Father John J. McVeigh, 90, priest of the Diocese of Las Vegas, died Monday, November 21, 2016, on his 90th birthday, in Cape May Court House, New Jersey. Father McVeigh was born on November 21, 1926 in New York, NY, and grew up in Philadelphia, PA. Father McVeigh was ordained to the Priesthood March 1, 1958 by Bishop Joseph Burke, Bishop of Buffalo, for the Diocese of Reno.
The parishes throughout the state of Nevada where Father McVeigh served included the Cathedral of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Reno; Saint Anne, Las Vegas; Saint Thomas Aquinas, Wells; Saint Therese Little Flower, Reno; Saint Patrick, Fallon; Saint Peter Canisius, Sun Valley; and Saint Michael, Stead. In 1963, Father McVeigh was sent for graduate studies to the National Catholic School of Social Services at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., after which he served as Executive Director of the Reno Office of the Nevada Catholic Welfare Bureau as well as Diocesan Vocations Director.
The son of the late John Joseph McVeigh and Anne Cecilia Kane, Father McVeigh is survived by a cousin, Jeannette Notaro, of Haddonfield and Villas, NJ. Fr. McVeigh attended West Catholic High School, Philadelphia, and upon graduation, served in the United States Navy, retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Following his service in the Navy, he entered the Seminary of Our Lady of Angels, Niagara University, and began studies for the priesthood for the Diocese of Reno.
In 1970, Father McVeigh was released from duty in the diocese to serve with Catholic Relief Services of the United States Catholic Conference. In this position, he headed the Catholic Relief Services office in Saigon; before it fell to the invading North Vietnamese Army, Father assisted thousands of South Vietnamese children to come to American and Canadian homes.
Following his work with Catholic Relief Services, Father McVeigh returned to the Diocese of Reno – Las Vegas as Pastor of Saint Anne’s, the parish where he had twice served as a young priest; he shepherded the faithful of Saint Anne from 1978 until his retirement in December 1991.
Retiring to New Jersey, Father McVeigh continued his priestly ministry in parishes in the Diocese Camden and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and he gave Catholic Relief Services appeals throughout the area. He also continued to make annual trips to Nevada as a summer assistant at Sacred Heart Church, Ely. He remained a staunch supporter of Bishop Gorman High School and Saint Anne Catholic School, and, until his health began to fail, he faithfully attended the Diocese of Las Vegas priests’ retreat at Vallombrosa Retreat House, CA.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Father McVeigh will be celebrated at Christ the King Parish, Haddonfield, NJ, on Friday, December 2; visitation at the parish will precede the Mass. His burial will be held at a later date at the McVeigh family plot at Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, PA.
On the same day, Friday, December 2, at 11:00 am, a Memorial Mass for Father McVeigh will be celebrated by Bishop Joseph A. Pepe at Saint Anne Parish on Maryland Parkway. A reception in Father McVeigh’s honor will follow his Memorial Mass at the Ghanem Center of Saint Anne Catholic School.