Obituary: Father Daniel D. Magni served as pastor in Lowell

A son of the Garden City, Newton, and one of the 10 children of the late Daniel and Margaret (Bradley) Magni, Father Daniel D. Magni died at Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, on Sept. 19, 2022. Born Aug. 7, 1939, and raised in Newton's Nonantum section, Father Magni attended both the elementary and high schools of his home parish, Our Lady Help of Christians.

In 1996, at the time of his appointment as pastor in Lowell, he told The Pilot that there were several inspirations to his religious vocation: his family, the Sisters of St. Joseph at his home parish, and several priests of his home parish: its pastor, the late Msgr. Walter Furlong, the late Msgr. James Tierney, and the late Father John McNally.

Father Magni's first vocation was as a Xaverian Brother. He entered their novitiate in Phoebus, Va., after graduation from high school and was for 17 years a member of that teaching order of Brothers and known as Brother Anselm, CFX. Following initial undergraduate studies and his profession, he was assigned to St. Joseph School, New Milford, N.J., and then to St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, N.J. He attended both Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J., and Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, N.J., from which he received a master's degree in English; he was assigned to St. John Preparatory School, Danvers. His first years there also involved his living among the resident students at "the Prep." His subsequent assignments were to Malden Catholic and St. John High School, Shrewsbury.

In 1974, after prayer and advice, he entered Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary for preparation for the priesthood in the archdiocese. He always sensed that he might want to be a priest and finally acted on it. Humberto Cardinal Medeiros ordained him to the diaconate at Pope St. John on April 2, 1977, and to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 20, 1978.

During the next 18 years, he would be assigned to several archdiocesan parishes and also be much drawn to contemplative life, and was granted lend-lease assignments to several different monasteries and abbeys of the Benedictine order, both in the United States and Canada.

His parish assignments were St. Catherine of Siena, Norwood (1978-1979); St. Mary, Holliston (1980-1981); Immaculate Conception, Marlborough (1981-1982); St. Mary, Winchester (1985-1986); St. John the Evangelist, Beverly, (1987-1990); Blessed Sacrament, Saugus (1992-1994); and Holy Name, West Roxbury (1995-1996).

His monastic assignments were at Glastonbury, Hingham (1982-1985, 1986-1987, 1990-1992, 1994-1995); Mount Saviour, Pine City, N.Y.; and Gethsemani Abbey, Trappist, Ky.

His longest and, as he always admitted, his favored assignment was as pastor of St. Rita, Lowell. Cardinal Bernard Law appointed him there on Sept. 17, 1996, and he remained until Cardinal O'Malley accepted his request for senior priest status in 2010. While at St. Rita, he also served as vicar forane of Vicariate II or the Merrimack Region (2007-2010).

During his service as pastor in Lowell, he managed the upgrading of parish facilities and also the spiritual lives of his parishioners.

After his retirement in 2010, he continued to be available to parishes, assisting both weekdays and Sundays. He also determinedly lived in his own residence in Canton, but kept up contact with family and friends he had made over the years. Unassuming and ever the gentleman, he was well loved by people and admired by fellow priests.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley was the principal celebrant of Father Magni's funeral Mass at Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Newton, on Sept. 28. Father Albert Capone, administrator of Immaculate Conception Parish in Malden served as the homilist.

Father Magni is survived by six of his nine siblings: Ellen Graf, Newton; Bernadette Cassell, Rocky Point, N.Y.; Cathleen Shiel, Phoenix, Ariz.; John, Newton; and Paul, Arlington.

Following the funeral Mass, Father Magni was buried in the Magni Family Lot at Calvary Cemetery, Waltham.