MAY 7, 1930 – MARCH 11, 2024

Fortified by the Sacraments of Holy Mother Church and in the company of friends, The Very Reverend Monsignor John Francis McCarthy was called home by the Lord at age 93 at Mother of Good Counsel Home in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 11, 2024.

John McCarthy was born in Butte, Montana on May 7, 1930, the son of John and Ann (Harrington) McCarthy. After attending St. Joseph Elementary and Boys’ Central High School in Butte, he graduated from Carroll College and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Helena, Montana on December 17, 1955.

Monsignor pursued advanced studies in Rome, receiving a Doctorates in Canon Law in 1962 and in Sacred Theology in 1975. He served as a Professor at the Lateran University in Rome from 1962 to 1964 and was an official of the Vatican Congregation for the Oriental Churches from 1965 to1994. From 1994 to 1999 he served as Director of the Vatican City Offices of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and the Pontifical Mission for Palestine. After first receiving the title ‘Monsignor’ as a Chaplain of His Holiness in 1969, he received in 1995 the Church’s highest title of honor for a priest, Protonotary Apostolic supra numerum.

Monsignor Founded the priestly Society of the Oblates of Wisdom in 1979, and its lay affiliate group the Marian Academy of the Oblates of Holy Tradition in 1983. Through the Sedes Sapientiae formation program in Rome he assisted 28 men to become priests.

On returning to America, he served in pastoral work in the Dioceses of Ponce, Puerto Rico and La Crosse, Wisconsin from 2000 to 2005. He was then the Director of the Oblates of Wisdom Study Center in St. Louis until 2019, publishing in 2017 his main work on biblical studies, Catholic Biblical Scholarship for the Third Millennium. He was Chaplain of historic St. Mary of Victories Chapel, adjoining the Study Center, from 2010 to 2011.

Monsignor’s only brother, Father James McCarthy, also became a priest of the diocese of Helena, while his only sister was also called to a religious vocation, becoming Sister Anita of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Both of them, and first cousins Daniel McCarthy, Kim McCarthy, Rita (James) Puhek, Maria Goebel, and Al (Mary Ellen) Gasvoda preceded him in death.

He is survived by his first cousins, Timothy (Jo Ann) McCarthy, Mary Ann McCarthy, James McCarthy, Mary Jo McCarthy, Colleen (Thomas) Dzwinel, Gary Goebel, Ann McCormick and Margaret (William) Tatarka; and numerous other relatives.

He also leaves behind the devoted priests of the Oblates of Wisdom, and numerous grateful and grieving Oblates of Holy Tradition.

Friends may call on Sunday, April 14, 2024, after 5:00 PM in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. Parish Vigil will be recited at 7:00 PM. A funeral Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Austin Vetter at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church on Monday April 15, 2024, at 11:00 am.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary of Victories Chapel in St. Louis, MO, on Saturday, April 20, 2024 at 11:00 am.

In Memoriam