Father James F. Barry, retired pastor, dies

Father James Francis Barry, a retired pastor and priest in the Diocese of Camden for 45 years, died July 21 at the age of 71.

Born on Feb. 6, 1941, in Philadelphia, Father Barry studied at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pa., before being ordained on May 20, 1967 by Camden Bishop Celestine J. Damiano.

His first assignment was as parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Angels, Cape May Court House. He also served as parochial vicar at St. Joan of Arc, Camden; St. Francis de Sales, Barrington; St. Veronica, Delair; St. John Bosco, Millville; St. Lawrence, Lindenwold; and St. Pius X, Cherry Hill.

In 1993, Father Barry became pastor of St. Catherine of Siena in Clayton, where he stayed until 2000. From 2003 to 2004, he was administrator at St. Nicholas, Egg Harbor City.

In 2004, he began serving as pastor of St. Mary, Salem, where he ministered until his retirement in 2010.

In addition to his parish work, Father Barry was a part-time faculty member at St. Joseph High School in Camden; Camden County CYO Director; religion teacher at Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill; and Defender of the Bond/Procurator of the Tribunal for the Camden Diocese.

“He was a good friend, and a good priest,” recalled Father Richard Lodge, who served with Father Barry at Transfiguration in West Collingswood, when Father Lodge was pastor, and Father Barry was In-Residence.

“He was someone who could talk about serious stuff (one minute), and (the next) have a good laugh,” Father Lodge said, adding that he always had a smile on his face, and loved his black Labrador, Brenna.

Father Barry also was proud of his Irish heritage. His Fridays were spent playing the bodhram and spoon, as the Irish band “Blarney” performed at Ocean Drive in Sea Isle City. Countless hours were also spent on the computers, where he traced his Irish roots, discovering ancestors and establishing connections with distant family along the way.

“He didn’t put on any airs; he was always there for people,” Father Lodge said.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on July 25, at St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish, St. Mary Church, Salem.

Burial took place at Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, Pa.

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