Diocesan priests mark milestone jubilees
Father John Morgan is originally from St. Ambrose Parish in Rochester. He attended St. Ambrose School and Auburn's St. Alphonsus School before completing his seminary training at St. Andrew's and St. Bernard's seminaries in Rochester. He was ordained May 18, 1940, by Bishop Kearney at Rochester's Sacred Heart Cathedral.
After his ordination Father Morgan served as assistant pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Rochester from 1940-51 and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Rochester from 1951-57. He then served as principal of Geneva's DeSales High School for one year before becoming assistant pastor at Church of the Assumption in Fairport from 1958-59 and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Elmira from 1959-64.
In 1964 he was appointed to his first pastorate, leading St. Bernard's Parish in Scipio Center, St. Hilary Parish in Genoa and St. Isaac Jogues Chapel in Fleming until 1967. That year he became pastor of St. James Parish in Waverly, where he served until 1978. In 1978 he became pastor of St. Columba's Parish in Caledonia, where he served until 1981, when he became pastor of St. Gregory's Parish in Marion. He stayed at St. Gregory's until his retirement in 1986.
For several years after his retirement Father Morgan helped out at various diocesan parishes during the summer months and served at Sacred Heart Parish in Pinehurst, N.C., during the winter months. In 1995 he moved to California, and has been assisting at St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Camarillo ever since. He says daily Mass, hears confessions a few hours each week and does whatever the parish needs him to do.
Father Morgan noted that he is the only one of his former seminary classmates still living. Right after ordination, the 21 classmates made a pact that whenever one of them passed away, the rest would each say three Masses for him. Since he's the last member of his class, "I got gipped," Father Morgan joked.