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Retired Bishop McCarthy dies

The Catholic Diocese of Austin says retired Bishop John McCarthy has died.  McCarthy was the Bishop of the Diocese for 15 years. He retired in 2001. McCarthy was 88 and died at his home on Saturday.  Funeral services are pending.

As the third bishop of the Austin Diocese, Bishop McCarthy saw a dramatic increase in activity in the church. Under his leadership a model of parish social ministry, which he began in 1969 as a Houston pastor, spread throughout the diocese. The concept is that many parishes have the resources among their own parishioners to provide much of the help needed by those within the parish boundaries.

He encouraged Seton Medical Center's opening of clinics in east Austin to serve the working poor, and oversaw a dramatic expansion of the Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton, which serves the entire diocese, and the development of the diocesan Ministry Programs, which serve the faith formation of hundreds of lay adult Catholics throughout the diocese.

Small groups of Catholics have developed into strong communities with support of the diocesan Mission Council, which he established. The diocese also provided personnel and resources for San Isidro Parish in Arteaga, Mexico providing material goods, medical assistance and catechetical support.

A strong supporter of education, he saw St. Michael's Academy grow into a viable Catholic high school in Austin, and opened new Catholic high schools in Bryan and Temple and several elementary schools.

(Photo from Catholic Diocese of Austin)

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