Austin’s third bishop John McCarthy dies at 88

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former Austin Catholic Diocese Bishop, John McCarthy, died Saturday at his home, surrounded by family.

He was Austin’s third bishop, well known for the growth he brought to the city’s churches.

He started the model of social ministry when he started out as a pastor in Houston in 1969 and spread it throughout the diocese. The concept focuses on using resources that a church’s own parishioners have to help with other churches who need it within parish boundaries. 

Among other feats, the diocese mentions in a post on their website about McCarthy encouraging Seton Medical Center to open clinics in east Austin to serve the poor. He also oversaw the expansion of the Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton which serves the entire diocese, plus the development of diocesan Ministry Programs.

He established the Mission Council and also opened Catholic high schools and elementary schools in Bryan and Temple.

Diocese officials wrote on the website, “Let us give thanks to God for the priest and Bishop that he was to so many people.”

He served as bishop in the Austin diocese from 1986 to 2001.

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