Msgr. Patrick A. McCabe, a parish priest in the Diocese of Camden for over 50 years, died Aug. 28 at the age of 81.
Born on Jan. 11, 1937 in Ireland’s County Longford, he studied at Saint John Seminary in Waterford, and was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity on June 18, 1961.
As a pastor, he served at Saint Michael, Cedarville (1981-85); Saint John, Paulsboro (1985-92); Saint Lawrence, Lindenwold (1992-98); and Saint Frances Cabrini, Ocean City (1998-2007). He retired in 2007.
The priest had a love for people and a passion for long distance running and friendship, said his friends.
Msgr. Thomas Morgan, a friend of Msgr. McCabe for more than 50 years, said his greatest virtue was “his great love for people.”
“People were at the front and center of his life as a parish priest. He enjoyed greeting them on Sunday mornings. He believed Sunday mornings were privileged times for getting to know his parishioners. He engaged all with his compassionate heart and his kind words. With great ease he brought a message of joy and mercy (and) a message of hope and encouragement to every person he met,” Msgr. Morgan said.
A passion of Msgr. McCabe’s was long-distance running, Msgr. Morgan recalled. He ran half-marathons, and more than 25 marathons in places such as New York, Boston, and China.
“Over the years he incorporated his running into his ministry,” Msgr. Morgan said.
“He was instrumental in getting many of his parishioners into exercising and running programs, and often reminded them that ‘a healthy body (is) necessary for a healthy mind’…he encouraged all of us to have healthy eating habits,” and “would remind us that exercise was the cheapest medicine.”
Over the years, Msgr. McCabe also enjoyed bringing together the Irish-born clergy of the Diocese of Camden, another brother priest, Father Patrick Brady, remembered.
In the annual luncheons, “he regaled us with his anecdotes of the faith and culture that we brought here from our homeland,” Father Brady recalled.
“Happily, we continue to meet annually and we will remember him, when, with God’s help, we will meet for lunch in March 2019,” he said.
Msgr. McCabe’s other assignments include serving as parochial vicar at Saint Joseph, Somers Point, from 1961-66. His other assignments as parochial vicar include Saint Teresa, Runnemede (1966-67); Saint Raymond, Villas (1967-71); Saint Patrick, Woodbury (1971-72); Saint John, Paulsboro (1972-73); Saint Peter, Merchantville (1973-79); and Our Lady of Lourdes, Glassboro (1980-1981).
In addition to his parish work, Msgr. McCabe also ministered in Marriage Prep.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Sept. 6 at Saint Anthony of Padua Church in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Burial was at Saint Anthony of Padua Cemetery.