REV. JAMES W. GARVEY
Age 84, Fr. Jim Garvey crossed over the threshold of death and entered into eternal life Wednesday, January 4, 2023. He had surgery for lung cancer in May of this year. Fr. Jim was born and raised in McKees Rocks, where he received his grade school and high school education at St. Francis de Sales Parish. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh and was awarded a Masters of Divinity Degree from St. Francis Seminary, Loretto, Pa. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh October 23, 1976 by Bishop Vincent M. Leonard, D.D., at St. Paul Cathedral, Oakland. Throughout the years of his priesthood Fr. Garvey served in Parochial Ministry in various assignments in the Diocese of Pittsburgh: St. Anne Parish, Castle Shannon, St. Ursula, Allison Park, St. Catherine of Siena, Beechwood. He was Administrator of St. Joseph Parish, Manchester, and Immaculate Conception, Carnegie, and worked in team Ministry at St. Charles Lwanga, Homewood. He was pastor of St. Bartholomew, Penn Hills, and Epiphany, Uptown Pittsburgh, and Senior Priest at St. Margaret Mary, Moon Twp. Fr. Garvey retired from full time priestly ministry in January 2009, after which he was in residence at Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Troy Hill (Pgh., PA 15212).
Fr. Garvey will be long remembered for his life-interest in serving the poor and disenfranchised. He was a co-founder of Jubilee Soup Kitchen, Hill District, and for the beginning years, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and the principal fund-raiser. He was Coordinator of Programs for the Homeless for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and served as the Director of St. Joseph’s House of Hospitality for many years. Diocesan assignments include: Clergy Personnel Board, Priests Pension Board, Advocate for the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal, and Campaign for Human Development Review Board. He also served two terms as President and two terms as Secretary for the Catholic Historical Society of W. PA. For many years Fr. Garvey served on the Board of Directors for Marian Plaza Senior Citizen High Rise, and Bry-Mard Apartments Extended Care, Pittsburgh, PA. Fr. Garvey’s parents, William T. and Margaret C. (Blaney) Garvey, his sister Mary Ellen Garvey-Vercoe, and his younger brother Joseph preceded him in death. He is survived by his brother George (Mary Lou) Garvey, four nieces and two nephews, many grand nieces and nephews and countless friends.
It was well known within a small group of friends that Fr. Garvey enjoyed participating in poetry workshops, and was a published poet. It is better known among a much wider circle of people that he regularly wrote letters and corresponded with friends in the U.S.A., Italy, Mexico, the Middle East, Philippines, Japan and Africa. He often wrote articles and submitted photos for publication in the Pittsburgh Catholic News Paper. He had an abiding interest in local church history and for decades contributed books and artifacts on The Catholic Community to the Archives of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Department, Carnegie Library (Oakland.). He researched and authored the histories of St. Joseph Parish (Manchester), St. Francis de Sales Parish (McKees Rocks), Immaculate Conception Parish (Carnegie), Epiphany Parish (Uptown Pittsburgh), St. Paul Cathedral (when it was located in downtown Pittsburgh), St. Margaret Mary Parish, (Moon Township), a chapter in the Centennial History of St. Paul Cathedral Parish, Oakland, St. Raphael Parish, (Morningside,) and St. Anne Parish, (Castle Shannon.) He also published a memoir about riding the streetcar: “A Transfer Please.”
Fr. Garvey enjoyed sailing on cruise ships and vacations at the Jersey Shore where he often attended Clergy Continuing Education and Retreats with classmates and fellow clergymen from throughout the U.S.A.
Family and friends will be received be from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, January 5, 2023, in the Chapel at the Little Sisters of the Poor (Masks are required), 1028 Benton Ave., Pgh., PA 15212 and from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., on Friday, January 6, 2023, in Most Holy Name Church, 1520 Claim Street, Pgh., PA 15212-Troy Hill. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 7, 2023, in Most Holy Name Church, Troy Hill with Bishop David A. Zubik officiating. Arrangements entrusted to the HUGHES FUNERAL HOME, INC.-Troy Hill. Please post condolences on Fr. Garvey’s tribute wall at www.hughesfhinc.com. Memorial donations may be sent to Jubilee Soup Kitchen, P.O. Box 42251, Pittsburgh, PA 15203.