Reverend Joseph E. Horgan


JOHNSTON — Reverend Joseph E. Horgan, 99, Pastor Emeritus of St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Johnston, died on Friday, June 17, 2016.

Born in Chelsea, Massachusetts, son of the late Eugene and Alice (Healey) Horgan, he attended St. Rose School, Chelsea, and Immaculate Conception School, Revere, Massachusetts. Father Horgan was the brother of the late Esther (Horgan) Dean.

Before studying for the diocesan priesthood, he was a member of the Carmelite Order from 1936-40. He served in the U.S. Army for 5 years during World War II, rising to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer in charge of personnel in the 103 Field Artillery, 43rd Division. He was awarded the Bronze Star. After the war, he attended Providence College and the Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, where he earned a law degree. He completed studies for the priesthood at St. Mary Seminary, Baltimore, and was ordained on May 30, 1953 in the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul, Providence, by Bishop Russell J. McVinney.

After a summer assignment at St. Bernard Parish, Wickford, Father Horgan was appointed assistant pastor at St. Leo Parish, Pawtucket, and served there until his transfer in 1961 to St. Matthew Parish, Cranston, then in 1964 to St. Joseph Parish, Pawtucket. His first and only assignment as pastor was at St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Johnston, where he served from 1973-86, when he retired as Pastor Emeritus. In addition to his parish duties, Fr. Horgan also served as chaplain for the Johnston Police Department and the Municipal Police Training Academy of Rhode Island.

After his retirement, Fr. Horgan resided in Johnston but continued to assist at St. Patrick Parish in Burrillville, at Cherry Hill Manor Nursing Home, Johnston, and in various parishes in the Diocese.

A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the repose of his soul on June 22 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Johnston with Bishop Thomas J. Tobin as the main celebrant with other priests concelebrating. Father Joseph Creedon was the homilist. Burial was in Highland Memorial Cemetery, Johnston.