Monsignor John B. Hagerty, well known, well respected and a highly esteemed priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, died early Saturday morning, April 6, 2013 at Saint Mary Home at Asbury Ridge, Erie.
Monsignor Hagerty was born in Erie on January 1, 1930, the son of the late Bert and Olive Thompson Hagerty.
A graduate of Cathedral Preparatory School, Class of 1947, Monsignor began his journey to priestly ministry entering Saint Mark Seminary and Gannon College (University) in September of that year. He was assigned to Saint Mary Seminary, Baltimore, in September of 1949, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. He was then appointed to Theological College and the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., where he received a Master of Arts degree in Theology. Post-graduate studies were taken at the University of Pittsburgh, Georgetown University and University of Notre Dame. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 1955 at Saint Peter Cathedral, Erie, by the Most Reverend Edward Peter McManaman.
In May of 1955, Monsignor Hagerty was assigned to the Cathedral Preparatory School and to weekend assistance at Saint James Parish, Erie. In 1959, he was appointed Dean of Studies at Saint Mark Seminary and in 1968, appointed Rector of the Seminary. In 1972, he began a five year appointment as Headmaster of Elk County Catholic High School in St. Marys, where he also served as Administrator of Saint Benedict Mission Church, Daguscahonda. Subsequent appointments included pastoral appointments to Saint Joseph Parish, Sharon (1977 – 1984), Headmaster of the Cathedral Preparatory School (1984 – 1989), Blessed Sacrament Parish, Erie (1989 – 1991), Saint Thomas Parish, Corry (1991 – 1997), and Notre Dame Parish, Hermitage (1997 – 2005). He retired from the active ministry in February of 2005 but, dedicated and committed teacher that he was, he taught Latin part-time to students at Blessed Sacrament and Cathedral Preparatory schools. In 1970, he was designated a Prelate of Honor by Pope Paul VI.
Monsignor served on numerous boards, among them the Presbyteral (Priest) Council, the College of Consultors, Priest Personnel Board and the Board of Trustees at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, New York. In 2005, Bishop Donald Trautman appointed him Episcopal Delegate for Retired Priests.
He is survived by his cousins Jerry, Mike, Chris, Adrian, Sean and Boo Hagerty, and Ellen Hagerty, John and Julie Minton and Tim Clancey.
He was pre-deceased by his loving parents, Bert and Olive Hagerty, and an uncle, C. Francis Hagerty.
Monsignor Hagerty always spoke words worth remembering and taking to heart. In a letter to a fellow priest but words applicable to all, he offered the following reflection: “My worth and yours, Tom – and – every priest’s – is not in our brains or our talent – but in our sanctity, or at least our attempt at it. Wherever you go, God is there. He is the one source and center of what you desire and need. You will find Him all over the globe; your job will be to more firmly root Him in the hearts of your people.”
The Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial for Monsignor John B. Hagerty on Tuesday, April 9, at 11 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church.
Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Erie.
Visitation will be at the H. David Bowes Auditorium at Cathedral Preparatory School (please enter through the 10th Street auditorium door) today, Monday, from 4-8 p.m. and on Tuesday at Blessed Sacrament Church from 9-10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Monsignor John Hagerty Scholarship Fund at Cathedral Prep or the Monsignor John Hagerty Scholarship Fund at Elk County Catholic High School, St. Marys, or the Shenango Valley Catholic School System, Hermitage.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brugger Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1595 West 38th Street.
Condolences and photos may be sent at www.bruggerfuneralhomes.com .