Six Jesuit priests die at Manresa Hall in Philadelphia of COVID-19


More than a third of the Jesuit priests who lived at the Manresa Hall health care center in Philadelphia have been killed by the coronavirus, The Post has learned.

Of the 17 retired Jesuits who live at the facility’s infirmary, which cares for priests in the order who need more care than assisted living can provide, six died between April 14 and 28.

The grim two weeks began with the death of Father G. Richard Dimler, 88, the Jesuits said. Born in Baltimore, he moved to New York and taught German and computer science at Fordham University for 34 years.

Three days later, on April 17, Manresa Hall, which sits adjacent to the St. Joseph’s University campus, was evacuated after all resident priests tested positive.

That day, Father Francis Moan and Father John Lange died within hours of each other. Both were 93.

Moan was headmaster for years at the Loyola Blakefield prep school for boys in Maryland, while Lange spent his career ministering in Africa.

The most recent Manresa Hall priest to die was Father Edward Dougherty, 85. A holy man in the Trenton, New Jersey, Diocese, Dougherty was a decorated Army Major and chaplain who retired from the military after the Vietnam War in 1975.

All of the priests died in local hospitals.

Manresa Hall reopened April 25, and “at this point in time the men there are all in stable or good condition,” Jesuits spokesman Mike Gabriele said.

“All suspect COVID-19 cases are being monitored and appropriately managed at all Jesuit communities, and personal protective gear has been supplied to protect staff and residents at our health centers,” he said.

“The Jesuits mourn the loss of their brothers who have died, and they continue to pray for all those struggling with the Coronavirus and their caregivers.”

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