Obituary: Father Charles E. Salamone, long-time chaplain at St. Elizabeth Medical Center

A Jamaica Plain native and an alumnus of Cathedral High School, Boston, Father Charles E. Salamone died following a lingering illness on April 24, 2024. He was the son of the late Charles and Livia (Imbrogna); he had three sisters, Sheila and Patricia, both of Newton, and the late Janet Rush.

Following graduation from Cathedral High, he entered the archdiocesan seminaries at Cardinal O'Connell in Jamaica Plain, then to the Brighton campus of St. John, completing two years of philosophy before crossing the field to the theology house.

Humberto Cardinal Medeiros ordained him a deacon on May 4, 1974, at St. Theresa of Lisieux Church, Billerica, and Bishop Joseph J. Ruocco ordained him a priest at Holy Ghost Church, Whitman, on Dec. 7, 1975.

Four parish assignments followed between his ordination and just as the millennium was turning: St. Patrick, Stoneham (1976-1982); St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, Scituate (1982-1991); St. Clare, Braintree (1991-1997) and St. Agatha, Milton (1997-2020).

Always serving very quietly and seemingly behind the scenes, he was applauded for his availability to parishioners, his gentleness, and self-effacing humor.

Just a bit more than two weeks into the new millennium, on Jan. 16, 2001, Bernard Cardinal Law appointed him chaplain at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Brighton. All the above-mentioned virtues of Father Salamone shone even more so.

The life of a hospital chaplain is basically 24/7, with a day or so off each week. Initially, he lived at the chaplains' residence at the hospital and so the calls that inevitably come after a full day's rounds were more easily responded. When the chaplain's residence was no longer available, he moved to Sacred Heart, Watertown. Only a few miles from St. E's, but still a challenge on snowy winter nights.

He really served as pastor of the hospital. He celebrated Mass in the hospital chapel. He was available not only to patients and their families, but readily to staff and their families.

Priests who visited patients, especially their family members, recalled that Charlie was often at the bedside before they were and he made an extra effort to keep them informed of their loved ones' circumstances.

Even after his retirement in December 2020, and until his death, people recalled his exemplary service as hospital chaplain.

He remained in residence as a senior priest at Watertown and, although "retired," he was as available as ever to parishioners at both Sacred Heart and St. Patrick parishes.

The parishes' pastor, Bishop Robert P. Reed and the priest assigned there were high in their praise for his assistance, especially when things got busier than usual or during the busier times of the church's year, such at Lent and Easter, Advent and Christmas.

His health declined and so he wisely moved to Regina Cleri Residence, Boston.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley was scheduled to be the celebrant of Father Salamone's funeral Mass at St. Patrick Church, Watertown, on May 1, 2024. Father Allan L. Butler, senior priest of the archdiocese and a long-time friend of Father Salamone, was to be the homilist.

Following the funeral Mass, Father Salamone was buried in Hanover Center Cemetery, Hanover.