Rev. Charles C. Garst, III, OSFS, a professed member of the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales for 44 years, died on Nov. 22, 2018.
Born in Wilmington on Nov. 13, 1953, the son of Charles C., Jr. and Catherine (Calhoun) Garst, he was a graduate of Sacred Heart Elementary School, Wilmington, and 1971 graduate of Salesianum School. He entered the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in September 1971. He professed first vows at the end of his postulancy and novitiate Aug. 14, 1974, perpetual profession May 23, 1981, and was ordained a priest May 21, 1983. He completed a B.A. in Spanish from Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, Center Valley, Pa., in 1977, an M.A. in Theology from De Sales Hall School of Theology, Hyattsville, Md., in 1983, and an M.A. in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University, Villanova, Pa., in 1990.
After graduating Allentown College, Father Garst taught Spanish and Mathematics at his alma mater Salesianum School, 1977–79, and Father Judge High School, Philadelphia, 1983–96, where he also served as assistant athletic director from 1992–96. From 1996–09, he ministered as parochial vicar at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Wilmington. After serving as administrator of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Robesonia, Pa., for a year, he returned to Philadelphia as parochial vicar at St. Dominic Catholic Church from 2010-18.
In addition to secondary school and parochial ministry, Father Garst also served as chaplain to the Philadelphia and Wilmington police departments and the ATF. He was described by one commanding officer as “a consummate professional.” People from all walks of life experienced Father Garst as unassuming, “easy to talk to … a man who was sincere and dedicated.”
Fr. Garst is survived by three siblings: sister Carol Ann (Paul) Gallagher, brother Michael (Charlotte) Garst and sister Diane (Craig) Slatcher.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 6 p.m. Nov. 28 at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Wilmington, with visitation 3:30 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. Interment will be at noon, Thursday, Nov. 29 at Oblate Cemetery, 1120 Blue Ball Road, Childs, Md.
Donations in memory of Father Garst’s life and legacy may be made to the Oblate Development Fund, 2200 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Del., 19806.