Rev. Edward James McGovern

May 10, 1927 ~ October 20, 2020 (age 93)


      Reverend Edward J. MCGOVERN, 93, Pastor Emeritus of Mary, Mother of Mankind Parish, North Providence, died Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

          Born in Providence, a son of the late Francis J. and Mabel C. (Whelan) McGovern, he attended St. Patrick School and LaSalle Academy, both in Providence.  In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick, St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, and at the North American College in Rome, Italy.  He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Providence on December 8, 1951 in Rome by Archbishop Martin J. O’Connor.

          In 1952, Father McGovern returned to the Diocese of Providence and was appointed assistant pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Providence, and also assistant director of the Diocesan Bureau of Social Services.  From 1955 to 1957 he made postgraduate studies in social work at Boston College.  In 1957, Father McGovern became chaplain at St. Vincent de Paul Infant Home in Providence, and director of the Diocesan Bureau of Social Services.  In 1972, he was appointed Vicar for Financial Affairs for the Diocese of Providence and served in that capacity until 1984, when he was appointed pastor of St. Margaret Parish, Rumford.  In 1991, Father McGovern was named pastor of Mary, Mother of Mankind Parish, North Providence, and remained there until his retirement in 1997 as pastor emeritus.

          Father also served as chaplain of the Civil Air Patrol, Providence, Squadron #38 (1955); moderator, Catholic Charity Fund Appeal (1958-72); member of the Advisory Commission on Public Assistance and on Refugee Relief for Rhode Island (1959); board member of Social Welfare (1961); coordinator, Bishop’s Campaign (1964-69); coordinator, Catholic Charities (1969=72); member of the Commission on Project Clergy Renewal (1970); member of the Board of Continuing Education of the Clergy (1974); administrator, St. John Vianney Residence (1978-2017); dean of Deanery #2 (1980); member of the Diocesan Board of Consultors (1981); Vice Chairman of the Priests’ Personnel Board (1982, 1984); member of the Council of Priests and College of Consultors (1984, 1987, 1990, 1992-93); dean of Deanery #6 (1991-97); president, RI Conference of Social Work; president, RI Chapter of NASW; chairman, Ecumenical Council of East Providence; and advocate for diocesan Tribunal (1997-2005).

          After his retirement from parish administration, Father McGovern returned to St. John Vianney Residence, Providence, and continued to serve as its administrator until 2017.  He resided there at the time of his death.

 He leaves numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family members. He was predeceased by his brothers, Francis McGovern and William McGovern and his nephew, Edward J. McGovern.

Visitation on Monday, October 26, from 10:00am – 10:45am in St. Margaret Church, 1098 Pawtucket Avenue, Rumford.  

A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of Father McGovern’s soul on Monday, October 26 at 11:00 am, in St. Margaret Church.  

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, please note that seating for the Funeral Mass will be extremely limited.         

Burial will follow at St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Saint Patrick Academy, 244 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908 in Father McGovern’s memory will be appreciated. Arrangements by Russell J. Boyle & Son. For online condolences, visit

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. Edward James McGovern, please visit our floral store.


October 26, 2020

10:00 AM to 10:45 AM
St. Margaret Church
1098 Pawtucket Avenue
Rumford, RI 02916

Mass of Christian Burial
October 26, 2020

11:00 AM
St. Margaret Church
1098 Pawtucket Avenue
Rumford, RI 02916

October 26, 2020

12:00 PM
Saint Ann Cemetery
73 Church Street
Cranston, RI 02920


St. Patrick Academy
244 Smith Street, Providence RI 02908

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