BOSTON — Retired auxiliary Bishop Emilio S. Allue of Boston, the first and only Salesian bishop to date in the United States, died April 26 of complications from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. He was 85.
He died at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Boston after being hospitalized for more than a week.
Fellow Salesians recalled Allue for his sense of humor and his outreach to young men in formation for religious life as a brother and priest early in his ministry and later for his work among Hispanic parishioners in New Jersey and Boston.
A statement from the Salesians announcing his death said one of Allue’s former provincial superiors described him as “a man of pleasant character, friendly, a hard worker, persevering, cooperative, (with a) good sense of responsibility, a good community man (and) a good administrator.”
Born Feb. 18, 1935, to Domingo and Juliana Carcasona Allue in Huesca, Spain, Allue was a Salesian for nearly 64 years. He made his first vows in 1956.
Immediately after that profession, Allue was sent as a “missionary” to the United States, where he continued training at Don Bosco College in Newton, New Jersey. He graduated in 1959 with a degree in philosophy and continued his training at Don Bosco Tech in Paterson, New Jersey, from 1959 to 1962, teaching math.
As a young brother, the future bishop returned to Europe to study theology at the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome. His studies for the priesthood concluded with his ordination Dec. 22, 1966. He returned to the United States in 1967, becoming an American citizen in 1974.
Allue also earned a doctorate in theology at Fordham University in 1981.
His priesthood began in various administrative positions throughout the Salesian educational system. From 1967 to 1982, he moved between appointments at the Salesian Junior Seminary in Goshen, New York, Don Bosco College in Newton, and Don Bosco Tech in Paterson.
In 1978, he began his work in parish ministry, serving at two churches in New York City and another in Brunswick, New Jersey. He also was director of Hispanic ministry for the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, in the 1980s.
Allue became shrine director at the Marian Shrine in Haverstraw, New York, having been known for his strong devotions to Mary and the Divine Mercy. In 1996, St. John Paul II appointed him an auxiliary bishop of Boston. His episcopal ordination took place Sept. 17, 1996.
When his appointment was announced, he thanked God for “this unmerited gift that comes now in my life from Jesus’ merciful love.” He added that he was confident that Mary would walk with him in his ministry.
He resigned in 2010, at age 75, as required by church law. Afterward, he continued episcopal duties in the archdiocese while residing at St. Theresa’s Parish in West Roxbury. He moved to Regina Cleri Residence for Boston’s retired priests in late 2018.
A funeral Mass will be private. Burial is expected at the Salesian cemetery in Goshen, New York.