Former Army Chaplain Was Pastor at Two Parishes

Father McShane
Father McShane

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father John A. McShane, a retired senior priest of the diocese, was celebrated Oct. 1 in the chapel at Immaculate Conception Pastoral Center, Douglaston. He died Sept. 27 at Parker Jewish Rehab Center in New Hyde Park. He was 85.

Born in Long Island City and baptized in St. Mary’s Church, he attended St. Sebastian’s School, Woodside; Xavier H.S., Manhattan; St. John’s University, Jamaica; and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington.

He served as an assistant at St. Joan of Arc, Jackson Heights, 1957-65; St. Gregory the Great, Bellerose, 1965-79; St. Brigid, Bushwick, 1979-81; St. Elizabeth, Ozone Park, 1981-83, and then was pastor of St. Patrick’s, Long Island City, from 1983 to 1990. In 1990, he was named pastor of Holy Family, Canarsie, where he served until he retired in 2002.

He was a retired chaplain, with the rank of colonel, in the U.S. Army Reserve and a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General College, Fort Leavenworth, Kan., and the National Defense University, Washington, D.C. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

After retirement, he lived at Bishop Mugavero Residence, Douglaston, and assisted part-time at Sacred Heart parish, Bayside.

Auxiliary Bishop James Massa was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Special concelebrants included Msgr. William Flood and Fathers John Amann and Edward Kane, who preached the homily.

“A man of few words, he said what he meant and did what he said,” Father Kane said. “Everywhere he went he left his mark of being open, a man of prayer and a man of action.”

“He was always open and friendly to everybody,” said the pastor of Holy Family. “His legacy is that we now have 52 ethnic groups speaking 36 languages in our parish.”

Immediate survivors include his sister, Marguerite Patricia Toomey. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated at Holy Family Church, Nov. 5, at 10:30 a.m.