Rev. Thomas J. Garvey

Garvey web obitDecember 16, 2017


age 88, priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and beloved brother, uncle, pastor and friend to many, died peacefully on December 16, 2017.  “You sought God in every human heart that opened up before you…and found a little bit of [God] in everyone” (E. Hillesum). Born in St. Paul on April 3, 1929, Tom was the fifth of six children born to Bertha (Richter) Garvey and Michael Garvey. He was a graduate of St. Mark’s Grade School, Cretin High School (where he was captain of the hockey team) and the St. Paul Seminary. He was ordained on February 17, 1957, and later earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Minnesota. A gifted preacher and presider, he served in several parishes including St. Rose of Lima in Roseville, St. John the Baptist in Excelsior, St. Anthony of Padua in Minneapolis, St. Wenceslaus in New Prague, St. Luke and St. Andrew’s in St. Paul and St. Frances Cabrini in Minneapolis as well as campus ministry at the (then) College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. Following his retirement in 1994, Tom served as a guardian ad litem for children in the Hennepin County court system, an ESL tutor and with Faith and Light, an organization working with people with disabilities. He also served on the boards of Cabrini Partnership and the Carmen Pampa Fund. Tom was a consummate extrovert, was well read, travelled widely nationally and internationally, and loved spending time with friends at his get-away – Roundwood Cottage in Wild River State Park. His wide-ranging interests included Scripture, theology, literature, poetry, Celtic spirituality, ecumenism, astronomy and golf!  His intellectual curiosity was insatiable and his ability to ask probing questions was a marvel. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, stillborn brother Robert, sister Mary Ann Crenshaw and husband Jack, brother Jim and wife Gen, in-laws Patricia Garvey, Vern Hermes and Joan Garvey. Tom is survived by his beloved siblings, brother John, sister Margaret Hermes, and brother Michael, as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews and many beloved friends. Special thanks to his loving, extended care team these last few years as he lived with Alzheimer’s and to the staff at Prelude Homes in Woodbury where he spent his last few months. Services are as follows, all at the Church of St. Frances Cabrini, 1500 Franklin Avenue SE, Mpls MN 55414, 612-339-3023,  - Visitation: Thursday,  December  28, 4 -7 PM followed by Funeral Vigil Prayer Service at 7; Funeral Mass: Friday, December 29, 11:00 AM preceded by visitation from 10-11; Parking: see . Interment at a later date. Memorial contributions can be sent to Carmen Pampa Fund, PO Box 131145, St. Paul MN 55113-0010.

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