OBITUARY: Father Howard W. McCormick
SPRINGFIELD – Father Howard W. McCormick, 80, retired pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church, Agawam, died July 31. Son of the late John B. and Mary J. (Moore) McCormick, he was born in Springfield on Nov. 7, 1931. Raised in Springfield he was a communicant of Sacred Heart Church and graduated from Cathedral High School in 1949.
He studied classics from 1949 to 1951 at Holy Cross College, Worcester, Mass., and went on to study philosophy and received his degree in theology from the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Niagara University in 1957. He then received his master's degree in religious education from Fordham University in August of 1970. He was ordained by Springfield Bishop Christopher J. Weldon on June 15, 1957 at St. Michael's Cathedral.
Father McCormick served as curate at Holy Family Parish in Holyoke from 1957 to 1961; at St. Mary Parish in Orange from 1961 to 1968; and at Holy Cross Parish, Holyoke from 1968 to 1969. He was appointed assistant director of confraternity of Christian doctrine from 1968 to 1972 and then as director of confraternity of Christian doctrine from 1972 to 1977, in residence at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Ludlow from 1969 to 1977.
He served as pastor at St. Mary Mother of the Church Parish in Lee from Sept. 10, 1977 to July 1, 1994 and, during this time, the mission church of St. Francis of Assisi, South Lee, was joined to St. Mary Parish in 1992.
Father McCormick was elected to the Priest's Senate from 1978 to 1981. He was then appointed to the Ecumenical Commission from 1980 to 1983; as pro-synodal judge from 1982 to 1992; to the Budget Advisory Committee from 1984 to 1986; to the Diocesan Building Commission from 1988 to 1991; to the Bishop's Select Committee from 1991 to 1994; as episcopal vicar of the Berkshire Vicariate from 1991 to 1994; and to the Bishop's Commission for the Clergy from 1992 to 1996, reappointed from 1996 to 1998.
Father McCormick was appointed administrator of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Agawam from 1994 to 1995 and was pastor there from Oct. 6, 1995 to his retirement on July 1, 2002. He was appointed episcopal vicar of the Greater Holyoke, Hampden Central, and Hampden West Vicariate from 1996 to 1999, and then reappointed episcopal vicar of the Hampden West Vicariate from 1999 to 2001. He was appointed to the Presbyteral Council from 2000 to 2002 and again from 2009 to 2011.
Father McCormick resided at Sacred Heart Church for the past year.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brothers, John (“Hotsy”), Barry, Donald, Edward, James, Gerald, and Paul. Father McCormick was busy during his later years keeping family records for his family, which includes 28 nieces and nephews, 63 great- and 41 great- great-nieces and nephews.
Father McCormick will lie in state at Sacred Heart Church, 395 Chestnut St., Springfield on Sunday, Aug. 5 from 4 to 7 p.m., followed by a vigil prayer service at 7 p.m. A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday Aug. 6 in Sacred Heart Church at 11 a.m. by Springfield Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell. Rites of Committal and Interment will follow in St. Michael's Cemetery, 1601 State St., Springfield.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sacred Heart Renovation Fund, 395 Chestnut St., Springfield, MA 01104; to St. John the Evangelist Parish Building Fund, 833 Main St., Agawam, MA 0100;, and to St. Mary School, 115 Orchard St., Lee, MA 01238.