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Obituary: Father James F. Lanergan dies at 80


Father James F. Lanergan Pilot file photo

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A Boston native, Father James F. Lanergan was born on May 20, 1934 a son of the late James and Ellen (Campbell) Lanergan. Following seminary formation at archdiocesan seminaries, he was ordained to the priesthood at Holy Name Church, West Roxbury on Feb. 2, 1961 by Auxiliary Bishop Jeremiah F. Minihan.

Between ordination and January 1973 he served as an assistant or associate at six archdiocesan parishes: Blessed Sacrament, Jamaica Plain (1961-1965); St. Bartholomew, Needham (1965-1966); Most Holy Redeemer, East Boston (1966-1968); St. Pius Tenth, Milton (1968-1969); St. Theresa of Lisieux, Revere (1969-1972) and St. Mary, Quincy (1972-1973).

In 1973 he was appointed Director of the Archdiocesan union of Holy Name Societies and of the Archdiocesan Sodalities and in 1974 as State Chaplain of the Daughters of Isabella. He served in those three positions full-time until his appointment in 1979 as administrator of Holy Trinity (German) Parish in Boston's South End. During this time he also served as chaplain of St. Margaret Hospital, Dorchester (1981-1985). He was granted a Master of Education from Boston State College in 1973 and a Master in Business Administration from Anna Maria College in Paxton in 1985.

He was named pastor of St. Stephen Parish, Framingham in 1985 and as parochial vicar of St. Peter Parish, Plymouth (1987-1991).

During the next 11 years, he served as chaplain at the Massachusetts Correction Institute in Bridgewater and was in residence first at St. Ann, West Bridgewater and later at St. Mary, Plymouth. In October 2002 he was named administrator of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Rochester and served there until his retirement in June 2006 when he was granted senior priest retirement status.

In retirement he lived in the Manomet section of Plymouth and was a regular and welcome "assistant" to the pastor.

South regional Bishop John Dooher was the principal celebrant of Father Lanergan's Funeral at St. Bonaventure Church, Plymouth on Feb. 6. Among the concelebrants were the parish pastor, Father Kenneth Overbeck who also served as homilist; as well as priest friends including: Father John "Jerry" Shea; Father John Schatzel; Father Donald Clifford and Father Allan Butler.

Following the Funeral Mass, Father Lanergan was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, Plymouth.

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