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Obituary: Father Laurence Borges, missionary and pastor

By Father Robert M. O'Grady Pilot Staff
Posted: 3/16/2018

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Father Laurence Borges Pilot file photo

Father Laurence J. Borges a Boston native died on March 10, 2018 in Boston. Born on Jan. 27, 1931, he was the surviving son of the late Alfred and Johanna (Sheehan) Borges, predeceased by his brother Alfred in 2014 and his sister Marie (Borges) Quinn in 2015.

He was raised in the Hub's Roslindale section and attended the High School of Commerce before entering the archdiocesan seminaries at Jamaica Plain and then at St. John, Brighton.

Auxiliary Bishop Jeremiah F. Minihan ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Name Church, West Roxbury on Feb. 2, 1959.

He was an assistant, associate or parochial vicar in several archdiocesan parishes: St. Albert the Great, Weymouth, (1959-1964); St. Mary of the Annunciation, Cambridge, (1964-1966) and (1993-1994); St. Rose of Lima, Chelsea, (1970-1975), St. Patrick, Roxbury (1975-1982), Blessed Sacrament, Jamaica Plain (1982-1983); St. Columbkille, Brighton (2000-2002); and St. Gregory, Dorchester (2009).

He was member of the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, serving in Peru (1966-1970). He was Director of El Centro del Cardinal with residence at Holy Cross Cathedral Rectory (1983-1987).

In June 1987, Cardinal Bernard Law named him administrator and in 1988 as pastor of St. Stephen Parish, Framingham. In June 1994 he returned to Weymouth for the first of two stints as pastor of St. Albert the Great (1994-1999) and (2005-2009). He returned to Framingham as a member of a Team Ministry in 2002 just prior to his second term as pastor in Weymouth.

A quick scan of his assignments indicate that he was very much committed to the Hispanic Apostolate of the archdiocese. Except for Weymouth and Cambridge (1964-1966), his remaining assignments were at parishes or agencies where there were substantial and growing Spanish speaking Catholic populations.

An unassuming, gentle and quiet man he ably brought disparate individuals and groups together in his various assignments. He was at Weymouth three times, first as a newly ordained priest, then as a pastor and then returning as pastor in 2005 to help reopen the parish. From all accounts when he retired in 2009 he met and far exceeded the hopes and expectations of the parishioners at that difficult point in their lives.

In 2009 he was granted senior priest/retirement statues and lived at Sacred Heart, Roslindale (his home parish) and then from 2015 until his death at Regina Cleri Residence, Boston.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap. is scheduled to be the celebrant of Father Borges's Funeral Mass at St. Albert the Great Church, Weymouth on March 21. Father George Emerson is scheduled to be the homilist. Father Borges was to be buried in New Calvary Cemetery, Mattapan.