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Obituary: Father Hugh O'Regan, US Navy and hospital chaplain

By Father Robert M. O'Grady Pilot Staff
Posted: 9/9/2016

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Father Hugh H. O'Regan Pilot file photo

A Boston native, born in the Hub on June 29, 1930, Father Hugh H. O'Regan was a son of the late Hugh and Alice (Fairclough) O'Regan. An alumnus of the Boston Latin School and Boston College, he entered St. John Seminary a member of the class of 1957. Auxiliary Bishop Jeremiah Minihan ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Name Church, West Roxbury on Feb. 2, 1957.

His first assignment was as an assistant at Sacred Heart, Middleborough; in 1959 he was named an assistant at St. Margaret, Lowell. In early 1963 he was named chaplain at Nazareth Academy in Wakefield, and just a few months later he was released from the archdiocese to serve as a chaplain in the United States Navy.

During the next 24 years he served onboard naval vessels and at home ports of the Navy including posting at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and the Amphibious Base, San Diego, Calif.

In 1987, on retirement from the Navy as a captain, he returned to the archdiocese briefly as parochial vicar at St. Ann, Wayland, and then to another kind of chaplaincy, this at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, with residence at St. Joseph Rectory in Boston's West End.

In 1988, Bernard Cardinal Law appointed him administrator of St. James the Greater Parish in Boston's Chinatown where he served until 2006; in 1996 Cardinal named him administrator of Holy Trinity (German) Parish in the Hub's South End concurrent with the assignment at St. James.

On the 49th anniversary of Father O'Regan's ordination, Archbishop O'Malley granted him senior priest/retirement status. He resided first in his family home in Wellesley and later at Centerville on Cape Cod. He was a regular assistant at the Cape parish until he entered extended care in Hyannis.

Boston's Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, Bishop Peter J. Uglietto was scheduled to be the celebrant of Father O'Regan's Funeral Mass at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Osterville on Sept. 10. Following the Mass Father O'Regan was to be buried in St. Mary Cemetery, Needham. His sister, Mary Looney is his sole surviving sibling.