Father William J. English, a native of Burncourt, County Tipperary, Ireland, died at the home of his longtime friends and caregiver family, the DiPerri's of South Boston on Wednesday, October 27, 2021. He was 87. Fr. English was a son of the late Richard and Mary (Fitzgerald) English. He was a brother of Sister Kathleen of England, Michael of Limerick, Brother Richard (Patrick) of Waterford, Richard of Tipperary, Marie Quinn of Vermont, Sean of Tipperary and the late Thomas, Peter and Sister Joseph (Betty). He also leaves his beloved nieces, nephews and cousins as well as the DiPerri family of South Boston. He was raised by faith-filled and hardworking parents who instilled in their children to be faithful Catholics, developing them with a strong sense of values. Nightly they prayed the rosary following their long days of labor at the family farm and schooling. Burncourt was a tight-knit rural village community that regularly helped each other.
Fr. English was a beloved and dedicated priest of the Archdiocese of Boston for more than sixty-one years. Following seminary studies at Saint John's in Brighton he was ordained by Richard Cardinal Cushing at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston on February 2, 1960.
He will long be remembered for his sincerity and strong abilities to bring people to God by his welcoming smile, gracious and kind and outgoing demeanor, hearty laugh and a notable sense of humor. He was of great comfort to the sick and dying and to their families and blessed with the ability to work with all age groups. He was blessed with many friends. Father English was a prayerful man, who had a deep love of God, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. He was a genuine ambassador of Jesus Christ throughout his priestly ministry. His heart was never far from his family, locally, and back in Ireland with whom he spoke with frequently. Father English loved the priesthood and serving God's people in so many capacities. He was immensely popular at each parish assignment throughout his priesthood. He was an avid sports fans, especially of the New England Patriots and Boston Celtics. During his youth he was a most skilled sportsman.
Father English was blessed to serve a significant number of years at each parish assignment, including Blessed Sacrament in Boston's Jamacia Plain, St. Brigid's Parish South Boston, and Most Precious Blood, Hyde Park. After an amazing 31 years as an assistant in three Boston parishes, Father English was named pastor of Most Blessed Sacrament parish in Quincy's Houghs Neck. In 2005 he was named pastor of the newly formed Holy Trinity Parish of Quincy that encompassed the parishes of Most Blessed Sacrament, Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Boniface. It was Father English's extraordinary pastoral skills and genuine human abilities that successfully made this delicate transition successful. It was his first and only pastorate.
During his 2010 annual home visits to the family home in Tipperary, he suffered a massive heart attack, of which he was flown home on a medical plane to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, for life-saving surgery, arranged particularly by Mark and Noreen DiPerri Tolosky, as well as Mary Theresa DiPerri. He was granted Senior Priest status that same year and asked to be assigned to Our Lady's Parish in Waltham, where he was welcomed with open arms and care by Fr. James M. DiPerri, pastor and his parishioners. Especially during this time, he was medically cared with great vigilance and devotion by Mary Theresa who coordinated all his medical needs. He also received tremendous health support on several occasions at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, by his personal physician Dr. Paul Fallon and the Cardiology team. In February of this year, he moved full time into their family home in South Boston due to further decline in health after spending nearly eleven years at Our Lady's in Waltham. At Our Lady's he received a steady stream of visits from parishioners from every assignment he served. He found great peace spending countless hours praying for others before the Eucharist in the rectory chapel. He greeted all with his joyful sense of hospitality and kindness, despite his weakened health condition. He received countless calls and cards throughout his years of declining health.
There will be two wakes held for Father English; the first on Saturday, October 30th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church, 880 Trapelo Road, Waltham and the second will be held on Sunday, October 31st from 3 to 5 p.m. in Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 1015 Sea Street, Quincy.
His Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday in Most Blessed Sacrament Church and burial will follow in Mount Wollaston Cemetery, Quincy.
Fr. English's Funeral Mass will be livestreamed at www.holytrinityquincy.com with a link to www.facebook.com/holytrinity.com
Memorial donations may be made to Holy Trinity Parish in Quincy or to Our Lady's Parish, Waltham.