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The Reverend John Thomas Dugan, 70, died Monday, August 25th, in Philadelphia. Father Dugan was born on January 29, 1944, in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, the son of Thomas and Mary Jo (Weist) Dugan.
After attending Elementary School in Osceola Mills and High School in Philipsburg, he was a student at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, at Georgetown University, before entering St. Mark Seminary in Erie. He attended Gannon College in Erie for two years, as part of his seminary training, and was sent to Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, New York, for his major seminary formation. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Erie on May 7, 1970, in St. Peter Cathedral, Erie, by Bishop Alfred Watson.
Father Dugan began his priestly ministry as parochial vicar of Holy Redeemer Parish in Warren, where he remained until 1972. He subsequently served as parochial vicar at St. Brigid in Meadville (1972-1978), while also serving as Director of Campus Ministry at Allegheny College. He then served as parochial vicar at St. Bernard Parish in Bradford (1978) and at St. Joseph Parish in Sharon (1978-1984), where he was also Parochial Administrator (1984). In December 1984, Fr. Dugan was appointed pastor of St. Charles Parish in New Bethlehem, with responsibility also for the Mission Churches of Saint Nicholas in Crates and Saints Cosmas and Damian in Seminole. In 1994, he was named pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Fairview (1994-2007). During his tenure there, he also served on the committee for Clergy Continuing Education (1997-2001).
Additionally, from 1991-1994, Fr. Dugan was the Director Development and Proposal Writing for the Diocesan Office of Catholic Charities, in Erie.
Because of continuing health issues, Fr. Dugan spent the remainder of his priestly ministry as a Senior Associate in various parishes: St. Joseph Parish, Sharon (2008-2010), St. Jude Parish, Erie (2010-2014), and Our Lady of Peace Parish, Erie, from February 2014 until his death.
In Fr. Tom's own words, this is his summation for us all. "Perhaps this seemingly ironic, quirky, potentially hilarious contretemps is not that at all . . . but a Grace for the end of life, a foreshadowing, a hint, a glimpse of a gift that in this moment can only be remotely comprehended and internalized and lived in joy, loneliness and longing . . . this call to vast things heard, discovered, in the other, in one anOther."
Visitation will be held at Holy Cross Church, 7100 West Ridge Road, Fairview, Pennsylvania, on Friday, August 29, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. and again from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Evening Prayer will be celebrated at 8:30 p.m. in Holy Cross Church, with the Rev. Monsignor Robert J. Smith, Vicar General, presiding. The funeral Mass will take place on Saturday, August 30, at 10:00 a.m., at Holy Cross Church, with the Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, Bishop of Erie, as the main celebrant. Burial will follow in the priests' circle at Calvary Cemetery.
In Father Dugan's memory, donations may be made to The Catholic Foundation to benefit Clergy Health and Welfare, at 429 East Grandview Blvd., Erie, PA 16504.
Arrangements were handled by Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 West 26th St., Erie, PA 16506. Send condolences at www.burtonfuneralhome.com
Published in the Erie Times-News from Aug. 28 to Aug. 29, 2014