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Rev. Lynch remembered

The Diocese of Altoona Johnstown is saddened by the passing of a recently retired priest.

The Rev. Leo A. Lynch, 67, Hollidaysburg, who retired in November, died Thursday at Garvey Manor Nursing Home, Hollidaysburg.

“On behalf of Bishop Bartchak, I extend heartfelt sympathy to the Lynch family and to the many people whose faith was nurtured and strengthened by Father Lynch’s ministry — especially the parish family of St. Thomas More in Roaring Spring,” where he most recently served as pastor, said Tony DeGol, Diocese spokesman.

Over the years, Lynch served in parish ministry, hospital ministry, prison ministry and Catholic education.

“It is remarkable to consider how many lives he positively impacted through his pastoral outreach, and he did it all with a joyful spirit, despite battling many health challenges,” DeGol said.

The Very Rev. Mark Begly, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Johnstown, remembered Lynch from their days teaching at St. Therese’s School in Altoona.

“He was a great teacher. The kids loved him; he did a wonderful job teaching those kids. He gradually started thinking about becoming a priest. As principal at Bishop Guilfoyle, he played a big role,” Begly said.

Monsignor Michael Becker, pastor at St. John the Evangelist, Lakemont, said he knew Lynch from his teaching days before he was ordained as a priest at age 40.

“He was a great priest once he made that decision. He really touched peoples lives beyond the parish level when he was principal at Bishop Guilfoyle. He was well thought of and respected as a principal,” Becker said.

DeGol said Lynch had the heart of a priest.

“Ironically, the last time I saw him in person was about a year ago when the diocese hosted the incorrupt heart of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests,” DeGol said. “It was obvious to me that his health was not good that day, but it was also obvious how much he wanted to be there. I am so glad that he was able to join many of his brother priests and the faithful for that unique opportunity,” he added.

Friends will be received from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. today at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, Altoona, followed by a 10:30 a.m. funeral Mass, the Most Rev. Mark L. Bartchak celebrant. Committal will be held at Calvary Cemetery.

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