April 2, 2020 — (Wilmington Delaware) — Reverend Hilary John Rodgers, age 75, a retired priest of the Catholic
Diocese of Wilmington, died on April 1, 2020, at the Little Sisters of the Poor’s Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark, Delaware, from coronavirus and an underlying illness.
A native of New Windsor, New York, Father Rodgers served for 35 years as a Capuchin Franciscan Friar, in Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Virginia. In 2000, he was accepted into priestly formation for Diocese of Wilmington and began theological studies at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts.
Father Rodgers was ordained in 2004 by Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Helena and St. Mary Magdalen Churches in Wilmington. In 2010, he was appointed Pastor of St. Benedict Church in Ridgely, Maryland and its mission church, St. Elizabeth in Denton, Maryland. He became the Pastor of Holy Spirit Church in New Castle, Delaware in 2014, and retired in 2015.
“Father Hilary was a warm and caring priest. He was dearly loved by the people he served over his many years of ministry as a priest and religious brother,” said the Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington. “We send our condolences to his brother, Richard, and pledge our continued prayers to the Little Sisters and residents of Jeanne Jugan during this sad and difficult time.”
The Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark serves 66 low-income elderly residents in three levels of care, including intermediate care/skilled, residential rest and independent apartments. There are 11 Little Sisters of the Poor and 123 staff members at the Residence. They have has been hit especially hard during the coronavirus pandemic with four reported deaths. Those wishing to help the Sisters and the residents, can make an online donation at www.littlesistersofthepoordelaware.org.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 36 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. More information is available at www.cdow.org.
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