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Obituary: Father Vincent P. Von Euw, St. James Society missionary and pastor


Father Vincent P. Von Euw Pilot file photo

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Father Vincent P. Von Euw, a Boston native born Dec. 25, 1936 he was the twin of Eleanor (Von Euw) DePasquale; the twins had five older siblings, all of them deceased. The oldest, Father Charles K. Von Euw died at 46 in 1969; the other surviving sister, Mary Colarusso, died in Brockton on Dec. 15, 2017. Their parents Charles and Helen (O'Connor) Von Euw are both deceased.

Raised in Holy Name Parish in West Roxbury, Vincent attended the parish school and then Cathedral High School in Boston's South End. He entered the archdiocesan seminaries, first at Cardinal O'Connell in Jamaica Plain and then at St. John's, Brighton. Richard Cardinal Cushing ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 26, 1966.

From ordination until early 1973, he served as an assistant in two parishes: St. Mary, Plymouth and Immaculate Conception, Salem. He entered the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle in 1973 and spent the next 12 years in Peru. His missionary zeal and enthusiasm never wavered and was evident when he returned to parish life in the archdiocese in 1985. Cardinal Bernard Law appointed him an associate at St. Peter, Dorchester. The massive church in Dorchester's Meeting House Hill section had once been an almost exclusively Irish and Irish-American enclave, but by the time of Father Von Euw's appointment there was a large African American community; a growing Hispanic and nascent Vietnamese communities. His facility with Spanish enabled his ready reception.

In March 1991 he was moved down the hill to Dorchester's Fields Corner as Pastor of St. Ambrose Church. The church had recently been rebuilt and dedicated following a fire in 1984. The parish has, as St. Peter's, both Hispanic and Vietnamese communities; in this case the Vietnamese community was growing rapidly.

He was granted a sabbatical in the fall of 2000 and took the well-earned sabbatical program at Rome's North American College. He returned for another eight years as pastor at St. Ambrose, but his health had already started to decline. He was granted senior priest/retirement status on Feb. 1, 2008.

For almost a decade since he required ever more care, initially given by his twin sister, Eleanor DePasquale at her home in Revere and then subsequently at Marian Manor in South Boston. He died at Marian Manor on Dec. 24, 2017, on the eve of what would have been his 81st birthday.

His Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Ambrose Church on Dec. 28 with Merrimack Regional Bishop Robert Hennessey as the principal celebrant. The homilist was a close friend, Father Leo B. Shea, MM of Sudbury. Among the concelebrants were classmates: Msgr. George Carlson; Fathers J. Bryan Hehir and Garrett Barry; Central Regional Vicar, Father James Flavin; St. Ambrose's current pastor, Father Linh Nguyen; Father Richard "Doc" Conway; and several current and former members of the St. James Society: Fathers David Costello, Patrick Universal and Wendell Verrill.

Following the Funeral Mass, which was well attended by both parishioners and clergy in spite of the frigid temperatures, Father Von Euw was buried in St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury.

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