Father Lynch, formerly of St. Therese Parish in Mooresville, passes away
MOORESVILLE — Jesuit Father William J. Lynch, who served at St. Thérèse Church in Mooresville for nearly 20 years, died peacefully in the Lord on Sunday, June 10, 2012, at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center. He was 94.
Father Lynch was a member of the Society of Jesus for 76 years and a Catholic priest for 63 years. He served as parochial vicar at St. Thérèse Church from 1991 until 2010.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Thérèse Church on June 13, 2012. He was buried June 19 at the Woodstock Jesuit Cemetery in Woodstock, Md.
Father Lynch was born in Reading, Pa., in 1917. The son of Margaret Kearney and William J. Lynch, he was a 1935 graduate of Loyola High School in Baltimore and entered the Jesuit novitiate following high school graduation.
Following a year of studies at the St. Ignatius House of Studies in Manhasset, N.Y., he went to Woodstock College, Md., where he earned his bachelor's degree in classics in 1941, his licentiate in philosophy in 1942, and his licentiate in sacred theology in 1949. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 20, 1948. In 1969, he also earned a master's degree in classics from Villanova University in Pennsylvania.
Father Lynch began his long career as an educator at St. Joseph Preparatory School in Philadelphia in 1942, where he taught juniors for three years. After ordination, he was assigned to Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., where he taught freshmen for a year before returning to St. Joseph's Prep in 1951 – an assignment that would last 20 years. He taught English, Latin and Greek to juniors and freshmen.
In 1971, Father Lynch was named principal of Mater Dei High School in New Monmouth, N.J. After three years, he was appointed school principal and parish coordinator at St. Ann Parish in Lawrenceville, N.J. That assignment lasted five years. He continued ministering in New Jersey, as director of religious education and as a high school religion teacher at Holy Spirit Church in Asbury Park (1979), parochial vicar at St. Anns in Browns Mills, (1979-1981), and as parochial vicar at St. Marys Church in Alpha, where he also worked with a lay ministry group for the Diocese of Trenton (1981-1982).
In 1982, Father Lynch moved to North Carolina, where he served for 30 years until his death. He served as a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Rocky Mount (1982-1986), pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Ahoskie (1986-1989), and parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Church in Pinehurst (1990-1991) and St. Thérèse Church in Mooresville, beginning in 1991. After serving eight years, Father Lynch continued on at St. Thérèse Church as a pastoral minister until 2010.
"Father Lynch had a great gift for making friends and shared his spiritual values with them. He was a wise and gentle counselor to many. His preaching always provoked thought. He had a great love for protecting God's environment on earth," said Jesuit Father Vincent Curtin, pastor at St. Thérèse Church.
He is survived by his brother, Richard Lynch of Glendora, Calif., and by his fellow Jesuits of the Maryland Province. He was preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Thompson of Towson, Md.
His fellow priests at St. Thérèse Church would like to thank the staff at Genesis, Mooresville Center, for caring for Father Lynch for the past two years. They also are grateful to Julie Wagner, dear friend of Father Lynch, for aiding him on an almost daily basis.
Cavin-Cook Funeral Home is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be made at www.cavin-cook.com.
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy