SOUTH END (CBS) – The funeral mass for Red Cross executive Donna Morrissey Thursday morning was the first public service held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross during the coronavirus pandemic.

Morrissey, who lived in Newton, died Friday after a battle with COVID-19. She was 51 years old.

Donna Morrissey. (Photo Courtesy: Morrissey Family)

A rolling tribute of American Red Cross vehicles arrived with the hearse at the church just before 11 a.m. Only 200 friends and family were allowed to attend because of new social distancing guidelines issued last week by the Archdiocese of Boston.

Each mourner wore a mask during the mass. (WBZ-TV)

Morrissey was well known for her community work around the city as a spokesperson for the Red Cross. She had also held positions at Regan Communications and at the archdiocese, where she was the church’s spokeswoman during the clergy sex abuse crisis.

Morrissey started her career in TV news, working at WBZ-TV in the 1990’s as an assignment editor.

“It’s a gut wrenching loss. Donna was an amazing humanitarian and if you met her in person, she was just this incredible force of life,” friend and colleague Kelly Isenor told WBZ Thursday.

The funeral mass for Donna Morrissey was held under strict social distancing guidelines. (WBZ-TV)

“Everyone in this church, Cathedral this morning probably feels Donna was their best friend because that’s how she made all of us feel. Her captivating smile told us we were special,” said George Regan during the service.

Burial after the mass was private.

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