Fr. Thomas A. Carney, MSC was soft spoken and humble. He was a devoted priest, loved by all, and will be greatly missed.
He died on Tuesday afternoon, January 28, 2020, at Manor Care Nursing Home, Bethlehem, PA. He was 92. He was born in New Lexington, Ohio, on September 14, 1927, to Lewis Francis Carney and Helen (Kinsel) Carney. He graduated from St. Rose Parochial School in New Lexington in 1941, and from New Lexington Public High School in 1945. In 1947, he entered the novitiate of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Shelby, Ohio, making his first profession of vows on September 14, 1948. He continued with studies for the priesthood at Sacred Heart Seminary in Shelby, making perpetual profession of vows in 1951.
Fr. Tom was ordained a priest by Bishop George Rehring, D.D, in Toledo, Ohio, on May 29, 1954. His first assignment was a teacher and prefect of students at Sacred Heart Mission Seminary, Geneva, Illinois. In 1957, he became provincial vocation director. He was appointed chaplain at Mooseheart, Illinois, in 1963. During 1965, he served as parochial vicar at Holy Family Parish in Nazareth, PA, and then in parish supply ministry out of the former MSC community in Sparta, Wisconsin. In that same year, he began a Latin American ministry. He was successively parochial vicar in Lima, Peru, and Bogota’, Columbia. In 1969, he became parochial vicar in Bogota’ and Cali. He was then appointed sectional superior until his return to the States, in 1985, to study Clinical Pastoral Education in preparation for chaplaincy ministry in Colombia. On his return to Colombia he became pastor at St. Eugene Parish in Bogota’. In 1990, he came back to the USA to minister at Holy Family Parish in Nazareth, PA, for one year. Then he ministered as associate pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Upland, California until July 1994. He was then assigned to the Aurora, Illinois community to join the development department. In August of 1997, Fr. Tom was assigned to the Youngstown, Ohio community and was appointed pastor of St. Rose of Lime in Youngstown. Fr. Tom was co-founder of the parish of Santa Margarita Maria in Bogota’, Colombia, in 1967. He was fluent in Spanish. In 2005, Fr. Tom was inducted into the New Lexington Hall of Fame.
He had 5 sisters; Barbara Teeter, Jean Boos, Ramona Schneider, Sue Stiles (all 4 deceased) and Sharon Shahan; and 3 brothers; Dale Carney and Richard Carney (deceased) and Arthur Carney.
Fr. Tom moved to Center Valley, PA in 2009 and became a resident of Sacred Heart Villa. He recently moved to Manor Care in Bethlehem, PA where he died.
A funeral mass was celebrated on Monday, February 3, 2020 at Sacred Heart Villa. His remains are at a family plot in New Lexington. Donations on behalf of his memory may be made to Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, 3300 Station Ave., Center Valley, PA 18034.
A Celebration of Life Mass will be offered on Thursday, March 19 at 11:00 a.m. in St. Rose of Lima Church, New Lexington, Ohio. A luncheon will follow at the Parish Hall.
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