1906 – 1975 (January 8)
Leo James McCarthy, son of Dennis G. McCarthy and Catherine E. Collins, was born in Belmont, Massachusetts, on September 21, 1906. After attending Belmont Public High School and Boston College High School, he entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, as a post-graduate postulant. Received as a novice on September 12, 1931, he pronounced simple vows on September 13, 1932 and solemn vows on September 13, 1935. Following graduation from Villanova College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1936, he pursued his theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine on May 30, 1939. He also attended classes at a business college in Washington.
Father McCarthy's first assignment was to Colegio San Agustin, Iloilo, Philippine Islands, along with Fathers J. V. Casey, Alfred Monte, and Henry Carr. It was here that he was captured by the invading Japanese force and interned in a prisoner of war camp for the duration of the war until liberated by the returning American army. He was at the point of death when rescued by the Americans and was provided prompt medical attention. Father remained for a time in the Philippines, aiding the local bishop in the postwar period. However, recurrence of medical problems arising from his imprisonment years forced him to return to the States.
In 1945 he was named assistant pastor at Saint Laurence O'Toole parish, Lawrence, MA. He then served at Immaculate Conception parish, Hoosick Falls, NY from 1950 to 1957, Saint James, Carthage, NY from 1957 until 1962, Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Atlantic City, NJ, 1962 to 1965, Saint Laurence O'Toole, 1965 to 1969, and Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Bryn Mawr from 1969 until 1971. In 1971 he was appointed prior and assistant pastor of Saint Rita Parish in South Philadelphia.
A genial priest, Father McCarthy's broad smile and hearty greeting endeared him to many. He died suddenly on January 8, 1975 while visiting his ailing twin sister in Belmont, MA.
Father McCarthy is buried in the Augustinian plot in Saint Mary's Cemetery, Lawrence, MA.