Father John P. Ward, retired pastor, dies

Father John P. Ward, retired pastor, dies

Father John P. Ward, who retired in 2010 after serving as a parish priest for 45 years, died Nov. 2.

John (Jack) Ward was born in Bayonne, N.J., on May 16, 1938 to Charles S. Ward Sr. and Mary (Mae) Brand. He was the youngest of siblings Margaret (m. Charles Famula), Anne (m. David von Schaumburg) and Charles.

He was ordained on May 22, 1965, and served throughout the Camden Diocese until his retirement in 2010. He was a senior priest at Sacred Heart Parish, Vineland, from 2006 until his retirement. He previously served as senior priest at Saint Agnes, Blackwood, 2004-06 and was a pastor of Saint Edward Parish, Pine Hill, 1992-2004.

He was parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Angels Parish, Cape May Court House, 1965; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Berlin, 1965-67; Saint Agnes, Blackwood, 1967-68; Saint Teresa of Avila, Bridgeton, 1968-71; Saint Charles Borromeo, Washington Township, 1971-78; Sacred Heart, Mount Ephraim, 1978-81; and Corpus Christi, Carneys Point, 1988-92. He also served as Cape May area chaplain and parochial vicar in residence at Our Lady of the Angels, 1981-88 and a member of the Common Policy for Pastoral Marriage Preparation.

Father Ward felt especially called to serve his local community.

Those who know him said his heart went to helping those marginalized and in spiritual need. They also mention his humility.

His survivors include Stephen Bates; the Famulas: John and Roberta, Charles and Ruth, Mary Beth, Cathy and Frank Belgiovene; the von Schaumburgs: David and Kayla, Mark and Rita, Bob and Deb, Tom and Georgia, Mike and Jamie, Anne and David, Dan and Tonni, E.J. and Kristin; 30 great-nieces and nephews and 11 great-great nieces and nephews.

“‘Uncle Jack’ will be remembered for his playful sense of humor with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, his baking skills, his love of theater, travel, and friendship, the joyful and loving way he expressed his faith, and the integral role he played in the major life transitions of many members throughout four generations of the family. His great joy was to make people know they were loved without concern for his own needs,” the family said in a statement.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held today, Nov. 9, 11:45 a.m. Mass at Saint John Vianney Church in Colonia (the same church where he said his first Mass). Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, N.J.

Memorial donations in memory of Father Ward can be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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