PAWTUCKET — Reverend John J. McElroy, 99, Pastor Emeritus of the former St. Joseph Parish, Pawtucket, died Saturday, February 16, 2019. He was the oldest living priest of the Diocese of Providence.
Born in Providence, a son of the late Terence and Agnes (Slavin) McElroy, he attended Blessed Sacrament School, LaSalle Academy, and Providence College, all in Providence.
In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at St. Bernard Seminary, Rochester, New York, and at St. Mary Seminary, Baltimore. The Most Reverend Francis P. Keough ordained him a priest on February 24, 1945 at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, Providence.
Father McElroy served as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Parish, Pawtucket (1945-58); St. Lawrence Parish, Centredale (1958-66); and at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Providence (1966-69). In 1969, he was appointed pastor of St. Anthony Parish, Providence. In 1976, Father was transferred to St. Joseph Parish, Pawtucket, where he served until his retirement as Pastor Emeritus in 1991.
During his retirement, Father McElroy resided at St. Joseph Parish, Pawtucket, and then St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish, Pawtucket. In his final years, he lived at the St. John Vianney Residence, Providence.
A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial for the repose of his soul was held on February 21 at St. Joseph Church, Pawtucket with Bishop Thomas J. Tobin as the main celebrant and Father Charles Galligan, pastor of St. Joseph Church, Cumberland, serving as the homilist. Bishop Louis E. Gelineau and other clergy concelebrated the funeral Mass. Burial was in St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket.