Obituaries

Much-loved priest’s last public act was celebrating Mass

Father Engelbert Michel, 77, died after celebrating a funeral Mass at St. Christopher Church where he was senior priest. Having led two parishes as pastor, he was fluent in English, German and Spanish.

Father Donald Birch, who ‘lived the beatitudes,’ dies at 76

Priest friends remember the pastor emeritus of the former St. Joseph the Worker Parish as a spiritual man of simple faith who remained in active ministry despite major health problems for much of his career.

Sister Ruth Held, 40 years in retreat ministry, dies at 96

A member of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for more than seven decades, Sister Ruth earned English degrees at Rosemont and Villanova, teaching for many years before directing retreats at Raphaela Center in Haverford.

Sister Barbara Agnew, theologian at Villanova, dies at 91

After teaching in schools in her native Ohio, the Precious Blood sister ministered at Villanova University's Theology Department in teaching, writing and doing research as a theologian and faculty member.

Retired pastor of Maternity Parish recalled as ‘one of the good guys’

Msgr. Anthony McGuire, who revitalized parish buildings and prayed the rosary every day while walking the streets of Northeast Philadelphia, died Oct. 9 at age 86. His funeral Mass is Oct. 15.

Msgr. Topper, the nation’s oldest, longest-ordained priest, dies at 104

Remembered for his hard work and humility, Msgr. Topper died in his residence at St. Catherine Laboure Parish in Harrisburg, where he had been living since 1999.

Longtime Chestnut Hill College biology professor dies at 84

Sister Florence E. Sullivan, S.S.J., taught at all levels of education as a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph for 67 years.

Longtime music teacher in Philadelphia schools dies at 74

Sister Regina Maria Gormley, S.S.J., earned graduate degrees in music education from Temple University and Catholic University of America before serving in liturgical music for much of her 56 years in ministry.

Sister Mary Patricia McCrane, S.S.J., dies at age 85

The Sister of St. Joseph ministered for 66 years in the congregation primarily as a teacher in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and neighboring dioceses.

St. Joseph Sister marked 73 years in religious life

Sister Marie Clare Kleschick, S.S.J., age 91, was primarily a high school teacher in her long ministry. She had earned a graduate degree in English literature from the University of Notre Dame.