Msgr. Charles Barth, retired pastor, dies


Msgr. Charles Barth, 80, who served in the Diocese of Camden for over 50 years, died on Sunday, Feb. 7.

Msgr. Barth, born in Philadelphia, graduated from St. Charles College in Catonsville, Md., and St. Mary’s Seminary in Roland Park, Md., before being ordained on May 26, 1956, in Camden. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at Holy Spirit Parish, Atlantic City from 1956-57. He was pastor at Christ the King, Haddonfield (1974-78); St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral, Camden (1978-85); St. Agnes, Blackwood (1985-93); and St. Peter, Merchantville (1993-2000).

In 2002, he became administrator of St. Anthony of Padua, Hammonton, serving in that position until 2005, when he retired, and stayed In-Residence at St. Anthony of Padua until his death.

Msgr. Barth also worked as director of Sacred Heart Residence for Priests from 2000-02, and was also active with the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, Priest’s Council, Presybteral Council, Inter-Parochial Board, and Marriage Enrichment.

Msgr. Barth was known as “Skip” to his many friends.

“He was a wonderful man, a faithful follower,” remembered Msgr. Edward Alleyne, who worked with Msgr. Barth in the Camden Diocesan Trust. “There was always a smile on his face.”

Msgr. James Carr, who worked with Msgr. Barth in the chancery in the 1960s, called him an “always on the go” individual, who was “outoing, and very well-liked.”

Father John Cavagnaro, who served as parochial vicar at St. Peter Parish, Merchantville, when Msgr. Barth was pastor, recalled a priest who was not only “supportive of his people,” but one who loved to fish, collect model trains, and drink Bombay gin. “He was an ordinary guy, and always pleasant.”

Bill Ezekiel, of Audubon, was active with Msgr. Barth in the Diocesan Friends of the Sacred Heart organization, which raised funds for needy seminarians. Friends with him for more than 25 years, Ezekiel called the priest “a real great guy, very amiable, with a magnetic personality. He always saw the glass half-full, I never saw him down.”

The reception of Msgr. Barth’s body will take place at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Hammonton, on Friday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. The viewing will continue until 6:30 p.m. Bishop Joseph A. Galante will celebrate the Mass of Jesus Christ the High Priest at 7 p.m.

The viewing will continue on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 9-10 a.m.  The funeral Mass for Msgr. Barth will be celebrated at St. Anthony of Padua Church, Hammonton, on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

Burial will take place at New Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Bellmawr.