Rev. Hugh J. Connaghan

March 16, 2012

CARTHAGE, N.Y.  —  The Reverend Hugh J. Connaghan, 88, 500 State St. Carthage, died Thursday evening, March 15, 2012 at Carthage Area Hospital. 

He was born Jan. 22, 1924, in Chesnut Hill, Pa., the son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Connaghan.

Father Connaghan received his early education in the Mother of Consolation School in his native Chestnut Hill, Pa. He graduated in 1941 from Catholic High School, Philadelphia, Pa., and in 1947 from Villanova University, Villanova, Pa., where he received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy and engineering. 

He attended the International College of St. Monica and Gregorian University, both in Rome, Italy, and was ordained there on July 2, 1950. From 1951 to 1956 he was Assistant Pastor of the St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Bronx, N.Y. In 1956 to 1957 he served St. Rita’s, Philadelphia, Pa.; from 1957 to 1962 he was Assistant Pastor at Erdenheim, Pa. His next three assignments, each for two years, were to the Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Staten Island; Resurrection Parish, Dania, Fla., and St. Augustine Parish, Andover, Mass. 

In August 1968, he returned to Carthage and served at St. James from 1977 until September of 1986. While in this community, Father J. Connaghan, OSA served as Parochial Vicar of St. James Minor Church in Carthage where he taught religion and served as the athletic director and track coach at the Carthage Augustinian Academy. He was also active in marriage encounter work. 

He was later appointed Administrator of St. Henry’s Church in DeKalb Junction and St. Rene’s Church in Russell. He also served as Administrator of St. Michael’s Church in Antwerp and St. Joseph’s Church in Philadelphia. 

A licensed airplane pilot, he survived a crash of his private airplane at the Carthage Airfield in 1985. He was a frequent blood donor with the American Red Cross and was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus, Carthage Council #291 Bishop Conroy General Assembly 4th Degree.

Father Connaghan was a member and served as Chaplin of various civic organizations to include: The Fireman’s Association of the State of New York (FASNY), The Jefferson County Fire Chief’s & Fireman’s Association; the Northern New York Volunteer Fireman’s Association; The Volunteer Fire Police Association of State of New York; The New York State Association of Fire Chaplin’s; The Carthage Fire Department and The National Association of Priest Pilots. 
He is survived by his brother, P. Joseph Connaghan, Ardsley, Pennsylvania, a nephew and several nieces and their families. 

Visitation will be held 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 18, at Lundy Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Inc., 500 State St., Carthage, with a Fire Department memorial service at 6:00 p.m. The Carthage Fire Department and the Knights of Columbus will provide an honor guard.

A funeral Mass will be said 11 a.m. Monday, March 19, at St. James Church in Carthage. Fr. Connaghan will lie in state at the Church on Monday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the service. 

Burial will follow in New St. James Cemetery in Carthage. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to assist with final expenses may be mailed to Bill Blunden, the Treasurer of the Carthage Fire Department, PO Box 296, Carthage, NY 13619.

Information provided by Bossuot-Lundy Funeral Home, Inc., and, Watertown, N.Y.