PHILADELPHIA - Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, 10th bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg, died unexpectedly Thursday, May 2, 2013, in Philadelphia, where he was attending a meeting of the Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania.

Bishop McFadden was 65 years old, and served as the Bishop of Harrisburg since Aug. 18, 2010.

He was born in Philadelphia, May 22, 1947, a son of Thomas and Ellen (Griffin) McFadden. He was baptized at St. Rose of Lima Parish, and attended Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School and St. Thomas More High School, where he was class valedictorian.

In 1969, he graduated from St. Joseph University with a Bachelor of Science in political science.

As a freshman, he played on the college basketball team and during his remaining years in college, he coached boys basketball, first at St. Thomas More High School and then at West Catholic High School for Boys, where he joined the faculty after graduation. He also served as director of athletics for West Catholic and was a member of the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Catholic League.

In 1976, he entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, and graduated summa cum laude. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 1981 by Cardinal John Krol of Philadelphia in the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul.

His first assignment as a priest began in June 1981 as parochial vicar at St. Laurence Parish in Highland Park. The following year, he became administrative secretary to Cardinal Krol, a position he held until 1993. On May 29, 1991, he was named as honorary prelate to His Holiness Pope John Paul II with the title of monsignor.

In 1993, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia appointed him as the first president of Cardinal O'Hara High School in Springfield where he worked to establish the school's innovative "Laptops for Learning" program.

In 2001, he was assigned as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Downingtown where he served until his appointment as auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia in June 2004. He was ordained to the episcopacy by Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia in the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul July 28, 2004.

On June 22, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him the 10th bishop of Harrisburg. His installation took place Aug. 18, 2010, at St. Patrick Cathedral, Harrisburg.

Bishop McFadden was a strong advocate for Catholic education, and a tireless promoter of parents' rights to choose the education best suited for their children. He also embraced the use of technology in evangelization, and hosted countless web and video conferences with school students whereby he engaged them through catechesis, question-and-answer sessions and opportunities for prayer.

He served as a member of many organizations, including as president of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference; chairman of the United States Bishops' Committee on Catholic Education, as well as their task force committee on Faith Formation and Sacramental Preparation. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees at Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe and in 2009, became the recipient of the first Shamrock Award presented by the Alumni of St. Thomas More and West Catholic high schools.

Surviving are a brother, John McFadden and his wife, Mary Jo; two sisters, Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Jane McFadden and Ellen McConney and her husband, Patrick; eight nephews and nieces, and nine great-nephews and great-nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Ellen (Griffin) McFadden.


McFADDEN - Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, 65, 10th bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg. His body will be received at St. Patrick Cathedral, 212 State St., Harrisburg, at 7 p.m. Sunday where he will lie in repose until Tuesday at 4 p.m. Solemn evening prayer will take place at St. Patrick Cathedral at 7 p.m. Monday. The Rite of Transfer of the Body will take place at 3 p.m. Tuesday at St. Patrick Cathedral and received at 4 p.m. at Holy Name of Jesus Church, 6150 Allentown Blvd., Harrisburg, with solemn evening prayer at 7 p.m. The solemn funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Name of Jesus Church at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday with a public viewing beginning at 9 a.m. Burial will be in the Bishops' Circle at Holy Cross Cemetery, 4075 Derry St., Harrisburg. Letters of Condolences may be sent to Ellen McConney, 458 Gateswood Drive, West Chester 19380. Contributions in the name of Bishop McFadden may be made to Catholic Education, Diocese of Harrisburg, 4800 Union Deposit Road, Harrisburg 17111.