Father Garvey remembered for love of Cabrini parish

| December 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Father Tom Garvey

Father Tom Garvey retired from active priestly ministry in 1994. His last assignment was at St. Frances Cabrini in Minneapolis.

He kept coming to Mass there all the way until the end of his life. Described by long-time staff member and friend Chris Kosowski as a “man of deep compassion,” Father Garvey died Dec. 16 at Prelude Homes in Woodbury. He was 88.

He had a habit of coming to the 9 a.m. Mass on Sunday, even after he stopped driving several years ago.

“Generous parishioners would pick him up each week and accompany him,” Kosowski said.  “He loved it and they loved it.”

Kosowski, the parish liturgist, enjoyed both his presence and his lively comments about the Masses he attended.

“There he was in the back row every Sunday just engaged in the parish life,” she said. “He would call me every Sunday afternoon after church and say, ‘What did you think of that song?’ He’d want to talk about the liturgy because he loved it so much. He wanted to relive it in conversation with me in the afternoon.”

Born April 3, 1929, in St. Paul, he attended Nazareth Hall and graduated from Cretin High School in 1947. He later attended the St. Paul Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood Feb. 17, 1957, by Archbishop William Brady.

He served parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1957 to 1994. They include St. Rose of Lima in Roseville, St. John the Baptist in Excelsior, St. Anthony of Padua in northeast Minneapolis, St. Luke (now St. Thomas More) in St. Paul, St. Andrew (now merged with Maternity of Mary) in St. Paul and St. Frances Cabrini in Minneapolis (1987-1994).

“Everywhere he went, he was friendly to people,” Kosowski said. “He loved his faith, he lived it fully, helped other people to live it fully. He was so inclusive, I would say the most pastoral priest I’ve ever encountered. I had the joy to work with him before he retired from Cabrini, and [was] a dear friend for 30 years.”

In addition to parish ministry, Father Garvey served as chaplain at Archbishop Brady High School in West St. Paul (now closed) and at the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in St. Paul. Another assignment was as assistant director of Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.

Visitation will take place 4-7 p.m. Dec. 28 at St. Frances Cabrini, with vigil prayer at 7 p.m., followed by an all-night vigil. Another visitation will take place 10-11 a.m. Dec. 29, followed by the funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Burial will take place at a later date.

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Category: Obituaries