View Full Version : Disney lost a fan Wake Forest, NC

07-28-2007, 08:43 AM
Our beloved priest Fr. John Parish and devote Disney fan died in his sleep at age 49 on Sunday. It is with great sorrow I post this information. His love for Mickey was mentioned at the funeral and ears were placed on the casket (in front of the bishop.):mickey: His family left the church wearing mouse ears.

From the Raleigh news and observer:
Rev. John G. Parish
The Reverend John Gerard Parish, 49, died unexpectedly Monday at his residence. John was born July 1, 1958 in Waukegan, IL to Harold A. and the late Anna K. Merkwan Parish. He was raised in Oxnard, CA and graduated from Oxnard High School. John was active in scouting, becoming an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. A 1980 graduate of St. John's Seminary College, Camarillo, CA, John also received a theology degree from St. John's Seminary Theologate in 1984. He was ordained to the sacred priesthood, June 16, 1984 under Timothy Cardinal Manning in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Father John began his ministry as Assoc. Pastor at St. Rose of Lima Church, Simi Valley, CA from 1984-88. He was granted a transfer request to the Diocese of Raleigh in 1988 and assigned parochial vicar of Immaculate Conception Church, Durham. In 1990 he became parochial vicar of St. Raphael Church in Raleigh, then appointed administrator of St. Matthew Catholic Church, Durham in 1998, where he served until transfer in 2006 to St. Catherine of Siena Church in Wake Forest as its pastor.
A true extrovert who radiated constant enthusiasm, Fr. John was full of life and had boundless energy. He embodied joy, combining it with laughter, which resulted in remarkable rapport with his parishioners and particularly the young people. He took seriously the Church's mission of hospitality, welcoming all people without conditions. Fr. John was theologically and biblically grounded, while maintaining an open heart and mind. He was attentive to the "spirit of the law" more than "the letter." Fr. John exemplified the words of St. Francis of Assisi, "Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary."
John Parish was devoted to not only the church, his family, friends and brother priests but also to his beloved "Just Us Gang." He will especially be remembered for his fanatical affection for Disney and Mickey Mouse".:angel:

Surviving are: his sisters, Michelle Parish and her partner, Renee Bitner of Columbia, MD, and Mary Parish of Pleasant Hill CA; his father, Harold A. Parish of Oxnard, CA; and his nephew and nieces, Matthew, Kiley and Logan Bitner- Parish.
He was predeceased by his mother, Anna K. Parish in 2006.
A concelebrated Mass of Christian burial will be offered 10:30 a.m. Friday from St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Wake Forest. The Most Rev'd Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, will be principal celebrant, assisted by the Most Rev. F. Joseph Gossman, Bishop Emeritus. A church reception will follow the funeral prior to burial in St. Matthew Catholic Cemetery, Durham.
Visitors may call 6:00-9:00 p.m. Thursday in the church, with a Christian Wake service said at 7:00 p.m.
Donations in Fr. John's memory may be made to: St. Catherine of Siena Church, Building Fund; the Bishop's Annual Appeal or to Gregorian Masses in his memory c/o St. Catherine of Siena Church.

07-28-2007, 09:47 AM
Wow, so young! So Sorry to hear of your loss (as well as Disney's loss).

07-28-2007, 09:51 AM
I am so sorry for your sad news on the loss of someone who sounds like he was extraordinary. :( You have my sincere condolences.

07-28-2007, 10:14 AM
How sad. But what a great way for the family to remember him at the funeral! I'm sure he appreciated it. :pixie: for your community,

07-28-2007, 10:17 AM
How very sad.

07-28-2007, 10:49 AM
How very sad for all involved.

I was reading this wondering if he was the priest that my priest was just at Disney with.
My priest is a huge disney fan as well and about the same age.
Such a tragedy at such a young age.

07-28-2007, 11:32 AM
:angel: So sorry to hear the sad news. Sending :pixie: and prayers for his soul and his family.

07-29-2007, 12:47 AM
My sympathies to his family. That's so young to pass away! But it sounds like he enjoyed life to the fullest.