Father Joseph J. Zingaro

Father Joseph J. Zingaro, 67, pastor of St. John Cantius Parish in Philadelphia, died May 20, which was the 42nd anniversary of his of ordination to the priesthood. His death was caused by complications from COVID-19.

In the last parish bulletin published prior to his death he exhorted his flock to continue to pray “for young men to hear God’s call to be a priest, especially from our parish.”

The son of the late Joseph Zingaro and the late Mary (Barnak) Zingaro, he attend St. Josaphat School in the Manayunk section of Philadelphia and Roman Catholic High School before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.

After his May 20, 1978 ordination by Cardinal John Krol at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Father Zingaro’s first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Edmond Parish, Philadelphia. This was followed by parochial vicar at Assumption B.V.M. Feasterville, then St. John Cantius, Philadelphia, and St. Adalbert, Philadelphia.


In 1993 he was appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Swedesburg follower by pastor of St. John Cantius Parish in 2000, and Holy Name of Jesus, Philadelphia in 2013.

He returned to St. John Cantius in 2014 where he remained until his sudden death.

Other secondary assignments he had over the years included associate director of the Office for Youth and Young Adults and vocations coordinator.

“He was loved,” said Dave Zagorski, the director of Parish Services at St. John Cantius. “The parish was his main focus. I’ve known him since he was at St. Adalbert’s where Msgr. (Anthony) Jaworowski was his mentor. He had the same type of personality.”

“We loved him. He couldn’t do enough for his people,” said Joe Slabinski, who is not only the funeral director for much of St. John Cantius Parish but also a long-time friend of Father Zingaro. “We loved the guy and couldn’t do enough for him.”

Because of the ongoing pandemic Father Zingaro’s funeral was private. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date.