Father Ready laid to rest

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Holy Spirit Church in Annandale was filled with mourners Jan. 27 as Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde and more than 70 priests from the Arlington and Richmond Dioceses offered the funeral Mass for Father Frank J. Ready.

A Knights of Columbus honor guard escorted the bishop and Father Ready's coffin to the altar.

Father Lee R. Roos, pastor of All Saints Church in Manassas who served with Father Ready at St. Agnes Church in Arlington, was the homilist and called Father Ready "a brother to all of us."

In emotional closing remarks, Bishop Loverde called Father Ready "a man of enduring hope."

The bishop said that we will miss his earthly presence, but we will see him again.

Interment was at Fairfax Memorial Park.

Many of the priests and laity of the diocese who served with Father Ready at his many parishes were saddened by his passing.

"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" said Bishop 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 Roos called Father Ready "a dedicated priest who wanted to help others and bring them closer to God," "He enriched both our rectory living and our parish life."

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 1960-62, and worked as executive director of Catholic Charities from 1962-65.

He was the founding pastor of St. Therese 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.

"Father Ready was dedicated to the Arlington Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and a wonderful moderator and spiritual director. "But most of all (it was) a privilege for all of us to have known him," said Liz Schiavone, president of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015