Fr. Frank J. Ready dies at 84

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Father Frank J. Ready, former vicar general of Pastoral Services, died Jan. 20 at INOVA Fairfax Hospital after a long illness.

Funeral services are planned for Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. at Holy Spirit Church in Annandale.

"Along with the clergy, religious and laity, who form this diocesan Church of Arlington, I am profoundly saddened by the death of Father Frank J. Ready on Jan. 20," said Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde. "God's word reminds us that we have not here a lasting city but urges us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our Savior and our Lord, Who has gone before us to prepare an eternal dwelling for us in His Father's House.

"Father Ready was a person of quiet yet deep faith; he put his trust in Christ Jesus, so our fervent prayer is that our blessed Lord will give him eternal life and peace.

"Father Ready served so faithfully God's people in both the Diocese of Richmond and our own Diocese of Arlington as an associate pastor; pastor of several parishes, three of which he founded and developed: the Church of St. Thérèse in Chesapeake, Nativity in Burke, and Sacred Heart in Manassas," Bishop Loverde said. "His wise counsel and ever faithful presence strengthened the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women as their chaplain, the Knights of Columbus in Virginia as the associate state chaplain, the women and men living the consecrated life as the vicar for religious, and our entire diocesan family as a Vicar General. He was gentle, patient and unfailingly kind, reflecting the Lord Jesus in his priestly life and ministry.

"I shall personally miss his service and his counsel," the bishop said. "Our united prayer accompanies him into the house of the Lord. May he rest in peace and intercede for us still on pilgrimage."

Father Ready was born June 8, 1930, in Nantick, Mass., the only child of Frank and Mary Ready. After his mother's early death, his father married Doris Raymond, and they had one son and three daughters. Father Ready and his siblings grew up largely in Fitchburg, Mass., where he was an altar server at St. Bernard Church.

He entered the seminary for the Maryknoll Fathers, but transferred to the Richmond Diocese, which then included all of Virginia and some counties in West Virginia. He was ordained by Richmond Bishop John J. Russell May 11, 1959.

He served as associate pastor of St. Bede Church in Williamsburg, 1959-60; St. Bridget Church, Richmond, 1960-62; St. Vincent Church, Newport News, 1962-65; and St. Michael Church, Annandale, 1965-70.

Also for the Richmond Diocese, he was on the faculty of St. John Vianney Seminary from 1960 to 1962, and worked as executive director of Catholic Charities from 1962 to 1965.

He was the founding pastor of St. Theresa Parish, Portsmouth, 1970-73; Nativity Parish, Burke, 1973-84; and Sacred Heart Parish, Manassas, 1984-95. In 1995, he was appointed pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Annandale where he served until 2005.

He served as dean of Deanery V, 1991-95, and dean of Deanery II, 1997-2003. He was named to the diocesan college of consultors in 2000 and vicar general for pastoral services in 2005.

He served for many years on the board of directors of the Arlington Catholic Herald.

In 2013, he became vicar general emeritus with retired status. In retirement, he continued serving as coordinator of spiritual formation, moderator of the diocesan Peace and Social Justice Commission, member of the diocesan presbyteral council, chaplain to the Arlington Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and associate state chaplain of the Knights of Columbus.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015