Fr. McGovern Remembered For Openness, Enthusiasm

Father McGovern

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Eugene McGovern, 88, was held Nov. 29 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Windsor Terrace. He died Nov. 19 at Maimonides Medical Center, Borough Park.

Born in Brooklyn, he was baptized at Our Lady of Angels Church, Bay Ridge, and attended Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Windsor Terrace; St. Michael’s Diocesan H.S., Sunset Park; St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights; and the Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, L.I.

He was ordained June 2, 1956 by Archbishop Thomas E. Molloy at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.

He served as an assistant at Blessed Sacrament, Jackson Heights, 1956-62, and Our Lady of Angels, 1962-67, before being appointed as assistant spiritual director at the newly opened Cathedral College campus in Douglaston.

In 1985, he became pastor of St. Aloysius parish, Ridgewood, and served there until retiring in 2000.

Most recently, he had been living in a private residence in Immaculate Heart of Mary parish.

Auxiliary Bishop James Massa was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Special concelebrants included Msgr. Michael Phillips and Fathers Robert Adamo, Ilyas Gill and Charles Matonti, who preached the homily.

Graduates of Cathedral College were posting memories of Father McGovern online.

Bill Haffey, a member of the first graduating Class of 1969, now living in Coronado, Calif., recalled, “My memory of Father Gene was of a man of joy without a pretentious bone in his body. His smile, his warmth, his humility, and his enthusiasm for life brought joy to all he encountered. He was a man of God with whom he now lives. A true loss to all.”

Classmate Brian Manning, a resident of Manhattan, said, “I thought his openness and approachability remarkable for that time and place. There wasn’t an iota of ‘clericalism’ in his being. He brought joy to every place fortunate to welcome him.”

Father McGovern is survived by his sister in Windsor Terrace.

Burial in Holy Cross Cemetery, Flatbush