Oblate Father Edward Corcoran Dies

Father Edward Corcoran, O.S.F.S., 86, pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Vienna from 1969-85, died at St. Catherine Hall in Philadelphia on Aug. 7. A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Aug. 11 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church. Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde presided. Interment was scheduled for Aug.12 at the Oblate Cemetery on the grounds of the De Sales Centre in Childs, Md. Father Corcoran served the Arlington Diocese in many capacities. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Arlington Catholic HERALD; diocesan director for pilgrimages to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington from 1975-85; member of the diocesan building committee from 1974-80; defender of the bond of the diocesan Tribunal from 1975-80; and on the diocesan school board from 1970-85 and chairman of the board of governors of Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington from 1975-85. "He was a great role model of what a priest ought to be; very dedicated and caring for his people," said Msgr. James McMurtrie, pastor of St. Theresa Parish in Ashburn, and friend of Father Corcoran’s for more than 30 years. "He was what a Salesian strives to be, a gentleman priest. I often told him that while he may have been an Oblate, I always considered him one of ours. He was well thought of and very supportive of the diocese." During the 16 years that he was pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Father Corcoran was religious-in-charge of the parish Oblate community and directed the building of its new church in 1970 and its new parish house in 1976. At the end of his tenure as pastor in 1985, he retired from active priestly ministry and resided at the parish as pastor emeritus until June 1998, when he moved to St. Catherine Hall for health reasons. Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish hosts an annual benefit golf tournament, the Corcoran Classic, in his honor. An avid golfer, Father Corcoran coached the Northeast Catholic Golf Team for many years and won many Catholic League championships. The son of Thomas and Katherine Corcoran, he was born on Dec. 18, 1913 in Philadelphia. He attended Immaculate Conception Parochial School and then Northeast Catholic High School, both in Philadelphia, and graduated in 1932. Father Corcoran earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Catholic University in Washington in 1937, and a master’s degree in mathematics from Villanova University in Villanova, Pa., in 1960. He entered the Oblates of St. Francis De Sales in June 1932, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 7, 1941, in St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington, Del., by Bishop Edmond J. FitzMaurice of Wilmington. After six months as a postulant at De Sales Hall in Washington, and a year as a novice at the Oblate Novitiate in Childs, Md., he was assigned to De Sales Hall while a student at Catholic University from 1933-34, 1935-37 and 1939-41. As a teacher of physics from 1934-35 and of mathematics from 1937-39 and 1941-44, he served at Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia. From 1944-46, he taught physics at Central High School in Toledo, Ohio. Coming back to Northeast High School, he taught mathematics from 1946-62, served as chairman of the department from 1950-62, and then was principal until 1969, when he was assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish. "He was a very conservative, reverent priest, extremely well-liked by his students and fellow faculty at Northeast, and also by his parishioners at Our Lady of Good Counsel, where we visited him many times," said Father Corcoran’s nephew, Peter Corcoran of Philadelphia, son of Father Corcoran’s brother Harold, now deceased. "He performed the marriage ceremony for me and my wife, and baptized four of my kids and would have baptized my fifth this Sunday." Father Corcoran is survived by a sister, Teresa Farrell of Jacksonville Beach, Fla. In lieu of flowers, the Oblates request that contributions be sent to the Oblate Retirement Fund, 2200 Kentmere Pkwy., Wilmington, Del. 19806.
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