Obituaries, Week of June 19, 2021

Retired Immaculate Conception, Astoria Pastor Was a ‘Good Priest’ who ‘Loved the People’

Msgr. Charles P. Boccio, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, died on April 23.

Msgr. Charles P. Boccio

Msgr. Boccio was born on August 6, 1935, in Brooklyn. He was ordained to the Priesthood on June 3, 1961. Msgr. Boccio served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parish of Immaculate Conception (Astoria), Administrator of Saint John the Evangelist (Brooklyn), and as Parochial Vicar of Saint Joan of Arc (Jackson Heights), Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (Bayside), Saint Frances Cabrini  (Brooklyn), and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Brooklyn). He also served as the Veterans Administration Bronx Chaplain, New York City Post Office Association Chaplain, Queens Civil  Defense Chaplain, New York City Police Department Columbia Association Chaplain, and the New York City Columbia Association Chaplain. On September 11, 1989, he was named Prelate of Honor to his Holiness.

At a memorial Mass held May 8 for Msgr. Boccio at Immaculate Conception Church, Bishop James Massa, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, who officiated the Mass, had warm words of praise for the man he fondly called “Charlie.”

The bishop cited Msgr. Boccio’s “founding of the parish council of the Knights of Columbus, the growth of the school in the period of [his] work here, his association with the Sisters of the Holy Union and his wonderful relationships with brother priests.”

In his remarks at the Memorial Mass, Msgr. Fernando Ferrarese, the current pastor of Immaculate Conception, said he was “so blessed at having [Msgr. Boccio] as a kind of mentor for me, who showed me a lot about the priesthood.

“When I first got here [to Immaculate Conception] he walked me all through the parish,” Msgr. Ferrarese said of Msgr. Boccio. “He would say, ‘Bob lives here, and Joe lives there.’ I said to myself, ‘he knows everybody.’ That’s because he was a good priest. He loved the people, he knew the people, and he was concerned about everyone.”

Members of the Immaculate Conception parish’s Knights of Columbus Council held a memorial service for Msgr. Boccio on June 5. 

Sister Regina Blackwell, CSJ, formerly known as Sister Marian Regina, died May 27, in the 68th year of her religious life. She entered the congregation from her home parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Brooklyn.

Sister Regina Blackwell, CSJ

Sr. Regina earned her BS in Elementary Education from Empire State College in 1978 and she was a recipient of an NCEA award for Outstanding Service as a Catholic School Educator in June 2000.

Sr. Regina spent most of her ministry teaching the first and second grades, providing the all-important educational foundation for the lives of countless girls and boys. She had a special love of music and lived her religious life in a spirit of generosity, prayer, and service.

Sr. Regina is predeceased by her twin sister, Rosemary, who was also a Sister of St. Joseph.

Her wake and Mass of Christian burial took place in Sacred Heart Chapel, Brentwood, on June 2, followed by her interment in Calvary Cemetery, Brentwood.

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