Home Grief Ministry Father Hilary Rodgers, Diocese of Wilmington priest living at Jeanne Jugan Residence,...

Father Hilary Rodgers, Diocese of Wilmington priest living at Jeanne Jugan Residence, dies after bout with coronavirus, underlying illness

The Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark. Dialog photo/Don Blake

The coronavirus contributed to the death of a Diocese of Wilmington priest who lived at a residence of the Little Sisters of the Poor where at least four people have been claimed by the growing pandemic in the last week.

Father Hilary Rodgers

Father Hilary Rodgers, 75, a retired Diocese of Wilmington priest who lived at Jeanne Jugan Residence in Newark, died April 1 as a result of coronavirus and an underlying illness, according to diocese officials.

Father Rodgers was ordained to the priesthood in 2004. He has been retired since 2015. Among his appointments in the diocese, Father Rodgers was pastor of Holy Spirit Church, New Castle.

The first resident died last week, another on March 29 and the third March 31. All three victims were elderly with pre-existing conditions.

The Delaware Department of Health and Human Services last week responded to a report of the death of the first resident, an 86-year-old male resident of Jeanne Jugan. He had underlying medical conditions, according to the state and Mother Margaret Regina Halloran, mother superior at the Jeanne Jugan Residence.

At that time, six residents of the Newark nursing home tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Division of Public Health. DHSS said it was actively working with the facility to ensure resident and staff safety.

More than 66 people live at the non-profit continuing care retirement community run by the Little Sisters, including 40 residents in nursing units.

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