Reverend Patrick J. Barrett

Traverse City Record-Eagle
April 2, 2006

Traverse City — The Reverend Patrick J. Barrett, 72, of Traverse City, died unexpectedly Thursday morning, March 30, 2006, at his home.

Born Jan. 5, 1934, in Hubbardston, he was the son of Norton Thomas and Theone Nina (Johnson) Barrett.

He attended Chester Elementary School in Hubbardston and Saint Mary Catholic High School in Carson City. He went to Saint Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, Saint John Seminary in Plymouth, and then on to Seminaire de Philosophie in Montreal, Canada, receiving a Bachelor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Montreal. He was ordained by Bishop Allen J. Babcock at Saint Andrew Cathedral in Grand Rapids on June 6, 1959.

His first appointment following ordination was as Assistant Pastor of Saint Francis Church in Traverse City. He went on to serve at Saint Andrew Cathedral in Grand Rapids and parishes in Mancelona/Bellaire, Lake Leelanau, Hannah/Karlin, East Tawas, Kalkaska/Fife Lake and Mapleton.

How does one find words to describe what only the heart can know. Perhaps the appropriate place to begin is to ask, what is Love? Dearest Patrick, you were love. You were genuine and caring, always keeping in touch with those who needed to hear your dear voice. You were kindness and compassion, never failing to see the needs of a broken or empty heart, always willing to be there to encourage.

As a priest you touched so many lives in a most meaningful and profound way. Certainly with your wonderful sense of humor, and too, with your gentle encouragement, reminding us always that we are a Good man or Good woman'.

Just to be in your company seemed to make one a better person. All who knew you saw your sweet kindness and loved you for it. So many lives were made richer because you were here. You brought such gladness to so many hearts and faces. You were, dear Patrick, the personification of a man of God. Simple, humble, you had no ego and accepted all humanity without judgment.

Generously giving freely to anyone in need of help. You made this world a better place by your presence in it, dear friend. It now, however, feels decidedly cold and empty, your absence is felt by all.

You gave of yourself to the end until your blessed heart simply grew to tired to carry on. You lived your final years with courage, dignity and joy. What a great privilege it was to know you, my friend. I know you can hear our voices as together we say "Thank You" for giving to us all you had to give until your final breath.

So many souls you prepared for the final journey. You were a father, in the true sense of the word, to us all. We all ache to follow the path, as you showed it to us, to our "Father" in heaven. You were loved when you lived, you will always be loved.

He is survived by his loving and supportive family, siblings, Mary (Milton) Franklin, John (Jean) Barrett, Margaret Wilson, Faye (John) Ralph, Michael (Judy) Barrett and Tim (Jean) Barrett; as well as many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by seven brothers, Tom, Bill, Jim, Joe, Carl, Danny and David Barrett.

Visitation will take place at St. Francis Catholic Church on Wednesday, April 5, 2006, from 6 to 8 p.m., where a rosary will be prayed at 7:30 p.m. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Francis Catholic Church on Thursday, April 6, 2006, at 1 p.m., with the Rev. James Gardiner and the Rev. Kenneth Stachnik serving as the celebrants.

In remembrance of the Rev. Pat, memorials may be directed to the Father Fred Foundation. Envelopes will be available at the church.

Arrangements were made with the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.

Kindly share your memories with the family on their on-line quest book at


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.