Father William F. Collins, retired pastor, dies


collinswilliam-webFather William F. Collins, 82, who served as a pastor of four parishes after working in South America, died Nov. 14.
Father Collins was pastor of two Camden City parishes in the early 1980s, Holy Name, 1980-82, and St. Anthony of Padua, 1982-85.
After six years as administrator of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Sicklerville, 1985-91, he was named pastor of Nativity, Franklinville, where he served 1991-2001.
He spent his last years of active ministry at St. Maria Goretti Parish, Runnemede, where he was pastor 2001-02.
Born in Atlantic City, Father Collins studied at St. Bernard College in Cullman, Ala., and at Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md., before being ordained on May 22, 1965, in Camden, by Bishop Celestine J. Damiano.
From 1965-68, he served in South America with the Society of St. James. Upon his return to South Jersey, he worked with the Spanish Mobile Apostolate.
He also served on the Camden Diocese’s Commission of Social Justice, and was the spiritual director of the Blue Army.
He retired in 2002 and was living at St. Mary Catholic Home, Cherry Hill, at the time of his death.
“Father Collins had a great love for the poor and the needy” in the Camden Diocese and in South America, said Father Cadmus Mazzarella, pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Williamstown, who served with Father Collins at St. Charles Borromeo.
“He also had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother, and the Blessed Sacrament.”
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Galloway, on Nov. 19. Interment was at Laurel Memorial Park in Pomona.