VATICAN CITY, JULY 5, 2009 ( A message from Benedict XVI was read at the funeral service for Jesuit Father Pasquale Borgomeo, who served as the director of Vatican Radio for two decades.

Father Borgomeo died Thursday at 76, after suffering a long illness. He had resigned from the directorship of Vatican Radio in 2005.

The Pope spoke of the priest's "generous and competent work of service in social communications" in a message sent by the Holy Father's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to the superior-general of the Jesuits, Father Adolfo Pachón.

Father Borgomeo's successor, the current director of the Vatican press office, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, read the telegram before the homily of the funeral Mass.

Pasquale Borgomeo was born in Naples in 1933. He joined the Jesuits in 1948 and was ordained in 1963. He began working at Vatican Radio in 1970 and was made director in 1985.