1201 Main Street - Pittston (Port Griffith), PA 18640

Rev. Hugh H. McGroarty - April 20, 2012

Reverend Hugh H. McGroarty, of Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Pittston, died on Monday, April 16, 2012 at Little Flower Manor, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Father McGroarty, son of the late Hugh Francis and Bridget Theresa Hughes McGroarty, was born in Plains on December 30, 1919. He received his early education at Sacred Heart, Plains, and graduated from High School at Sacred Heart in Plains. Father attended the University of Scranton and completed his studies for the priesthood at Mount Saint Mary’s College and Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 22, 1945, in Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Scranton, by the Most Reverend William J. Hafey, D.D., late Bishop of Scranton.

Father McGroarty’s first assignment was an assistant pastor at Saint Charles Borromeo, Sugar Notch; he then served as assistant pastor at Holy Saviour, Wilkes-Barre; Saint Patrick’s, Wilkes-Barre; Christ the King, Dunmore and Saint Mary of Mount Carmel, Dunmore He was named to his first pastorate at Saint Martha’s in Fairmount Springs on September 14, 1966. Father McGroarty was also pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Brodheadsville; Saint Elizabeth, Bear Creek; Saint Francis X. Cabrini, Carverton and Saint Patrick’s in White Haven. Father then became assistant pastor of Saint Cecilia’s in Exeter; Saint John the Baptist, Wilkes-Barre; administrator of Saint John the Evangelist, Wilkes-Barre; assistant pastor of Saint Rose of Lima, Carbondale and as a resident at Saint Hedwig’s in Kingston in 1993 and became a resident and senior priest at Saint John the Evangelist in Pittston on July 8, 1996 where he remained until his death at age 92 after serving 66 years as a priest of the Diocese.

On October 8, 2008, Father McGroarty was the recipient of the 33rd Annual John Cardinal McCloskey Award from the National Alumni Association of Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The award was presented for dedicated service to the Church. Father McGroarty was a past president of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Alumni Chapter and past member of the Priests’ Alumni Reunion Committee of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and also a member of the McSweeny Hall Seminary Renovations Committee.

At ninety-two years of age Father McGroarty continued to serve the Diocese seventeen years after the normal retirement age of 75. He was the oldest active priest in the Diocese. As Senior Priest at Saint John the Evangelist Church in Pittston Father McGroarty continued to celebrate Mass, hear confessions and visit the sick in the hospital, nursing facilities or their homes. He endeared himself with to the people he met in the course of his day, whether parishioners or people he encountered on his walks around Pittston.

He is survived by nieces Patricia Filipowich, Wilkes-Barre and Kathleen Arnett, Kansas; nephews Joseph McGroarty, Plains and Thomas McGroarty, Dodge City, Kansas and godchild, April McGroarty, Avoca. He also has several great nieces and nephews and many great, great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by brothers, Joseph McGroarty and Edward McGroarty and sister, Mary McGroarty and also a brother, John McGroarty and sister, Elizabeth McGroarty, who both died in infancy.

Viewing will take place at Saint John the Evangelist Church, 35 William Street, Pittston, on Thursday, April 19, 2012, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. A Vigil Mass will be celebrated at Saint John the Evangelist Church, Pittston, on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 7:00 p.m., with the Monsignor John J. Bendik, Dean, presiding.

A Pontifical Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, on Friday, April 20, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. in Saint John the Evangelist Church, Pittston. Viewing will also take place Friday morning, prior to the 11:00 a.m. Funeral Mass. Interment will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Plains.

Father Hugh requested that no flowers be sent but all donations be made to the Care and Concern Ministries of Saint John the Evangelist Parish Community, 35 William Street, Pittston, PA 18640. The Care and Concern Ministries provides a Free Health Clinic, Food Pantry, Kids Clothes Closet and Free Pediatric Health Clinic in the former Seton Catholic High School.

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From: Nancy Pelepko

Location: Lebanon, PA    Date: 2012-04-23

Father was such a unique and caring individual! He was a model for all of us--compassionate, loving, funny, selfless, hardworking, accepting...Hopefully I'll get to see him again some day if I manage to make it to the place where he surely is.

From: Sally McCrone

Location: Plains Twp, PA    Date: 2012-04-22

My heartfelt sympathy on the passing of my friend and priest Father Hugh. He will be truly missed by everyone, especially me. I will certainly miss his homilies, his sense of humor, and his beautiful smile. I am definately a better person just by knowing him.

From: Stephen & Mary Vitek

Location: Port Griffith, PA    Date: 2012-04-19

Our deepest sympathy to Fr. Hugh's family & his St.John's family, he will be truly missed. We were all blessed to have had him in our lives. Enteral rest grant unto him O'Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. Fr. hugh is now "joyful joyful with our Lord. When Fr. Hugh met St. Peter he probably said "What's Your Name Peter".

From: Josie Bisset

Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA    Date: 2012-04-19

To the family of Rev McGroarty: I want to take this time to let you know how sorry I am for this great loss. I knew Father, through my brother Armand Mancia. The two of them were very good friends and spent much time together. My brother, before his passing away spoke of the many memories and good times he had with father. The first time actually I got to meet Father is the one I will never forget. My brother told him he had a baby sister who was 22 years younger than he. With him already knowing this, when my bro went to introduce us Father said " awe this is the baby sister I heard so much about". From that time when he would meet me he always revered to me as Baby Sister. He had the greatest dry sense of humor. He also officiated at the funeral of mother and then my brother along with Father McDonald and you could see his hurt in loosing his friend and helping him for the last time. I had the pleasure of running into Father a few months ago at the Pittston dinner and it a special meeting because he wanted to reminese about my brother. I am sorry that he has passed but I think of the good side again, he will be with his buddy my brother. Peace and love be to all of the family who were blessed to have this special person in their family. I also am saddened by the fact that I will no longer see someone who was such a good friend to my brother. I will close with saying God Bless all of you and you can be sure he is resting in piece.

From: Frank and Mary Tavaris

Location: White Haven, PA, PA    Date: 2012-04-18

On behalf of the Tavaris family we are deeply sorry for your loss at this time. We knew Father McGroarty from St. Elizabeth's in Bear Creek and St. Patrick's in White Haven. He was a wonderful pastor. May God be with you through this difficult time.

From: Joseph Mc Graw

Location: Shavertown, PA    Date: 2012-04-18

What a great guy. Father Hugh is one of the finest persons I ever met. I'm sure he will be missed by all of us. When he met St. Peter at the gates, he probably said to St. Peter.....did ya hear the one about........He was a great story teller and wit. He will be in my prayers forever.

From: Lynch family

Location: Exeter, PA    Date: 2012-04-18

Our family has been blessed by knowing Father Hugh. He explified the meaning of being a priest and a Christian. I'm, sure he greeted St. Peter with a "hello, there." Our prayers for your family. He will truly be missed.

From: Kathy Kostik

Location: Wyoming, PA    Date: 2012-04-17

Dear McGroarty Family, You are so blessed to have Father Hugh as your family member. He also blesses my life. I first met him at St. Cecilia's Church in the 80's. I remember Father Hugh saying at Mass, "To be in the Presence of God at all times". His love of Our Lord Jesus Christ was always very present. His sense of humor is the best! I know that he is up in Heaven walking in the beautiful meadows with Mr. Dick Cosgrove and Monsignor Francis Callahan, and your deceased family members. I'm sure that he hugged Jesus on his arrival to Heaven, and he is surely telling jokes to everyone. You are in my prayers.

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