Father John J. Kavanaugh, a longtime pastor in the Diocese of Wilmington, died Sept. 13. He was 92 and was the longest-ordained priest in the diocese.
He was ordained in June 1957 at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington by Bishop Hubert J. Cartwright.
Father Kavanaugh was born in Wilmington on May 2, 1931, and attended Christ Our King School before entering St. Charles High School and College Seminary in Catonsville, Md.
He was an associate pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Matthew’s in Wilmington, Holy Rosary in Claymont, and Immaculate Conception in Elkton, Md. His first pastorate was at St. Edmond’s, Rehoboth Beach, where he served from 1969-71, when he moved to Holy Cross, Dover. He was also the pastor of St. Peter the Apostle, New Castle, and Ss. Peter and Paul, Easton, Md.
In 1987, he transferred to St. John the Beloved Parish in Wilmington, where he ministered until 2005. Even in retirement, he continued to serve the diocese. He was administrator of the now-closed St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Wilmington, and Holy Spirit, New Castle.
Father Kavanaugh served as a dean in two deaneries, and he was a member of the diocesan pastoral commission, the Priests’ Council and the Priest Personnel Committee.
After fully retiring, he moved to Charlestown, Md.
Details about funeral arrangements were not available Thursday afternoon. Information will be updated as it becomes available.