pastor Infant Jesus Church, Brookline (June 1972); associate pastor St. William Church, Dorchester (October 1977).

He was granted senior priest/ retirement status on Nov. 22, 1999 by Cardinal Bernard Law and became a resident of the archdiocese's Regina Cleri residence for retired priests. In January 2007 he became a resident of Marian Manor.

Father Rothwell was to lie in state at the chapel of Regina Cleri Oct. 25. His funeral Mass was to be celebrated by Bishop Robert Hennessey Oct. 26 at St. Joseph Church in the West End, with interment to follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury.

He is survived by his sister, Mary Jensen of Natick, and several nieces and nephews.