Father William John McCarthy, MSA (Father Bill) beloved priest, uncle, brother, cousin, spiritual director, evangelist, and teacher, was called to heaven on June 8, 2021 surrounded by his family at St. Francis Hospital, Hartford, CT. He was born on May 19, 1934 in Hartford, CT and lived a magnificent life in dedication to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As the son of William and Alice McCarthy, Father Bill grew up in West Hartford and attended William H. Hall High School (Hall High) where he was a star athlete in baseball and basketball. He attended St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, CT and was ordained as a Catholic priest in Rome on December 20, 1959 for the Archdiocese of Hartford. He served as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Pompeii, East Haven; St. Joseph's, Meriden; St. Francis of Assisi, Torrington; St. Mary's, East Hartford, St. Luke's, Hartford; and as Co-Pastor at St. Anthony's in Bristol. When he was assigned to St. Mary's he became known as "the priest in the yellow bus." He acquired an aging school bus and used it to transport the elderly to church or wherever they had to go and to take parish children on excursions to such places as Holy Land in Waterbury and Riverside Park in Agawam. In 1983, Father Bill became a member of the Missionaries of the Holy Apostles and founded his unique vision, My Father's House Retreat Center in Moodus, CT along with Sister Bernadette Sheldon, CSJ. As a Spiritual Director of My Father's House for over 36 years, Father Bill dedicated his life to leading retreats and missions, counseling, writing, teaching, speaking, and spiritual direction. He established relationships with some of the most influential spiritual and evangelical leaders in the world and shared a special audience with Pope John Paul II, a meaningful moment in his life. He is the author of over 30 books including but not limited to: Listening to God, A Personal Relationship with Jesus, The Our Father, Mary in the Church Today, The Holy Spirit in the Writings of John Paul II, God Bless America, and Being Virtuous in a Non-Virtuous World. For over 60 years he traveled extensively throughout the United States and to the Holy Land for several missions including being a part of The Holy Land Rosary with Father Mitch Pacwa on EWTN. He also directed the television program In His Name on Connecticut Public Access Television. As a teacher, Father Bill taught scripture and spirituality at Catholic high schools and taught at the seminary at Holy Apostles in Cromwell, CT where he also served as spiritual director and a member of the Provincial Council. As an evangelist, he has been active in the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International (FGBMFI) and Aglow meetings and created his own lay evangelism team who works with giving retreats and conferences. His thoughtful and meaningful words of wisdom (either spoken or sung) were much adored and he was invited to speak at hundreds of churches throughout North America. He has been honorary speaker at Eucharistic, Charismatic, and Marian Conferences throughout the USA, Canada, and Ireland and has been curate, pastor, and spiritual leader in the Ecumenical, Cursillo, Charismatic, Marriage Encounter, and Marian movements in the Church. His contagious smile, charismatic personality, loving presence, and endless energy were well known. He made lifelong friendships and it was a wonder to witness his ability to balance attention to daily commitments and to those who required his counseling--his focus was always on the individual person and their desire to create and maintain a personal relationship with Christ. His dedication to area families, the sick, and the unfortunate never stopped. He worked tirelessly to grow and nurture My Father's House, a special place of restoration and healing for many. He retired as Spiritual Director from My Father's House in 2019 and with the help of his family, continued to share his love of Christ with family and friends. As part of a large Irish-Catholic family, Father Bill cherished his Irish heritage and every member of his family. Many family members share special memories of working at My Father's House as painters, carpenters, landscapers, cleaners, and cooks. With the help of many hands and generous donors, the former 60-acre Jewish retreat center called "Orchard Mansion" was transformed into My Father's House. He loved sports and often took nieces and nephews to Fenway Park for Red Sox games and with a precise jump shot, was a clutch member of many pickup basketball teams at family reunions. He is survived by his sister Kathleen Dunn (Richard) of Berlin, CT, brother-in-law Robert Oliva, of Windsor Locks, CT and sister-in-law Patricia McCarthy, of Kearney, MO. He is predeceased by his parents William and Alice McCarthy, sister Mary Anne Skelly (Joseph), brother James J. McCarthy, and sister Alice Oliva (Robert). He was blessed with dozens of nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins, who fondly remember his love, laughter, and singing of When Irish Eyes are Smiling and God Bless America. His dedication to the love of Jesus Christ stemmed from the love and encouragement bestowed to him by his parents which would inspire him throughout his life. Visitation is scheduled on Wednesday June 16, 2021 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, 34 Beaver Road, Wethersfield, A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday June 17, 2021 at 10:00am in Saint James Church of Saint Josephine Bahkita Parish. Internment will follow Mass at Rose Hill Cemetery in Rocky Hill, CT. Online condolences may be expressed at Farleysullivan.com
. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Renewal Ministries, P.O. Box 491, Ann Arbor, MI 48106 or donate online to www.renewalministries.net
. "Our intention is always to love God more."
Published by Hartford Courant on Jun. 13, 2021.