Father Patrick Callan, who served the Diocese of Rockville Centre as a priest for 59 years, died Saturday August 8, 2020, at Saint Pius X Residence, Amityville. He was 85 years old.
A native Long Islander, Father Callan grew up in Brentwood, the eldest of four children. He was an altar server at St. Anne’s and attended the parish school there. During an interview with The Long Island Catholic newspaper on the occasion of his 50th anniversary of ordination, Father Callan recalled that faith was an integral part of his family life. “We prayed the rosary every night,” he said.
He attended Montfort Preparatory Seminary, Bay Shore, and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, before being ordained on June 3, 1961.
His first assignment was as an associate pastor at St. Bernard’s Church, Levittown. “I still remember that first weekend of pastoral work — two hours of non-stop confessions, two Masses, and 35 baptisms, all in Latin,” he told The Long Island Catholic.
After a year, he was transferred to St. Peter the Apostle, which was then just getting started in Islip Terrace. “It was hard to have a parish without a church” he recalled, but they managed. “One thing I remember was that we developed a religious education program in people’s homes.”
Father Callan also served at SS. Philip and James in St. James, and St. Brigid’s in Westbury, before he was assigned to hospital ministry. From 1974 to 1976 he was chaplain at Nassau Hospital (now NYU Winthrop Hospital), and from 1976 to 1980 was chaplain at Nassau County Medical Center.
“Around that time, Bishop (John) McGann asked me to serve as associate director of health affairs for the diocese, and later as director,” Father Callan said. “I really enjoyed hospital ministry. It is so vital and a great opportunity to bring Christ to people who need Him.”
After serving as an associate pastor at Christ the King, Commack, for three years he was assigned in 1985 to his first pastorate, St. Anne’s in Brentwood. “It was my home parish. When I got there, the school principal gave me my grades from when I was a student,” he remembered.
He also served as chaplain at Pilgrim State Hospital during those years.
In 1994, he was named pastor of Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Bridgehampton, where he served until being named temporary administrator at St. Anthony of Padua in Rocky Point in 2000. In 2002, he became pastor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Point Lookout, where he served until his retirement in 2013. He continued to serve as a part-time chaplain at Winthrop Hospital.
When asked to sum up his priesthood in the 50th anniversary interview, Father Callan said that what struck him most “is that the priesthood has been very fulfilling for me. It is a wonderful opportunity to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to serve His people.”
Funeral arrangements for Father Callan are:
Wake: Thursday, August 13, 2 – 7 p.m.
Church of Corpus Christi, 55 Garfield Avenue, Mineola
Vigil Mass: Thursday, August 13, 7:30 p.m.
Church of Corpus Christi
Funeral Mass: Friday, August 14, at 11 a.m.
Church of Corpus Christi