Fr. Richard J. Monahan
Fr. Richard J. Monahan died on September 9, 2010 in Milford Hospital after a long illness. He was 81 years old.
Fr. Monahan was born on August 13, 1929 in Philadelphia, PA. He attended Catholic elementary schools and graduated first in his class at Northeast Catholic High School. He attended the University of Niagara in New York, and completed his priestly formation at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, MD.
“I think he was first in his class in every school he was in,” says long time friend Fr. Peter DeMarco, who was a year behind Fr. Monahan in seminary. “He never talked about those things; he was reserved and quiet about that. He was a humble man.”
Fr. Monahan was ordained on May 23, 1959, at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport, by Bishop Lawrence J. Shehan. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Augustine Cathedral in Bridgeport. He also served as parochial vicar at Assumption Parish in Westport; St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Fairfield; St. Mary Parish in Bethel; and St. Theresa Parish in Trumbull. In 1976, he was appointed pastor of Saint Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull, where he served until his retirement in 1991.
Fr. DeMarco’s friendship with him grew over the years. “He was a quiet person, but he had some very close friends,” he says. “He made a special effort to come to my 50th Jubilee Mass this spring, even though he was ill, and he stayed as long as he could. He was a strong-willed person.”
He adds that Fr. Monahan was deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. “He was buried on the feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary. He would have been very pleased at that.”
On September 14, Fr. Monahan’s body was received at St. Catherine of Siena Church. A parish Vigil Mass of Christ the High Priest was celebrated that evening by Msgr. Richard J. Shea, St. Catherine’s current pastor, with Msgr. Louis A. DeProfio, P.A., delivering the homily. Bishop William E. Lori celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial at St. Catherine’s on September 15; Fr. DeMarco was the homilist. Burial followed at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Trumbull.