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Father John McGinley, OSFS, longtime educator, former pastor of St. Anthony of Padua in Wilmington, dies at 82

Father John McGinley, left, celebrating 60 years as a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, and Deacon Wiliam Johnston, process to the altar at the beginning of Jubilee for Religious Mass at Church of the Holy Child in Wilmington on Sept. 21, 2021. Dialog photo/Joseph P. Owens

With sadness, but with faith in the Resurrection, we announce that our brother, Rev. John F. McGinley, OSFS, passed away at the age of 82 on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2023.

Father McGinley was a professed member of the Oblates for 63 years and a priest for almost 55 years. A teacher, administrator, pastor, and religious superior, Father McGinley was a dedicated Oblate and priest.

Born in Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 1940, he was the son of Irish immigrants Patrick McGinley and Bridget (Friel) McGinley. He attended Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia and joined the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales after graduation in 1958. John made his First Profession of vows in 1960 and his Perpetual Profession of vows in 1964. For his apostolic internship, John taught English at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia.

John earned a BBA from Niagara University in New York and M.Ed. from Temple University in 1971.  John was ordained a priest on Oct. 26, 1968.  In 1977, Father John received his MBA from Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (now DeSales University).

Following ordination, Father John joined the faculty at Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg for five years. In the mid-1970s, Father John began his long association with higher education when he was named the Assistant Superior and Treasurer of Brisson Seminary located on the campus of Allentown College.  In 1977, Father John became the Vice President of Finance at Allentown College and then the Vice President of Continuing Education when the college became DeSales University in 2000.

Father John served on the boards and councils of many organizations in the Church and in his religious community.  He was the General Treasurer for the world-wide Oblate congregation, a member of the Oblate Provincial Conference, and an elected Provincial Councilor for the Wilmington-Philadelphia Province.

Following his ministry at the university, Father John was named pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Wilmington, Delaware. From 2002 to 2012, Father John brought his administrative skills and pastoral experience to the parish.

Father John McGinley in this undated photo. Courtesy Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.

With his financial acumen and business sense, he led a successful capital campaign that provided support to the enhancements of the church.  This included expanding the choir loft and adding a pipe organ.

When his term as pastor ended, Father John became Associate Pastor at St. Jane de Chantal Church in Easton, PA (Diocese of Allentown).

Eventually retiring to Philadelphia, Father John became a senior priest at Our Mother of Consolation Parish in Chestnut Hill.  In 2020, Father John returned to Childs, Maryland (where he had been a novice in the 1950s) to reside at Annecy Hall, the Oblate assisted-care facility.

Even as Father John faced memory issues and physical limitations, he continued to be a positive presence to everyone at Annecy Hall.  He was always willing to share a smile or a story, usually greeting people with a handshake and a genuine greeting of: “Nice to meet you!” In his final years, Father John embraced the present moment that was such a part of his spiritual journey.

Father McGinley is preceded in death by his parents, his sister Marie Jackson, his brothers Daniel, James, and the Rev. Bernard McGinley. He is survived by his Oblate confreres, his sister-in-law Jane McGinley, and many nieces and nephews.

The viewing for Father McGinley will be held from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, Delaware (901 N. Dupont Street) followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m.  A luncheon will follow in the school hall.

Burial will follow in the Oblate Cemetery at 1:30 p.m.

Condolences may be sent to John’s nephew: Mr. and Mrs. Chris McGinley, 1432 Noble Road, Jenkintown, Pa. 19046.