Home Our Diocese Msgr. J. Thomas Cini, retired Diocese of Wilmington administrator and pastor, dies...

Msgr. J. Thomas Cini, retired Diocese of Wilmington administrator and pastor, dies at 80

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Msgr. J. Thomas Cini

January 4, 2023 — (Wilmington, Delaware) — Reverend Monsignor (John) Thomas Cini, retired pastor of St. Ann Parish in Wilmington and longtime Diocese of Wilmington administrator, died today at the age of 80. Born in Wilmington and raised in New Castle, Delaware, Msgr. Cini was the son of John T. and Elizabeth (Wright) Cini.

Msgr. Cini received his early education at St. Peter School in New Castle and Sacred Heart Preparatory High School in Gerard, Pennsylvania. He began studies for the priesthood at Divine Word College in Duxbury, Massachusetts, and completed theological studies at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland.

After his ordination to the priesthood on May 4, 1968 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington, by Bishop Thomas J. Mardaga, he was assigned as associate pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish in Wilmington.

Bishop Mardaga appointed the young Father Cini as principal of St. Elizabeth High School in 1970.  In 1972, he was named the principal of the new diocesan high school, St. Mark’s, where he served for five years. In 1977, Father Cini was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Administration for the diocese. He was named Domestic Prelate of Honor to Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor, in 1992. In 1996, Bishop Michael A. Saltarelli named him Vicar General for Administration and Moderator of the Diocesan Curia.

In addition to his diocesan responsibilities, from 2003 until 2012 Msgr. Cini served as pastor of St. Ann Church in Wilmington.

Funeral arrangements are being finalized.