Father Stephen Carey, an Irish-born priest who served as pastor of four parishes in the Diocese of Camden, died May 14 at the age of 74.
Father Carey, who retired in 2008, died in Ireland. The funeral Mass will be celebrated there on May 18, at Church of the Sacred Heart, Templetuohy, Ireland.
A memorial Mass will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 29, at St. Joseph’s Church, 126 44th Street, Sea Isle City.
St. Joseph, Sea Isle City, was the last parish Father Carey served at before retirement. He was pastor there for 14 years, 1994-2008.
He was also pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Mount Ephraim, 1986-94, and pastor of St. Edward, Pine Hill, 1983-86.
He also was co-pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Berlin, 1977-82, and administrator of St. Casimir, Woodbine, in 1983.
Msgr. Thomas Morgan, who met Father Carey while they were seminarians in Ireland more than 50 years ago, remembered him as a priest with “great apostolic zeal in his genes.”
“Like Jesus he had great focus on the poor and the hungry and the homeless and the imprisoned and the hospitalized and those in the nursing home,” Msgr. Morgan said. “He was an extrovert. He loved people. He enjoyed people. He liked to be with people. He liked to be front and center in the life of his faith community. He was truly a great parish priest.”
Msgr. Morgan also remembered his former classmate as an avid golfer. “He was well known for his long and fearless drive off the tee.”
Father Carey was born Dec. 26, 1938 in Tipperary, Ireland, and studied at St. Kieran, Kilkenny, Ireland. He was ordained June 3, 1962, in Kilkenney and began ministering in the Diocese of Camden soon after, at St. Patrick Parish, Woodbury, where he served as parochial vicar until 1966.
He was parochial vicar at St. Luke, Stratford, 1966-70; Queen of the Apostles, Pennsville, 1970-76; and Our Lady Queen of Peace, Pitman, 1976-77.