Obituary: Father Gregory J. Mercurio, former pastor in Marlborough, Lynn
Following a struggle with corticobasal degeneration, a progressive deterioration in sections of the brain resulting in memory loss and loss of motor and coordination functions, Father Gregory J. Mercurio died in Wareham on Sept. 6, 2023.
Father Mercurio was born in Montauro, Catanzaro, Calabria, Italy, on March 26, 1949. He was a son of the late Giuseppe and Angelina Mercurio. The family immigrated to the United States when he was six years old and settled in Boston's North End. He attended Christopher Columbus High School there and entered St. Francis Seraphic Seminary in Andover in preparation for the priesthood. A seminarian for the Immaculate Conception Province of the Friars Minor (Franciscans), he completed philosophy and theology studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Troy, N.Y., and at St. John Seminary, Brighton.
Fellow friar and former bishop of San Miguel, El Salvador, Bishop Lawrence M. Graziano, OFM, ordained him to the priesthood at St. Leonard of Port Maurice Church in Boston's North End on Nov. 8, 1980.
Following ordination, he was appointed associate at St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish; and in 1982, he was named associate at St. Ann (Italian) Parish in Marlborough. In 1983, he was named pastor of the Marlborough parish.
From 1991 to 1996, he was parochial vicar at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Winthrop.
On Sept. 20, 1996, he became a priest of the archdiocese with his incardination by Bernard Cardinal Law. Two months later, the cardinal named him administrator of Holy Family (Italian) Parish, Lynn.
Folks in his parishes were unanimous in acclaiming his kindness and availability, and, not surprisingly, in the Italian parishes, his facility in Italian. Priests in the cities where he served saw another side of his Italian heritage, his expert preparation and serving of lunches and dinners, both as a side of a meeting or just as a come for a meal.
He served at the Lynn parish for 19 years, and for four of those years (2013-2017), he was also the administrator of the local territorial parish, St. Pius Fifth. When he left Lynn in 2017, he returned to familiar territory in Marlborough, now as parochial vicar of Immaculate Conception Parish.
In August 2019, he was granted senior priest retirement status. He continued to assist as he was able in parishes, though his declining health eventually made that impossible.
Father Mercurio's funeral was celebrated at Holy Family Church, Lynn, on Sept. 11, 2023. His friend from his Marlborough years, Father Marc J. Bishop, now pastor of St. Agnes Parish and of St. Camillus Parish, both in Arlington, was the principal celebrant and homilist. Archdiocesan Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia Bishop Mark O'Connell presided at the funeral Mass and brought the condolences of Cardinal O'Malley and the archdiocese to Father Mercurio's family; he also celebrated the Final Commendation.
Among those joining Father Bishop as concelebrants were Msgr. Paul V. Garrity, senior priest; Father Stephen Salocks, rector, St. John Seminary, Brighton; Father John Ronaghan, St. Teresa of Calcutta, Boston; and Father Mark Derrane, Holy Family (Italian) and St. Pius Fifth, Lynn. Also present were Deacons William Jackson of Holy Family, and Louis Piazza of Andover.
Father Mercurio's immediate survivors are his two sisters: Liberata Scimemi, Revere; and Rose Oliveri, Saugus. Following the funeral Mass, Father Mercurio was buried in Woodland Cemetery, Everett.