Obituary: Father Francis M. Glynn, former pastor in Allston
For several years, he had been valiantly fighting cancer. On April 5, that heroic battle ended when Father Francis M. Glynn died at Regina Cleri Residence, Boston. He had waged the battle for life exhausting every possible means, enduring in some cases pain more severe than the effects of the disease itself. When the normal treatments were exhausted, he volunteered for multiple experimental treatments. His friends say his determination and those treatments gave him at least an additional five years of life.
That life began on Sept. 22, 1944, when he was born to John and Jane (Kelly) Glynn in Boston. He and his two siblings were raised in St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Jamaica Plain, where he attended both the parish elementary and high schools. He entered the archdiocesan seminaries, first at Cardinal O'Connell -- just a few blocks away from his home -- and then across Boston to philosophy and theology at St. John, Brighton.
On May 23, 1970, Boston's then senior auxiliary Bishop Jeremiah F. Minihan ordained him and his classmates at Holy Cross Cathedral. Richard Cardinal Cushing had been slated to celebrate the ordination but his advancing illnesses prevented his doing so.
Following his ordination, he was assigned to St. Peter, Lowell, and then to St. Theresa of Lisieux Parish, Billerica, and, in the following years, all of his assignments would be to archdiocesan parishes -- each very different from the other. From Billerica, he went to Saugus' St. Margaret of Antioch; then, to St. Ann in Boston's Neponset section.
When the need for priests who spoke Portuguese became pressing, Frank took up the challenge and learned and mastered it, and in the following years, he would be assigned to parishes with significant Portuguese, Brazilian, and Cape Verdean populations. All three would be named for the Portuguese saint claimed as theirs by both Portuguese and Italians: St. Anthony of Padua.
His first St. Anthony was to the Portuguese personal parish in East Cambridge, where he was parochial vicar for three years (1992-1995); in 1995, Bernard Cardinal Law named him pastor at St. Anthony of Padua (Portuguese) parish in Lowell, where he served for almost the next decade.
In 2004, he went to Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted, Waltham, as parochial vicar. In one of his initial appointments since being named to the College of Cardinals, Cardinal O'Malley named him pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Boston's Allston section. During that time, he ministered to a rapidly increasing Portuguese speaking community as well as tending to the longtime residents of the area. He also served briefly as administrator of Our Lady, Waltham, in 2008.
He served in Allston for a bit over 12 years before being named a senior priest in September 2018. He moved to Regina Cleri Residence then.
A very outgoing and gregarious man, he was well liked in parishes he served and by brother priests at Regina Cleri.
Father Glynn's funeral Mass was celebrated April 13, 2022, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Allston. Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley was the principal celebrant and Father Paul E. Kilroy, chaplain at Regis College and a classmate of Father Glynn was the homilist. Among those who indicated they would be concelebrating the funeral Mass were friends and classmates, including Father Charles Bourke, senior priest, St. Agnes, Arlington; Father John Mulloy, Regina Cleri, Boston; and Father Paul Sughrue, senior priest, St. Bridget, Lexington.
"I have known Frank for almost 60 years, from the first days at Cardinal O'Connell. I am really a better man and priest for having known him and been his friend," said Father Kilroy.
Father Glynn is survived by his brother Philip of Dedham.
Following the funeral Mass, Father Glynn was buried in Highland Cemetery, Norwood.